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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've tried a bunch of zany things over the last year to promote my humour novel Royal Flush, from hosting an open source book launch, to selling at my local farmers' market, to embarking on a month-long blog tour, to recording the first part as an audiobook and giving it away for free.

Goodreads has been an item on my promotional 'to-do' list for a while, but I only got around to posting a giveaway two days ago. And wow, was it ever a good idea! 494 people have entered already, which has to be the biggest leap in exposure for my book to date. And still almost a month to go.

Here's my giveaway, if you'd like to check it out: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/43575-royal-flush
 

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I don't even know where that giveaway page is. I look at my home page, and there's no link. Is this something readers have to sign up for? When I thought of pimping my stuff on Goodreads, I was basically just gonna go to the discussion groups and announce I had a book out, and then maybe if I got desperate, I thought I might take out an ad one day (doubtful).
 

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I don't want to be a downer on your giveaway.  But I did one.  I had almost 700 entries.  Five winners.  I bought the books, signed each one with a note as well, mailed them.  Sent congratulations posts to the winners on Goodreads on the day I sent them out and said the books were in the mail.

What happened.  Nothing!  No one bothered to even send me a PM with a thank you.  No comments.  No reviews.

It cost me over $50.00.
 

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vrabinec said:
I don't even know where that giveaway page is. I look at my home page, and there's no link. Is this something readers have to sign up for? When I thought of pimping my stuff on Goodreads, I was basically just gonna go to the discussion groups and announce I had a book out, and then maybe if I got desperate, I thought I might take out an ad one day (doubtful).
'Pimping' on Goodreads is generally a bad idea, but you can sign up for a giveaway of print copies. I never found that it gave much of a boost in sales, but that's one person's experience.
 

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I just set up all of the information today for a Goodreads giveaway for my second book. I'm going to stay optimistic but realize the possibility that maybe nothing will come from it. I hope it goes well for you!

I'm interested to hear about what happens for you when the giveaway is over and you've sent out the books.
 

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I joined GR a few months ago, and went to some discussions in my genre.  I did not mention my book, I made valid observations about the discussion topic, behaved myself, etc.  It didn't seem to be a real back-and-forth "discussion," just individual comments posted in a void.  Maybe I ended up in some bizarre place I shouldn't have been, but based on that experience, I have no idea what else to do there, it didn't seem to be an intuitively user-friendly place.  Or maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy.  :eek:
 

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Jena H said:
I joined GR a few months ago, and went to some discussions in my genre. I did not mention my book, I made valid observations about the discussion topic, behaved myself, etc. It didn't seem to be a real back-and-forth "discussion," just individual comments posted in a void. Maybe I ended up in some bizarre place I shouldn't have been, but based on that experience, I have no idea what else to do there, it didn't seem to be an intuitively user-friendly place. Or maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy. :eek:
I also have been struggling with Goodreads. I posted that my third book had been launched, then the next day couldn't find the post. Eventually found it, there were no responses. I emailed Goodreads to ask if I'd done it the right way, it seems I had, their support is excellent. It's just their site. It's a labyrinth! I end up tearing my hair out just making my way around it. And the 'discussion groups' are very limited. Kindleboards is MUCH easier to get around and to make contact with other authors/readers. The Author tutorials seem OK, but when I try to implement what I've seen, I still get confused. Sigh.
 

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Jena H said:
I joined GR a few months ago, and went to some discussions in my genre. I did not mention my book, I made valid observations about the discussion topic, behaved myself, etc. It didn't seem to be a real back-and-forth "discussion," just individual comments posted in a void. Maybe I ended up in some bizarre place I shouldn't have been, but based on that experience, I have no idea what else to do there, it didn't seem to be an intuitively user-friendly place. Or maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy. :eek:
I had some experiences in some groups very similar to yours. In others it was better. True, though, is that any interchange discussions back and forth were short lived. I think that is the nature of the game. I was lucky to have met many very helpful people, i.e. good acvice, some compliments, a couple of reviews with a couple more coming (I hope), an interview at a website (by invitation not at my request). I think it depends on the group.

I did keep in mind that the place is called Goodreads not Goodwrites and behaved much like you did.
 

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JRTomlin said:
'Pimping' on Goodreads is generally a bad idea, but you can sign up for a giveaway of print copies. I never found that it gave much of a boost in sales, but that's one person's experience.
Well, by "pimping" I mean, announce on on the of the threads marked "authors announce your book here". But, I've been on Goodreads for about 3 years now, I honestly can't tell you I ever even opened one of those posts to see what the author had to offer.
 

