Goodreads giveaways for writers and authors

Goodreads giveaways are promotional events hosted by Goodreads, a social media platform for book lovers. These giveaways allow authors and publishers to offer free copies of their books to readers. But with the goal of generating buzz and exposure for their work.

What year did Goodreads giveaways start?

Goodreads giveaways started in 2008, shortly after the platform was launched. At that time, the giveaways were simple and informal.

However, authors and publishers use the Goodreads discussion forums to offer free copies of their books to interested readers.

However, as the platform grew in popularity and became more organized. Goodreads introduced a dedicated giveaways program in 2011. This provided hosts with more features and tools to manage their giveaways.

Since then, Goodreads giveaways have become a great tool for book sales. It become a popular and effective way for authors and publishers to promote their books and reach new readers.

Here are some key details about Goodreads giveaways:

1. How to host a giveaway

To host a giveaway on Goodreads, you need to be an author or a publisher with a book listed on Goodreads.

Once you meet this requirement, you can create a giveaway by filling out a form. The form includes the title of your book and the number of copies you want to give away. It also includes the start and end dates of the giveaway and other details.

You can also choose the countries where the giveaway is open. You’re also required to set eligibility requirements for entrants (such as age or location) and add a description of your book and a cover image.

2. Types of giveaways

There are two types of Goodreads giveaways: Standard and Premium. Standard giveaways are free and open to all Goodreads members in eligible countries.

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Premium giveaways require a fee and offer additional promotional features. Features such as targeting specific audiences and displaying your book in the giveaway email. Also, promote your giveaway on the Goodreads homepage and social media channels.

3. Costs and fees

Standard giveaways are free to host but Premium giveaways require a fee. The fee varies depending on the number of copies you want to give away and the promotional features you choose.

The fees start at $119 for 100 copies and can go up to $599 for 500 copies.

4. Eligibility and rules

Goodreads giveaways are open to Goodreads members who are 18 years or older and live in eligible countries. Entrants must also have a valid mailing address to receive the book.

Goodreads has strict rules against spamming or contacting entrants for marketing purposes. Hosts must comply with these rules to avoid account suspension or legal action.

5. Duration and winners

Goodreads giveaways can last from 1 to 30 days, and winners are selected randomly by Goodreads after the giveaway ends.

Hosts are responsible for shipping the books to the winners within the specified time frame. Goodreads provides tools and guidelines to help hosts manage the logistics.

6. Benefits of hosting a giveaway

Goodreads giveaways can help authors and publishers reach new readers. This helps increase their book’s visibility and discoverability and generate reviews and ratings.

Giveaways can also create a buzz around a book launch, and build an author’s brand and audience. They can also provide valuable feedback from readers.

Names of renowned authors who have benefited from Goodreads giveaways

There are numerous renowned authors who have benefited from Goodreads giveaways. Here are a few examples:

  • J.K. Rowling – The bestselling author of the Harry Potter series has used Goodreads giveaways to promote her non-Harry Potter books such as “The Casual Vacancy” and “The Ickabog”.
  • John Grisham – The popular legal thriller author has hosted several Goodreads giveaways for his books including “The Whistler” and “Camino Island”.
  • Neil Gaiman – The award-winning fantasy author has used Goodreads giveaways to promote his books, including “American Gods” and “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”.
  • Margaret Atwood – The celebrated author of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and other novels has hosted several Goodreads giveaways for her books, including “MaddAddam” and “The Testaments”.
  • Stephen King – The bestselling horror author has used Goodreads giveaways to promote his books, including “The Institute” and “Later”.
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These are just a few examples of the many renowned authors who have used Goodreads giveaways to promote their books and engage with readers. But there may be a couple of others that I didn’t mention here.

Goodreads giveaways have become an important part of many authors’ promotional strategies, regardless of their level of fame or success.

What advice do successful authors give about Goodreads giveaways?

Successful authors who have used Goodreads giveaways to promote their books have provided a range of advice and tips for other authors considering this strategy. Here are some common themes:

1. Use giveaways strategically

Many successful authors advise using Goodreads giveaways as part of a larger promotional strategy, rather than as a standalone tactic.

This means coordinating the timing, messaging, and targeting of the giveaway with other marketing efforts such as social media campaigns, email newsletters, and advertising.

2. Set realistic goals

It’s important to have realistic expectations for what a Goodreads giveaway can achieve.

While giveaways can help generate buzz and exposure, they may not necessarily lead to a significant increase in sales or reviews.

Authors should set specific goals for their giveaways such as reaching a certain number of entries, targeting specific reader demographics, or generating social media engagement.

3. Make the most of the description

The description of the book and the giveaway is an important element of a successful Goodreads giveaway.

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Authors should use this space to provide a compelling summary of the book, highlight its unique features, and appeal to readers’ interests.

They should also include a call to action. Such as asking readers to add the book to their to-read shelf or follow the author’s Goodreads profile.

4. Engage with winners and entrants

Goodreads giveaways provide an opportunity to engage with readers and build relationships.

Successful authors’ advice following up with winners after the giveaway ends, thanking them for participating.

Also, encourage them to leave a review or share their thoughts on social media.

Authors can also use the giveaway to collect feedback from entrants. Such as asking them what they liked or didn’t like about the book.


Overall, Goodreads giveaways are a useful tool for authors and publishers to promote their books. It helps them to engage with readers, and build their platforms.

However, hosts should carefully consider the costs, rules, and benefits of hosting a giveaway and plan their strategy accordingly. Always visit GPO for more articles.

Godspower Oparaugo

Godspower Oparaugo is a Nigerian writer and author of Decide Your Future. GPO is an acronym for Godspower Oparaugo, which has been built as a content brand name.

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