Goodreads giveaways

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by CF WELBURN, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. CF WELBURN

    CF WELBURN Apprentice

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    Hi all,

    I've recently run a giveaway on Goodreads to help promote my novella Toybox. I'd done some research and saw it as a good opportunity to create exposure and maybe generate a few reviews. However, I hadn't considered the negative aspects. You see, giveaways selects random winners, regardless of what genre they read. I spoke with them and received the following response:

    "We have given a lot of thought to the possibility of genre matching when it comes to choosing winners, but we also want to ensure that all of our readers have a fair chance of winning the giveaways they choose to enter, rather than only those that match their reading history."

    A valid point. However, today I noticed my book had got a 1 star review stating:

    "I don’t think I should review this book as I have no idea what I just read
    I think if a person liked fantasy books they would like this."

    This is concerning. Not only has it lowered my rating for this book, but for my name across the platform. I'm also worried about how it might affect also-boughts. I await the incoming reviews with trepidation, fearing that my strange scifi-fantasy book has found its way into group of romance readers. Something akin to giving a vegetarian a rare steak.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience?

    Thanks,

    C.
     
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  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    I've not experienced because I've not done a Goodreads giveaway. The way things are currently structured, I certainly will not be doing one, for exactly the reasons you describe. Thanks for the post.
     
    CF WELBURN likes this.
  3. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Also boughts are going to be more a problem than reviews (I think) but they’ll straighten themselves out... eventually... if the book keeps selling. Or at least so I’ve been told. Everything in Amazon’s data “ages out” as I understand it. But, also boughts are just going to be weird early on from what I’m experiencing. But then I consider that my wife and two daughters are on my Amazon account and ponder what the hell my buying a book would indicate for an also bought? Fantasy? Chinese cooking? Crafts? Art? History? Writing books? Kids’ books? Books in Chinese? etc.

    Bad reviews are inevitable and make things more “real” and can be overcome by a good book. Also boughts I’ve heard mixed ideas on... but what I gather is, the less money you have for promotion the more patient you’ll need to be to straighten them out. Sales fixes everything in the long run. The annoying part of GR is that so many leave ratings without a review... so far I’m leaving 3 5 star and 1 4 star rating on GR that do no good on Amazon, but on the bright side the 1 star didn’t post on Amazon either, LOL. Only 1 reviewer on GR has postedto Amazon as well.

    Only hindsight will tally the final value.



     
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  4. CF WELBURN

    CF WELBURN Apprentice

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    Thanks Demesnedenoir, good to hear your opinion. Yeah, I guess the only way to tell is see how it plays out in the long run. Unfortunately my 1 star review did go from GR to Amazon (and so far is the only review, so it looks terrible) on the plus side the reviewer openly states she shouldn't review it and if you like fantasy you would like it. Erm, thanks.

    Cheers and good luck with your projects!
     
  5. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Ouch. Yeah my 1-star review on GR basically said... I couldn't get into it. Which for me is like 99% of the books I try to read. I imagine if everybody gave a 1-star rating to every book they couldn't get into that the averages would plummet, LOL. Fortunately I've got offsetting ratings, upto 6 on GR now. Currently, 8 people have it listed as "reading" so we'll see.

    It is a matter of getting reviews or not that matters with GR here, for me at least. If I get 10 people to cast a positive review over to Amazon, then I think I can straighten the also boughts with a bookbarbarian promo which should target fantasy readers well.

    The strange part is I've had some organic also boughts show up in Australia and UK, and then they just seem to disappear under the weight of the old. Plus, I've had a couple also boughts show up that are even more bizarre than the first ones I had. It could be that KU readers download a more eclectic library... who knows! We'll see what Bookbarbarian can do, that's my next phase after getting reviews.
     
  6. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Further research seems to suggest that Amazon crunches its also-bought numbers twice per month. I’ve now seen real also-boughts in the UK and Australia, but the Aussie one seems to have gotten swamped by the US giveaway.

    i’m still getting sales and kU pages are climbing but the also-boughts still stink. I’m going to run the nuclear option on July 31st and see if I can get those straightened out, LOL. updates after.
     
