Thoughts On How Long And How To Run A Goodreads Giveaway

Having recently run my first month-long campaign I thought I’d share some of my findings and thoughts on how long and how to run a Goodreads giveaway.

My Goodreads Giveaway lasted 32 days from the 2nd October to the 2nd November (inclusive) 2013goodreads giveaway info and totaled 1043 entrants. Given that the average according to Goodreads Team is around 825 entrants, this turned out to be quite a success. More importantly, though, as a result of the campaign 475 people added my novel Strange Metamorphosis on their to-read shelf.

If I were to put my mathematician’s cap on I might say that it works out to an average of roughly 32 entrants and 15 books added on to-read shelves per day.

But the truth is different. As you can see from the table below, 82% of the books added were done so at the very beginning and at the very end of the competition. That’s 103 on the first 2 days and 287 on the last 3 days. This corresponds to the periods the giveaway is given most exposure on Goodreads itself.

You first start off at the top of the recently listed list then sink into oblivion as the hours and days go by. Then the more you approach the end of your goodreads giveaway the further up the ending soon list you move.

So how long should you run your Goodreads Giveaway?

It goes without saying that the closer the distance between the beginning and the end the more the daily average goes up. So, wouldn’t it be better to do a 3 day giveaway as some people suggest? In this case, your book would benefit from both recently listed and ending soon lists in a short space of time. If I’d held my giveaway over say 5 days my daily average would have shot up to 85 books added per day instead of the 15 previously mentioned.

That said, there is at least one advantage of doing a month-long giveaway, in a word, EXPOSURE. You get exposure by running a Goodreads ad campaign at the same time. Although I didn’t get a great click-through rate until towards the end (after having played around with various ad formulas), at least the book cover was seen over 60 000 times at a cost of only $14. And you know what marketing experts say, a product has to been seen 3 to 7 times before a person will buy it.


For the sake of exposure I would not run a giveaway campaign for only 3 days, it would be depriving my book of that all crucial visibility. Instead, I would run it for at least 2 weeks maybe 3, a whole month seeming really too long, especially if you want to program other types of marketing campaigns.

Here are the figures:

Books added
date added to-read
02/10/2013 84 83
03/10/2013 21 20
04/10/2013 7 6
05/10/2013 5 4
06/10/2013 5 5
07/10/2013 4 3
08/10/2013 5 5
09/10/2013 3 3
10/10/2013 2 1
11/10/2013 4 4
12/10/2013 3 3
13/10/2013 4 4
14/10/2013 1 1
15/10/2013 2 2
16/10/2013 2 2
17/10/2013 6 5
18/10/2013 2 2
19/10/2013 0 0
20/10/2013 3 3
21/10/2013 2 2
22/10/2013 1 1
23/10/2013 2 2
24/10/2013 2 1
25/10/2013 1 1
26/10/2013 5 5
27/10/2013 2 1
28/10/2013 4 4
29/10/2013 4 4
30/10/2013 11 11
31/10/2013 33 32
01/11/2013 111 111
02/11/2013 144 144
Total 485 475


For Goodreads giveaway tips have a look at this page on How to run a GoodReads giveaway with maximal results: 11 tips we know you’ll need

To help you get to grips with Goodreads in general try this excellent video course Goodreads For Authors Book Promotion And Marketing by Michelle Boothe and Cathy Presland.

Have you already run a Goodreads giveaway? How long did you run it for and why?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *