Episode 192 – Premium Goodreads Giveaways, Loose Id, and Chat Bots

people like this. Be the first of your friends.

Question of the Week: Would you pay $599 for a Premium Goodreads Giveaway? Why or why not?

Do you think it’s worth $599 for a Premium GoodReads giveaway? Jim and Bryan take a few moments to thank their wonderful patrons Write! Shonen Manga by R. A. Paterson, The Reluctant Detective by Tom Fowler, and Hypercage by Craig Lea Gordon. The latest tips include how authors can hook new readers with snappy taglines, how writers giving in to Imposter Syndrome are only hurting their careers, and tips for improving productivity. News from the publishing world includes how messenger bots could kill off what little organic reach is left on Facebook, small press Loose Id is shutting down, PublishDrive continues to make headway in indie publishing, why indies should use caution before enrolling in Audible Romance, and GoodReads is revamping their giveaway program. Question of the Week: Would you pay $599 for a Premium Goodreads Giveaway? Why or why not?
What You’ll Learn:
  • How authors can hook readers with short, catchy taglines
  • How authors can overcome career-damaging Imposter Syndrome
  • How two Romance authors ward off distraction and stay productive
  • How chat bots could impact what’s left of Facebook’s organic reach
  • Why erotic publishing company Loose Id is closing down
  • What new move PublishDrive is making to expand their operation
  • Why authors should think twice before signing up with Audible Romance
  • What authors can expect from GoodReads new Giveaway program

get show updates

  • $600 is asking a lot for a GoodReads giveaway. I won’t be spending that unless Amazon starts sending notifications to all GoodReads users. Even if they do that, won’t that turn off users? They might burn GoodReads users a bit too soon.

    • Bryan

      Well, they’re already burning authors, right? 🙂

  • Spider McGee

    Jim, I thought Bea Arthur was dead. How’d you get her for the show this week?

    • Bryan

      I should’ve done some Golden Girls quotes!
      “Go to sleep sweetheart, pray for brains.”

  • Matthew Staggs

    I would not spend that for a GoodReads promotion. From what I’ve heard about the effectiveness of advertising on GoodReads, plus the general negative nature of reviewers on the site, $600 would be better spent elsewhere.

    • Bryan

      Thanks for your thoughts, Matthew!

  • I sunk $10 into a Goodreads ad as an experiment almost eighteen months ago, charged on a per-click basis. That money STILL hasn’t earned out.

    I wasted ten bucks, certainly not going to risk $600!

    Besides, the giveaways are quite poorly targeted and attract too much attention from people who compulsively hunt down free stuff outside of their areas of interest. I’ve run Goodreads giveaways in the past, but they all ended up going to people who read outside the books’ genres and got lukewarm reviews (or no reviews).

    There are much better (and better targeted) ways to invest $600 for author marketing.

    • Bryan

      Haha. They spend even slower than AMS ads!

  • David Mark Brown

    Well, I haven’t done a Goodreads giveaway in 4 years, but I wouldn’t pay anything at all for the ones I ran back then. $800 is my entire budget for production and marketing of a full-length novel. My question: How many users on Goodreads are under the age of 30? or even 40? If mobile and streaming are the future, Goodreads doesn’t fit.

    • Bryan

      “If mobile and streaming are the future, Goodreads doesn’t fit.” Good point, David. Thanks!

  • I blocked Goodreads on my browser in August of 2016 and I haven’t been back since. As far as I’m concerned, why would I pay $120 or $600 to put my book in front of an audience that will mostly likely give me a crappy review? Goodreads is where good author dreams go to die.

    • Bryan

      “Goodreads is where good author dreams go to die.” Ooh, sick burn, S.J. :).

      • Lol. Like 2% of authors I know love Goodreads. It’s such a small number. Everyone else considers it hell.

  • Spider McGee

    I never had much faith in Goodreads. It doesn’t help much with visibility, considering my best reviews are under my real name (which I don’t even use on my titles anymore). I don’t think I even signed up, I just kinda — showed up there. Anyway, it hasn’t helped me, and I’m not spending $600 with them. I think it would be easier to get a gay wedding cake made in Alabama than turning a profit off that deal.

