Author Topic: Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts  (Read 1526 times)

Tom Wood

Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts
« on: March 08, 2019, 01:34:34 AM »
I've been in correspondence with Goodreads, and they confirmed a question I had about their paid Giveaway plans that may affect whether or not you want to use them. This is about the $119/$599 plans that let you give away 100 ebooks. The ebooks are added to the winners' purchase history as a $0.00 purchase so that if/when they leave a review it will show as a verified purchase.

The downside to this is that those 100 winners tend to be random for a new author. If you run the giveaway prior to launch (to build buzz or early reviews) that means your first 100 also-boughts are completely random. That will confuse the Amazon recommendations algorithm and make it much more difficult for your book to be found. It may also confuse the AMS/AA relevancy algorithm, which could lead to lower ad impressions and higher costs per click.

FYI
 
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Tom Wood

Re: Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 06:18:55 AM »
Per a post he made in other social media, this author just launched a book (April 26, 2019) after a Goodreads Giveaway wherein he gave away all 100 copies of his ebook:

https://www.amazon.com/Code-Hunters-Nicholas-Foxe-Adventure-ebook-dp-B07NLR9CZY/dp/B07NLR9CZY/

Look at his also-boughts. Twenty pages of five titles each = 100. They are a random mix of mostly other newish books, as evidenced by the low/no reviews. I suspect that a lot of those books were also acquired via the Goodreads Giveaway, and hence represent people who are just cruising the giveaways for free books. Now all of them are polluting each other's also-boughts.

This is a worst-possible outcome for a book launch, and I'm surprised that Amazon and Goodreads are so careless about the effect it will have on a new book's viability. That mix of 100 random titles will be keeping the recommendation algorithm confused for a long time. I also (still) wonder if that confusion bleeds over into AA/AMS and damages the book's ads relevancy.

This is not a slam against the author or the book, it's just a prime example of how the Goodreads Giveaways can do so much damage.

ETA: Clarified that this relates to ebook giveaways. I don't think this problem applies to print giveaways.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 09:43:12 PM by Tom Wood »
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 08:55:10 AM »
That's a very good point.

What surprises me is that people would go after free books in such different genres.  I'm not averse to picking up a freebie now and then, but I only bother if it looks like something I want to read. Either the readers are very eclectic, or they're just picking up freebies for the sake of picking them up.


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notthatamanda

Re: Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 09:16:04 PM »
A best selling traditional trad published offer has been twitting about her goodreads giveaways.  She, well the publisher, is giving away 100 print books and has over 6000 people requesting it.  You don't have to do 100 books, I saw one on the list with only ten.  There surely are people who enter everything, people who like lotteries.  I'm not sure where I'm going with this, I just thought it was interesting that the trades think it is a good marketing technique.

Edit:  maybe it's less about the reviews and more of a word of mouth thing.  People enter the lottery, put the book on their list, it shows up in the goodreads lists they belong to.  Just speculating.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 09:19:17 PM by notthatamanda »
 

Tom Wood

Re: Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 09:40:23 PM »
I think print giveaways work differently from ebook giveaways, and they are not added to the winners' purchase histories. The problem I'm pointing out is related to just the ebook giveaways.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 10:09:33 PM »
Sorry I wasn't disagreeing with you, I don't really know much about goodreads giveaways and am trying to accumulate as much info and knowledge as possible.
 
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Tom Wood

Re: Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 10:18:02 PM »
No worries, you prompted me to clarify that this issue relates to the ebook giveaways from Goodreads. With you all the way on trying to figure all this stuff out!
 
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Denise

Re: Goodreads Paid Giveaways - How they affect also-boughts
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 11:20:11 PM »
A best selling traditional trad published offer has been twitting about her goodreads giveaways.  She, well the publisher, is giving away 100 print books and has over 6000 people requesting it.  [...] I'm not sure where I'm going with this, I just thought it was interesting that the trades think it is a good marketing technique.


My hunch is that some trad publishers have such a high budget for marketing that they'll burn it in ineffective tactics. Indies do less marketing and measure results more closely, so they'll know if something's not working.