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Jena H said:
I joined GR a few months ago, and went to some discussions in my genre. I did not mention my book, I made valid observations about the discussion topic, behaved myself, etc. It didn't seem to be a real back-and-forth "discussion," just individual comments posted in a void. Maybe I ended up in some bizarre place I shouldn't have been, but based on that experience, I have no idea what else to do there, it didn't seem to be an intuitively user-friendly place. Or maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy. :eek:
You want to join a group, like ROBUST and take part in its activities, then eventually someone on it will read your book and review it. There are also groups that choose a member's book to read and discuss once a week or month. I've made some really worthwhile connections on Goodreads. Thing is though, I've been a professional writer all my adult life; I know how to behave; I don't expect anything at all to happen instantly; I've never in my life asked anyone for a review, not even the professional reviewers for the newspaper that I know. Indies, by contrast, are a plague of demands for instant gratification. In their first post they positively demand that you review their book, and are then outraged when you say their book is so bad, they shouldn't pretend to be writers at all. Goodreads, like everywhere else that welcomes writers, is about organic growth, not hit and run promotion by idiots.
 

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vrabinec said:
Well, by "pimping" I mean, announce on on the of the threads marked "authors announce your book here". But, I've been on Goodreads for about 3 years now, I honestly can't tell you I ever even opened one of those posts to see what the author had to offer.
Maybe twice maybe thrice. On one I actually bought the book. 'Could not finish it.
 

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nico said:
Related question to some of the responses in this thread: Are there other reader-oriented forums (in the broad sense) that people have tried participating in besides GR to build relationships with potential readers?
Only ones that are of my genre or of a genre I read (HF, Fantasy, History). Some success - I've had one gain me 2 readers. Paying readers.
 

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Andre, I agree with everything you said. And, like you I've never asked for a review. I certainly am pleased and surprised and grateful for those that showed up.

Some of the indies are a pain and I committed the newbie sin of speaking about my book early on. I retracted those posts and considered it a lesson learned. Things were better after that.
 

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Only a tiny percentage of the people who shelve your book on a giveaway will go on to read/buy it. A tiny, tiny, tiny percentage. It's still a good way to put your book on people's radar - I recommend getting your cover art as soon as possible. I put my next due out book up as a giveaway as soon as I had the cover art (nearly a year ago now). The giveaway has over 7000 entries and nearly 4000 people have added it to their shelves. It basically constitutes a very very very long-term ad which costs only the number of books I choose (http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/23117-hunting). Plus Goodreads sends an email to people who have my books on their shelves during the month of release.

As for using Goodreads otherwise - use it as a reader would. Keep track of the books you read. Review them (you don't have to rate). Read other people's reviews and comment on the interesting ones. Follow people who write reviews you like. Join groups discussing books you want to talk about. Use Goodreads to TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S BOOKS.

Strangely enough, that seems to be the most effective way to start people talking about yours. :)
 

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nico said:
Related question to some of the responses in this thread: Are there other reader-oriented forums (in the broad sense) that people have tried participating in besides GR to build relationships with potential readers?
Librarything may still be good for giveaways, perhaps better for finding a couple of really good reviewers and building a relationship, but for that you need judgement and patience. But otherwise LT is hostile.

Amazon is worthless for promotion. Writers are corralled in a ghetto, talking to each other.

Goodreads is becoming less welcoming, in places hostile. The exception is groups on Goodreads like my ROBUST, which were set up for another purpose (ROBUST was set up to give intellectuals and wits a space free of moderation, zero rules and only incidentally is also a mutual support group for the right sort of writers with the right attitude). But such groups aren't easy to find, may have entry qualifications (ROBUST is open), or aren't obvious as to their purpose and utility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm an indie author, though I don't consider myself an "idiot" conducting a "hit and run promotion". I also wouldn't term myself "pushy", nor do I think I'm "flogging" a "worthless book".

But I suppose that's for others to decide.

At any rate, other than my giveaway I'm trying to use Goodreads as intended--to document and comment on the books I'm reading. I'm refraining from invading the groups with my book (though I may participate as a reader). I plan to take advantage of their paid advertising services.
 

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Scott Bartlett said:
I'm an indie author, though I don't consider myself an "idiot" conducting a "hit and run promotion". I also wouldn't term myself "pushy", nor do I think I'm "flogging" a "worthless book".

But I suppose that's for others to decide.

At any rate, other than my giveaway I'm trying to use Goodreads as intended--to document and comment on the books I'm reading. I'm refraining from invading the groups with my book (though I may participate as a reader). I plan to take advantage of their paid advertising services.
I go back and forth on their paid advertising service. The few folks there that have commented (in my groups) on doing it show mixed results. By a slight lead those that didn't get many or any sales are in the majority. Emphasis on 'slight'.

Let us know how it works if you do it.
 
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