    • Bryan

      “I think it would be easier to get a gay wedding cake made in Alabama than turning a profit off that deal.” Lol.

      • Patrick O’Donnell

        Good one!

  • M.A. Robbins

    I did one Goodreads giveaway and swore never to do it again. People entered just to win something. I looked at the profiles of a number of entrants and they didn’t even read my genre. As an added bonus, I had a few of those give me bad reviews because they didn’t like the genre. Pay for the privilege of getting screwed? Hahahahahaha.

    • Bryan

      “Pay for the privilege of getting screwed? Hahahahahaha.” Hehe. Good one :).

  • Ged Cusack

    Goodreads have obviously looked at Bookbub and tried to price themselves accordingly.
    Unfortunately there reputation isn’t as premiere as bookbub.
    A cynic might see this as Amazon trying to squeeze even more out of their sellers.
    They are still letting you launch the free giveaways until January so if anyone wants to try a free giveaway you could set up one book for a month and for the cost of one book it’s probably worth it.
    Heard a lot of anecdotal stories of authors books being won by book re-sellers at a disproportionate rate.
    Good reads would have to offer a better package for me to spend almost $600 on something that has limited potential results.

  • Blaine Moore

    Haven’t had a chance to read all of the replies yet, but the first half dozen of them that I read sum up my thoughts. I don’t really see the value; this isn’t something aimed at independent authors. They’ll make their money off of traditional publishers and call it good. That said, I’ve only entered a few giveaways over the years, and never run a giveaway, so I didn’t really see the value before either.

    On a separate tack, in regards to the Audible Romance program, I am not a romance author but assuming I was, or a similar program was available for Audible at large or for the types of books I put out, I’d still follow the philosophy I have with Audible now: I would go in with a non-exclusive agreement as a base line requirement and then assess if I thought that joining this other program was worthwhile or not. I use to produce audiobooks under the old arrangement, when it was 50% as a baseline for exclusive with an escalating royalty based on sales. I haven’t produced a single book since then. Even at 50%, the way that they structure their payments it can be difficult to earn back, but it seemed worthwhile and if your book _does_ sell then you can make some good money. Now…there really isn’t a huge difference between 25% and 40%, and 7 years is a LONG time.

    So, going forward, I’m either producing my own books, or hiring the production out, and no longer producing other people’s books. I am also sticking to a non-exclusive agreement, even if ACX is the only distribution I’m using at the time, so that I have my options open to me and don’t have to wait 7 years to explore other opportunities (such as giving away or selling through my own website, even.)

    Audible is too large of a market player to go exclusive with anybody else (and nobody else has the clout right now to really be able to swing exclusive anyway) so that shouldn’t be a problem with having a 7 year non-exclusive agreement.

    Getting back to the original topic, should the opportunity arise, I would probably put my book into the subscription model (if I could as a non-exclusive title) though I would re-analyze at the time. There’s a lot of upside for growing an audience and making some market share if my title does well, and not likely to be affected by much of anything if it doesn’t, that it probably makes sense to join it.

  • Patrick O’Donnell

    NO way! That money could be spent on better things such as editing, book covers and ads that actually bring results.

  • Did you see the new God Father movie trailer: Don Corleone, “Family is important to me. You see how others go with BB, they disrespect me and they lose rank. Why not wise up and go with GR … join my family and all your ranking problems go away.”

  • Sylvester Barzey

    That’s a lot of money for something they’re more or less just not rolling out. It’s not even fully clear what I’ll be getting. Before I jump right into it I just need to know this won’t Bomb and then be strapped after a year of taking Author’s Money

  • N Dixon

    Yes you could easily get more mileage by doing a mailing list giveaway with spending that money. You could commission something special for it and it would pay for itself in signups. Does not make sense for good reads to charge that amount of money unless there something we don’t know about that they have planned for the platform