Author Topic: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?  (Read 710 times)  

Offline Evelyn Alexie

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Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:19:40 PM »
I'm hosting a Goodreads giveaway in the hopes of gathering a few early reviews on my upcoming debut. Or to put it another way, I am hosting a giveaway and I'm hoping that a few early reviews will be a side effect of the giveaway. The giveaway will at least get a few eyes on the book. Any reviews would be a benefit.
Has anyone tried this? I've heard that the ratio of books given away to reviews actually generated is fairly low... but how low exactly? 1 review for every 5 books given away? 1 in 10? 1 in 100? :'(
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 07:38:52 AM by Evelyn Alexie »
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Offline Tilly

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 05:29:56 PM »
I'm hosting a Goodreads giveaway in the hopes of gathering a few early reviews on my upcoming debut.

You need to read GR guidelines for giveaways, it clearly states they are NOT a vehicle for reviews. They are simply a fun competition to share on social media and to raise awareness of your book. While winners are encourage to leave a review, they don't even have to read the book if they don't want to. There is also an issue on GR with bots/users entering every single giveaway simply to acquire books to sell on eBay.

Personally I have run several giveaways over the last 3 years and I've never had a single review as a result.  You would be better off buying a NetGalley spot for a month or two if you specifically want reviews.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 05:43:34 PM »
I had about a 30% review rate from Goodreads giveaways, though I haven't done one in a few years. I assume from what I've read here and elsewhere that the ratio is worse now.

Hidden Gems ARC Service is good at generating honest reviews. They look very similar, both in the kind of writing and how the book is rated, to organic reviews on the same title. You may want to check them out. (Despite the name, you can use them to get the book in front of reviewers at any point in the book's life.)


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Offline Evelyn Alexie

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 05:54:21 PM »
You need to read GR guidelines for giveaways, it clearly states they are NOT a vehicle for reviews.

I have read the guidelines, thanks. I am not asking for reviews. I am hoping for them. Two different things, honest :) Some people who are given a book review it. I was wondering what an average would be. Zero is a depressing average, but at least I'm prepared now. Thanks.

In any case, I am hoping (that word again!) that giving away the book will get people to look twice at the blurb and decide they might want to buy it if they didn't win it. As a new author, anything gets people to notice my book is a good thing.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 06:27:29 PM by Evelyn Alexie »
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Offline Evelyn Alexie

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 05:57:43 PM »
I had about a 30% review rate from Goodreads giveaways, though I haven't done one in a few years. I assume from what I've read here and elsewhere that the ratio is worse now.

Hidden Gems ARC Service is good at generating honest reviews.

Thank you, Bill! I will prepare myself :)
I have looked at Hidden Gems. They look like a good service.
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Offline TeamGolfwell

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 07:08:01 PM »
We've had low response for reviews when we do giveaways. If you want reviews, we've found bookrazor.com works fairly well and although it costs and takes a lot of time and effort doing individual emails to people who have reviewed similar books in the past, it does work and more people respond than we ever thought would respond as long as you send a personal email to them. TeamGolfwell.com does free reviews but we are choosy. KindleBookReview.net works as well and there are several multi genre reviewers on that site. There are other free review sites too. 

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 08:00:58 PM »
When I did the physical giveaway, I didn't get a single identifiable review as a result.  Gave away 5 copies.  Never tried the ebook one was its way over priced.

Offline E.M. Cooper

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 10:10:28 PM »
Goodreads' giveaways seemed to be designed more to create awareness of your new books.

Have you tried building an email list and offering ARC copies for reviews or using a service such as Hidden Gems for reviews?

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Offline crow.bar.beer

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 04:58:59 AM »
We've had low response for reviews when we do giveaways. If you want reviews, we've found bookrazor.com works fairly well and although it costs and takes a lot of time and effort doing individual emails to people who have reviewed similar books in the past, it does work and more people respond than we ever thought would respond as long as you send a personal email to them. TeamGolfwell.com does free reviews but we are choosy. KindleBookReview.net works as well and there are several multi genre reviewers on that site. There are other free review sites too.

The pictures on your website don't work, brah.

Offline Day Leitao

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 06:25:44 AM »
I did a GR giveaway, but frankly, I wasn't hoping for any reviews. And I didn't get any.

What I did get were 1000 people adding my book to their to-read list and having my book added to some lists.

I think that's good, no? I know most of them won't read it, but it's exposure.

Another way to get reviews is to offer your arc in some Goodread groups aimed at that. Just be careful, Goodreads reviewers don't pull any punches.

(I know 1000 readers for many of you is nothing, but for me, as a first timer, it was huge)

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 08:39:28 AM »
Sometimes I might get 1 review from a 5 book giveaway. That's about it. Other times none.

