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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

A couple of members (modwitch in particular) convinced me to try a giveaway on Library Thing, and it worked out great, so I wanted to share my results.

I gave away around 300 coupons, which led to over 200 book downloads (over 2 weeks, with more trickling in). Those 200 downloads got me about 15 reviews on Amazon.com, 3 on the UK site, 10 on Smashwords, 29 on LibraryThing, and a few on Goodreads - and I'm sure there are more to come.

The reviewers are a bit harsher, but the reviews are a little more thoughtful than your average Amazon review, so it all balances out.

Overall, a very positive experience. If you are planning to go about it yourself, I suggest you don't just barge in and post the giveaway. I recommend spending some time on the site beforehand and engaging with members (zero promo allowed), and building up your library.

I blogged about the whole experience today, if anyone is thinking of doing the same:
http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/promo-tip-librarything-giveaways/
 

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I like Librarything--and I've made friends over there.

I also did a giveaway for Vestal Virgin and my new short story collection. What's really fun: I gave away books to people all over the world including India, Africa, South America, etc. It's interesting to know who's reading my books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah. I had a Brazilian, a Portuguese, an Egyptian, and someone from (I think) Dubai.

Really interesting. Fun to think that my stories are making it to all these exotic parts of the world.
 

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dgaughran said:
Hi all,

A couple of members (modwitch in particular) convinced me to try a giveaway on Library Thing, and it worked out great, so I wanted to share my results.

I gave away around 300 coupons, which led to over 200 book downloads (over 2 weeks, with more trickling in). Those 200 downloads got me about 15 reviews on Amazon.com, 3 on the UK site, 10 on Smashwords, 29 on LibraryThing, and a few on Goodreads - and I'm sure there are more to come.

The reviewers are a bit harsher, but the reviews are a little more thoughtful than your average Amazon review, so it all balances out.

Overall, a very positive experience. If you are planning to go about it yourself, I suggest you don't just barge in and post the giveaway. I recommend spending some time on the site beforehand and engaging with members (zero promo allowed), and building up your library.

I blogged about the whole experience today, if anyone is thinking of doing the same:
http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/promo-tip-librarything-giveaways/
My results with Librarything giveaways has been very similar to yours. No one complains if you use Smashwords coupons and most know how those work. Their reviews can be harsh but are usually fair. I've only gotten one that I considered unfair out of a lot of reviews. I recommend that way of garnering reviews for a new novel pretty frequently.

It's nice that you do get reviews from all over the world, also.

Don't expect them to necessarily be easy on you, but I have gotten some glowing reviews as well.
 

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Searched all over LibraryThings.  Couldn't find anywhere to request an ebook review, nor where to post giveaway.  Any help would be appreciated.
 

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gregoryblackman said:
Searched all over LibraryThings. Couldn't find anywhere to request an ebook review, nor where to post giveaway. Any help would be appreciated.
Gregory, first you need to set up a page and register as an author. The giveaways are under "more." Also, Jeremy, who seems to run the board, is very helpful, and if you email him, he'll point you in the right direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
gregoryblackman said:
Searched all over LibraryThings. Couldn't find anywhere to request an ebook review, nor where to post giveaway. Any help would be appreciated.
It's in the blog post up top. I recommend you at least scan my blog post first - it's best to engage with the site before posting a giveaway.
 

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I did a Giveaway at LibraryThings a couple of weeks ago.  So far I've received two 5-star, two 3 1/2 star, and one 3-star reviews on LibraryThings.  Some have even taken the time and posted them on Amazon, which was nice.  I'm sure I'll get some 1 and 2 star reviews too (there always are).  But so far it's been a pleasant experience. 

I'm currently doing two more giveaways.  So I do recommend it.
 

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I'm in the middle of my first test-the-waters Member Giveaway over there. Great to hear some results.

I have not much concern about how harsh or glowing a review is. Getting the word out is the only thing that'll help Most Likely at this point, because mainly I just need a much higher profile. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Debora, I didn't realise that.

You have more experience with this than me. Can you tell me what happens if it is over-subscribed? I mean, I know they randomly pick the winners and give you those addresses, but do they give you the email of the losers? What I'm thinking is that if they did you could do something like send a "sorry you didn't win" email and offer them a coupon for 20% off and a link to an excerpt or something.
 

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Does the library thing cause Amazon to mark your book down to free?  A giveaway would be nice, but if it causes the kindle version to also go free it could get out of hand.  I only have the one book out now, so if it went to free in the kindle store it'd totally kill my almost non-existent revenue stream. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In short, no. Don't worry.

Amazon price match when their bot spots (or when someone tells them) that a competitor site is selling the book for a cheaper price.

First of all, you are not "selling" the book. Secondly, there is nothing for sale on LibraryThing, it's not considered a retail competitor, so I doubt the price-bots even crawl that site.

 

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Wow, this is all very enlightening. I had no idea when people did giveaways they gave away hundreds of copies. Is the aimed for result simply numerous reviews on the various sights to raise the profile a little? Anything would help at this point. I know first months are slow but I thought after 4 days I would have more than 1 measly little sale (outside the family). I am already on Goodreads. Have people had as much success there as on LibraryThing with the giveaways?
 

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I think if you set a very high number you're unlikely to get more requests than your offered samples. I've been generally offering 100 or 200. I may increase that next time. :)

The problem with Goodreads giveaways is that you have to offer hard copies which makes a big expense. I am still doing them but more for exposure than for reviews. A huge percentage of my reviews have come from Librarything.
 

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modwitch said:
I'm glad people are finding a LT giveaway working for them. It was a wonderful way to launch my first books, and I have some great readers because of it.

One thing I'd add to David's excellent post - I think giving away a LOT of copies is a really useful strategy. First, it gets you lots of new readers. But also, the giveaways are sorted in order of number of copies available - so if you're giving away 400 copies, you'll be at the top of the list. Some weeks there are literally hundreds of giveaways, and by the time a reader gets down to the bottom of the list, I'd guess they aren't reading very carefully any more (and chances of winning are small, so people don't invest the time to read the blurb if 200 people have already signed up for 5 copies - they just add their names to the list). I think by making lots of copies available, you're more likely to have your blurb read and more likely to have readers enter who don't just sign up for every book available, but are genuinely interested in your book.
When I set up my first giveaway (still underway) I didn't know how many to offer because I'd never done it before and also because the genre (YA coming of age/Christian) isn't necessarily a popular one.

But I wanted to be aggressive without looking bad for lack of interest, so I tried 50 and one week into a two-week sign-up period, there are already over 50 people signed up.

If I do a giveaway again, in a more popular genre (which paranormal suspense is) I'll know better now how to gauge the number I give away... :)
 
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