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Goodreads Giveaways Now Include Kindle Books

Goodreads Kindle GiveawayGood news on the marketing front. One of the limitations of the Goodreads Giveaway program is that it was only available for print books. Given that a growing number of authors are e-only – or at least start as an ebook before moving on to print – this offers a new way to reach Goodreads’ huge pool of readers. Via Goodreads:

Last year, Goodreads helped authors and publishers give away more than 300,000 print books in our popular Giveaways program! Thanks to this success, authors and publishers have been clamoring for the option to run ebook giveaways with Goodreads. Today, we have the news you’ve been waiting for! The beta launch of our new Kindle ebook giveaways program is now underway.

Here’s how it works: The author or publisher of an book – whoever controls the digital distribution rights to the book – can now offer up to 100 copies of the Kindle ebook in a giveaway. The author or publisher chooses how long the giveaway will run, and Goodreads does the rest. At the end of the giveaway, Goodreads randomly chooses winners and automatically sends the Kindle ebooks to their preferred devices and Cloud accounts. Winners receive real Kindle ebooks, complete with all the great features and security that Amazon’s Kindle platform provides.

However, the cost of listing an ebook is $119, whereas a print giveaway is free to list. Of course, a print giveaway costs in terms of product and shipping, so authors always had to factor that in. At $10 or more for printing and shipping, this can get expensive, which is why print giveaways are often offered for 1 or 2 books at a time, limiting its potential reach – though far less expensive than $119. It doesn’t entirely make sense for there to be such a high flat rate, as users might only want to give away 10 ebooks, as they do with print books, so it is a fairly expensive program.

Time will tell as well if the rate of reads will be good for a Goodreads ebook giveaway vs. a print book, as free downloads on Amazon usually go unread. The difference is Goodreads giveaways are “awarded” to users, instead of being downloaded automatically, so it should generate more interest. Regardless, a giveaway will still increase Goodreads visibility for a book, and get it added to more users “To Read” lists.

Some may argue that setting up a free promotion on Amazon is free with the potential for thousands of downloads, but Goodreads does potentially offer a more active collection of readers than Amazon, where so many people hoard books. Goodreads is a reviewing site, not just a store, so readers have a different reason for being there.

To reiterate: this is currently only for the U.S. GR says, “Our goal is to make sure that we offer all of our features in other countries, but we do not have any timing on this yet.”

One of the problems with giveaways is the exorbitant costs to send books to countries outside the U.S., so this doesn’t exactly solve that problem, but the program should be very popular.

Here’s the Kindle Giveaway page.