  7. CF WELBURN

    CF WELBURN Apprentice

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    Good luck! Let me know how Book Barbarian works out... My giveaway has not generated anymore reviews as of yet. It says 4 people are reading, but when you check them they are also apparently reading anything between 50 and 800 other books at a time. Not quite sure how that works. Anyway, good news is the one star review got dropped, so at least the slate is clean... albeit rather too clean! I've just released part 1 in a new 5 part series and have decided to approach it differently: a couple of self serve ads on GR and FB and then maybe target fantasy reading groups myself so as to avoid it falling into the wrong hands. Would consider Book Barbarian myself, but that seems a distant reality at this point in the game.
     
  8. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    I'm starting to see some organic also-boughts, but they're still whacky. However, organic can be whacky... evidence?

    So, I signed up as an Amazon affiliate for the helluvit and then the other day went to see what people were buying after clicking on my ads... Eeyeah! From targeted fantasy fans, there are just a scattergun of different books being purchased. Not one more than once (except the book I'm advertising) and from a wild array of mystery to sci-fi to YA dystopian to what I'm guessing to be light erotic fairie tale retellings... and some other epic fantasy.

    It's nuts. So, also boughts are just bound to be stupid crazy until Amazon's algorithm can wrap it's 1's and 0's around what's going on. But the biggest trouble is the giveaway creating such heavy crossover patterns, but from what I understand they should time out.

    And again, in the UK I;ve two also boughts that have "stuck" and they more or less make sense.

    I'm going to slam some promos on July 31, won't be able to book bookbarbarian until the next run through... Then, see what happens.

     
  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Small update on also-boughts... The US is still whacked out, but in the UK I now have five legit also-boughts, all not just fantasy, but all basically in categories I'm happy to be associated with!

    There is hope!

    Now, if the UK runs promotions based on those... maybe the US Amazon will pay attention and get its shit together, LOL.
     
  10. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Another small also-bought update... Australia has abandoned the default US whack-job-what-the-hell-are-those also boughts, so I have 4 legit also-boughts down under. One is out of genre (modern geopolitical thriller) but still way better than the US, LOL. Canada still defaults to the US, sadly.
     
  11. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    "Hope" has been found in the US... It isn't the first book I'd call fantasy in my list of US also boughts, but it's the first to hit the top 2. A book set, actually. And we have the same last names... funny, that.

    Coincidentally, I emailed Amazon yesterday and said, "hey, my UK also boughts are doing well, anything you can do about the US?" Hopefully I'll be able to sort more out come the promo on Tuesday.
     
  12. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Okay... So, I expect the also bought results to lag sales, BUT the Goodreads giveaway can be defeated, albeit the process is slow and painful. I ran a Countdown on Amazon... and I probably should've just ran it in the US and put all funds there, but I ran in UK too... but still, there has been some swing in also boughts. And theoretically, this swing will continue as old ones time out, and the new ones sink in.

    So, Eve of Snows is up to about 9 fantasy also-boughts (10%) now with a couple sci-fi tossed in. Still inundated with crapola, but it's showing life, and with all the sales, the future should continue the swing.

    Goodreads Giveaways are absolute crap. It was a spur of the moment regret on my part in an otherwise (IMO) effective launch.
     
  13. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    I took a more detailed look: 12 Fantasy, 6 Sci-Fi, and one children's Fantasy... a few kids books showed up.

    And also, F-SF is showing more prominently upfront. Gotta be a good sign, and from what I've heard these things lag in catching up to sales. With 70 paid sales (and who knows in borrows) in the US today, hopefully this bugger shifts around some more.
     
  14. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    5 more F-SF...mostly F... showed up in the US also-boughts. The battle continues, but the war is being won. They aren't showing up on Yasis yet, that's a fascinating site.

    Another interesting note is that the 3 books pointing to EoS are at least all fantasy. IF Amazon's promotion algorithm fires with EoS in fantasy in the near future (and I'm hopeful after a good week of sales) then that should also help straighten these buggers out.
     
  15. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Up to 32 F-SF, and the F-SF is pushing more and more to the front.
     
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