Monday, December 25, 2017

Goodreads Giveaway to Include Kindle Books! Updated!

Authors who use Amazon owned GoodReads to promote their books using the GoodReads Giveaway promotional program will be interested to know the Kindle Giveaway program is returning.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing authors will be able to promote their Kindle editions using two different packages, the Standard ($119) and the Premium ($599). The new promotional programs go live on January 9, 2018.

Please note: Special introductory prices are available from January 9 to January 31, 2018. The Standard Package will be on sale for $59 and the Premium Package will be on sale for $299.

Taken from the Goodreads Giveaway blog post announcing the new program changes.

What’s the difference between the Standard package and the Premium package?

The two packages are as follows:

1. Standard Giveaway (Print or Kindle ebook format) $119 per giveaway. Introductory price: $59 (save 50%) from 01/09/18 to 01/31/18.
  • (NEW) Everyone who enters your giveaway automatically adds the book to their Want-to-Read list, promoting your book via updates in their friends’ updates feeds, and building an audience for your title.
  • (NEW) The author’s followers and anyone who has already added the book to their Want-to-Read list get a notification, letting them know there’s a giveaway starting. This helps generate even more entries, creating more stories in the Goodreads updates feed.
  • About eight weeks after your Giveaway ends, winners receive an email from Goodreads to remind them to rate and review your book. This will help other readers discover and decide to read the book too.
  • Giveaways are featured in the Giveaways section of, allowing readers to discover new books.
2. Premium Giveaway (Print or Kindle) $599 per giveaway. Introductory price: $299 (save 50%) from 01/09/18 to 01/31/18. Premium Giveaways include all the benefits of the Standard package, but are designed to give you more opportunity to connect with readers than ever. A Premium Giveaway also includes:
  • (NEW) Premium placement on Goodreads’ Giveaways page with tens of millions of visitors each month, giving your giveaway significantly more visibility and more entrants.
Alas, this also means the end of the free Giveaway program. All Giveaway's scheduled prior to January 9, 2018, will run as in the past until completed. 

Important Update:  Additional communication with Goodreads has clarified the costs involved. If you wish to giveaway physical, print copies of your book, the system works as it has in the past. The author will be notified of the winner identity and is then required to mail the print copies to the winners.

In the case of a Kindle edition giveaway, the author must pay for the Kindle copies given away as well and Goodreads will handle the giveaway.

It is hard to say if the marketing value of this program will be. For many authors, the cost of paying for both the books given away and the price of the program may be prohibitive.

I do like the fact the program now adds the book to every participants Want-to-Read list and the winners receive a reminder to review the book.

Like many things, it will require experimentation. I will budget for one use of the Standard Package in the near future and measure the results in terms of participants, reviews (Amazon and Goodreads), and if there is any noticeable rise in actual sales.

For more information please click here.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Grow Your E-Mail List With BookFunnel

"The money is in the list." It's a well known quote from the direct mailing industry and has become axiomatic in the e-mail marketing world as well. For new authors struggling to build a fan base it can be difficult to create that all important e-mail list.

It is important to promote your list in the back matter of your book and on your website. But these aren't going to generate the size of a list needed in a particularly fast manner?


Because you haven't been discovered yet!

How do you get readers to your website unless they learn about it in your book? How do readers learn about your author newsletter if they don't read your book? 

It's not dissimilar to that classic Pink Floyd line:

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding, if you don't eat your meet?

If nobody reads your book, they won't know about (and sign-up for) your e-mail list.
How can you generate an e-mail list if nobody reads your book?

Of course, the point of the list is to build loyal fans who rabidly buy up every thing you publish.

So how do you build a list quickly?

After seven months I had a grand total of 54 readers signed up for my author's e-mail list. I'd heard about Rafflecopter, investigated it, and ruled it out.

My list, after just two months of using BookFunnel, is now just over 1,200 readers. 

When I reach 10,000 names on my list I might be happy with its size. We'll see.

BookFunnel allows an author to give away their book, or some form of content, in return for subscribing to an e-mail newsletter. It's that simple.

If you use any of the following e-mail services, BookFunnel allows for direct integration of the collected e-mails into your e-mail service contact list.
  • ActiveCampaign
  • AWeber
  • ConvertKit
  • MailChimp
  • MailerLite
I use MailChimp and the integration was easy. So easy, I got it right the first time. I promise you, that seldom happens.

I'm also happy to inform authors interested in this service, BookFunnel's customer support has been great. The two problems I had were both my fault and were resolved for me by BookFunnel in less than 24 hours. 

Here is a comparison of the features for each of the three plans:

I use the Mid-list plan and doubt I will ever need to move up to the Bestseller list.

The one feature that has enabled me to grow my list to over 1,000 readers in less than two months is the Promotion feature.

Shown below are the promotions I have joined. Some have finished. Others have yet to run and still others are recruiting additional authors. Each promo will have its own guidelines. Some will require you have an e-mail list with a minimum of 1,000 subscribers.

Don't worry, there will be promotions that are happy to give authors just starting their list a break. I was fortunate to join several and now that I'm past the pesky 1,000 subscriber's mark it is easier for me to join more promotions.

Each promotion's creator will have their own requirements to join and participate. For example, you might have to post on social media, include the promotion to your existing e-mail list, etc. The promotions are genre specific so you need to make sure your book or story fits the genre.

There are lots of other features worth considering offered by BookFunnel and I plan to integrate them into my marketing as time allows me to learn how to use the various features.

This service is well worth the $10 a month I pay and has saved me untold time and frustration in building a functional list.

Check it out. You'll be glad you did!