Offline Bob Stewart

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 08:49:43 AM »
I think it matters what sort of reviewer you're looking for.

If I give away three books, I'll probably get one review on Goodreads, or maybe just a rating.

But every 7 or 8 times I get someone who generally likes my books and will post reviews on Amazon. Now i have someone receptive to reviewing the next book, and maybe even some from the backlist. Whether it's worth that sort of investment is an open question

It used to be I would get someone like that every 2-3 books, but Goodreads seems to have given up even the pretense of favoring people who review in the algorithm that chooses winners.

Offline Don DeBon

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 10:34:16 AM »
Back in the early days I did a free promotion around December of that year for one of my books.  Over the course of the month I gave away around 13,000 books.  Out of those 13,000 I got 5 text reviews and 100 star reviews.  But all I did was set it for free in the store, nothing else.

Without "pushing" for reviews, they are RARE.  At least in my experience.  It is why when I see a book with tons of reviews I tend wonder who they paid.  Unless it is a huge bestseller, then it is more likely the book did get that many actual reviews. Otherwise it is questionable.

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Offline Evelyn Alexie

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Update-- 1 in 5 Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2017, 07:43:01 PM »
Just following up. Out of the 5 books that I gave away 6 weeks ago, I just got 1 review.
After the comments from KBoarders, I hadn't expected any, so this is a plus.
Bonus, it's a nice review, so I'm pleased.
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Offline Don DeBon

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 05:14:57 PM »
Just following up. Out of the 5 books that I gave away 6 weeks ago, I just got 1 review.
After the comments from KBoarders, I hadn't expected any, so this is a plus.
Bonus, it's a nice review, so I'm pleased.

Glad to hear it 'sometimes' works out.  :)  These days when I see books with hundreds of reviews, I become very skeptical thinking that someone must have 'bought' them from a bot system or something.  The exception of course is if the author is a known major bestseller.

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Offline azebra

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2018, 07:08:57 PM »
About one review per thousand. Often negative or meh because people pick up free stuff out of their genre.
 

Offline kyokominamino

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 09:19:07 AM »
I had been using Goodreads giveaways for all my books until they decided to charge an absurd amount for them, and it's never been for gathering reviews. I use it to (1) simply be nice to potential readers, since it's a pretty cool free prize and it makes them feel special (2) get my book shelved on GR readers' databases. It has NEVER been for reviews. It doesn't work that way, at least not that I've ever seen in five years of using it. People who enter the contest tend to let the giveaway add the book to their TBR list and it boosts numbers for when people visit the book's page and see a lot of folks have it on their TBR list, and when those people see the book on their shelf when they're looking for something new, sometimes they go, "Oh, yeah! Forgot about this one. *buys/downloads*" It just allows for easier access and visibility, but there's no timeline or cause and effect for it in my experience.

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Offline Evelyn Alexie

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 09:28:01 AM »
This is true. The point of a GR giveaway is (or was, I should say) to gain visibility. Getting a review was a nice side effect, though.

I'm still a complete newb at this Published Author stuff, so it really helps me to know what to expect. When I started out, I alternated between thinking no one would read the dratted book ("I'm hopeless! It's the Worst Book Ever") and fantasizing that everyone would rush out and buy a copy. ("Why thank you, Mr. Gaiman, what a lovely review!") So it helped me to know not to expect a heap of reviews.

And yes, I think most authors have given up on GR giveaways, based on their new pricing model. It seems odd, given that GR is owned by Amazon and yet I can host an Amazon giveaway without paying them.
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Offline Tizzy

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 09:50:42 AM »
About one review per thousand. Often negative or meh because people pick up free stuff out of their genre.

It is generally warned that amazon free giveaways only serve to attract negative reviews indeed. I don't know why that fact isn't more heavily advertised around here.

I'll add that this is also a worry with paid ARC services, although I guess that serves to make it clear the readers are legitimate. Some people will use them as a means to get free books no matter the category, and then they'll slap you with a low rating because they're reading outside their genre. Some of those won't even read half your book and blame it on you,. This is a minority, of course, but something you might want to keep in mind if you're not ready to deal with people leaving you poor reviews that feel unearned, although then again it's part of the business. If you're not ready to receive feedback of all kinds you might be better off not publishing at all :P

Offline SuzyQ

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Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2018, 09:58:52 AM »
I want to try a goodreads giveaway! I read every review I get on goodreads, been lucky so far that they've been positive. I am pretty nervous every time I look though!

I still might try a free run on amazon, the more I think about it. But only for the first book in a series that already has good reviews. I haven't tried a service but I am thinking about it! I've heard good things about hidden gems. Its a nice thought that the people who LIKE to read and review signed up for the service.