November 08, 2011

How to Create a Goodreads Giveaway

Total Read Time: 2 minutes

["Stuffed Animals" by linder6580]

Last week, I posted a giveaway on Goodreads for a signed copy of my fantasy novel, Soul Seeker, and I thought I would share how I did it.

Running a Goodreads Giveaway can be a great way to get the word out about your book. First of all, Goodreads members are people who like to read, so it’s much easier to connect with your potential customers than trying to find potential readers on Twitter, for example. Second, people love getting stuff for free. There are lots of people who check the Giveaway section of Goodreads on a regular basis, looking for something in their genre.

Even people who don’t win will at least be looking at your book and potentially adding it to their to-read list. Also, giveaway winners are encouraged to post a review of the book they receive. Either way, you’re spreading the word about your work, so it’s win-win for the author.



Unless you’re a well-known author, it probably helps to have your giveaway run for a longer period of time (a month or so) in order to build some momentum. The longer you have your giveaway open, the more people who will see it.

You can also create a buzz about your book before it even releases by timing your giveaway ahead of your book launch. Best-case scenario, your new book already has great reviews from giveaway winners the day it comes out.


Decide ahead of time how many copies you can afford to give away. Goodreads only allows authors to give away printed copies of their books, so you will need to cover the cost of the book, plus shipping to get it to the winner(s).

You can give away only a single copy or limit where contestants can enter from to save some money. You can also choose to ship your book directly from your distributor to the winner(s) instead of having it come to you, signing it, and shipping it yourself at an extra cost. (Although offering a signed copy is a cool bonus.)


1.  Log in to Goodreads

2.  Go to your Author Dashboard

3.  Select the book you want to give away

4.  On your book’s Goodreads page, select ‘List a giveaway’ from the upper right corner of the screen. Make sure you are on the page for the printed version of your book!

5.  On the next screen, fill in the required information. In the description field, you can enter a blurb for your book, plus any other information, like whether you are giving away a signed copy.

6.  Click the Save button at the bottom.

7.  Check your email for a verification link, confirming your giveaway options.

8.  Wait for Goodreads to approve your giveaway. (This can take up to 2 business days.)

9.  Spread the word. Use your network to let followers and fans know about your giveaway.

Goodreads will send you a list of the winner(s) and their addresses once the giveaway is over. (No stalking allowed!) It’s up to you to ship out your book.

That’s it! Hope this was helpful. :)

Have you run a giveaway on Goodreads? How did it impact your book?

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousMay 06, 2013

    We're a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with useful info to work on. You've done a formidable job and our entire
    community will probably be grateful to you.

    Here is my page ... download cccam 2.0 10


Comment Rules:
Feedback is awesome. Trolling/flaming is not. If you are rude, your post will be deleted.

Please do not put your website in the comment text, as this can come across as spam.

Thanks for adding to the conversation! Have fun :)