For years, I’d been entering Goodreads Giveaways and yet I’d never won a single book. Now, in the past 4 months, I’ve been sent 13. Some have been fantastic, some have definitely not been my cup of tea, but either way, I received free books AND a chance to expand my reading horizons.
While Goodreads does pick winners somewhat randomly, there are a few things you can do to be a more eligible participant. So here is my simple step-by-step guide for winning more free books:
- Read A LOT. If you have 2 books on your Goodreads bookshelf, you probably aren’t going to be a good candidate for more books - you don’t look like a reader! Add more books that you’ve read and if you’re in doubt that it’s enough, add a few more.
- Review everything you read. Authors want their books to go to people who are willing to read their book and write an honest review about it (any publicity is good publicity). If you have never written a review before, you aren’t a good candidate for the giveaway. It may seem daunting to go back and write a review for a bunch of books you read years ago, so you don’t have to do that. Write review for your favorite books or any you’ve read several times. Then, start writing reviews for each new book that you read. Not only will this help you to become a better reviewer, but it’ll help your chances of winning books - you regularly review books, after all.
- If you do win a book, read it soon and review it quickly. For a while, I was receiving all sorts of books from Goodreads giveaways. I’d read one and write a review and win another giveaway that day. Some days, I won two or three Giveaways at once after a quick read and review! After awhile, I got bogged down with books and stopped winning new ones when I’d receive old ones. After all, it was taking me a couple months to get to each book, so I wasn’t nearly as reliable of a reviewer as I had been before.
- Connect with authors of books you read. While this may not help you win more giveaways directly, it gives you an opportunity to connect with published authors. A lot of these people are self-published or are working with a micropress, so connecting with someone who read and enjoyed their book can be a huge deal. There are a few authors who friended me on Goodreads after I reviewed their book and now follow everything I read and review. This is an excellent way to connect with authors and also to market their books (and others’ books) a bit more - the more friends you have on Goodreads, the more people will see what books you’re reading, and the more publicity those books will get.
If you want to read more on this topic (and see the articles I read that helped confirm my suspicions), Michelle Booth has written about it, as has Janet Tavakoli from The Huffington Post.
If you’re an author trying to get your book promoted more, this post by Cathryn Ryan Howard has some tips about using Goodreads Giveaways.
And here are a few books that I’ve won via Goodreads Giveaways that intrigued me, made me think, haunted me, etc:
- Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth by Holger Hoock
- Change of Seasons: A Memoir by John Oates
- Leo Tolstoy's 5 Greatest Novellas Annotated by Leo Tolstoy, Translated by Andrew Barger
- K My Name Is Kendra by Kamichi Jackson
- Foundations of Faith by Michael Chroback
Have you won anything on Goodreads? Are you looking for new ways to get FREE BOOKS or are you currently half-buried in the books you already own?