The usefulness of a Goodreads Giveaway and word of mouth


I posted that I am currently running a Goodreads giveaway for my latest book.  Now why would I do this?  What is the usefulness of giving away free books?  And does giving them away through Goodreads work with sales?  Does it work with reviews?

The answer to all of the above is: I don’t know.

That’s not completely true.  I ran several giveaways with Kevin and the Seven Lions, and a couple of times I actually corresponded with the winners.  I sent the winners messages that they won and to expect the book, but at least twice the winners wrote back telling me how they were looking forward to getting the book.  Great!  Two new fans that I don’t know personally.  That’s a win in my book.

Do you always earn a review of the book you giveaway?  No.  That’s okay, winners aren’t required to do so.  If they don’t like the book, maybe they’ll give it to someone who will like it.  But occasionally you do get a good review.   Like this one:

This book was received as a result of a First read Giveaway.

I am shamed to admit it, but I’m a mom who kept making her husband check the mail for this book. Should an adult be this excited about receiving a children’s book? Why…yes!!! I tore open the packaging and read it immediately. I did enjoy it and I as a daydreamer could relate to Kevin and was happy to see the suggestion that his teacher gives to him in the end and what he is able to discover about himself. I love that even Kevin’s parents get involved with the story.

I do feel that this book is geared toward an older child with some of the situations he daydreams about. If I did read it to a child younger than 6 I would probably not read it as a bed time story. BUT, what I do see here is a fantastic vehicle to get children, especially boys, interested in both reading and writing. Don’t get me wrong, this has the feel of a unisex book and it is…but boys will be drawn to it and as someone who has worked in the classroom, I know it can be a challenge to get boys interested in a story at times. Kudos for that Tiller!

The language in the book flows well and I believe school age children in grades 3 and up will be able to read this by themselves.

I think many children will receive this book well and will hopefully get an itch to put pen to paper improving both literacy and creativity.

She was excited to get my book!  Seriously if you haven’t written your book yet.  Do so.  Comments like this make it worthwhile, no matter the sales.  This reviewer will tell other people about the book.  Which is what you want.  This is a word of mouth win.

Does Goodreads actually help with sales?  I don’t know.  Probably.  I don’t currently have anyway of tracking that.  If you know of a way to track Goodreads sales mention it in the comments.  But I will say this, as I write this Kevin and the Seven Lions is on 623 different peoples list to read.  623.  I’ll take it.  Some writers would laugh at those numbers.  Not me.  That’s 623 different people that I didn’t have 6 months ago, when I started this silly project of writing a book.  The new book, Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien, is currently being requested by 67 different people for the giveaway, and on the shelves of 29 different people to read.

And that number is currently growing by the day.  That can’t be a bad thing.

This is EXACTLY what Neil Gaiman was talking about when told an audience to be dandelions.


You don’t know which seed will fall, sprout, and grow.  But you need a lot of different seeds.  Those seeds include your Amazon also-boughts, Amazon author pages, Facebook pages, personal websites and blogs, Twitter, KDP free days, 99 cent sale days, perma-free for some books, personal word of mouth, and of course Goodreads.

Another reason I like Goodreads is that a lot of indie writers seem to spend time talking with other writers.  Cool.  But it seems at times indie-writers also only market to other writers. See the kboards (formally Kindle Boards) where writers put their books into their signatures and then spend a lot of time talking on the boards to each other.  That may work, but Goodreads gets me straight to parents and teachers.  The people who I think will want to read my two books.  (I am guilty the Kboards thing as well.  See my Kboards profile here.)

But if you are thinking about writing a book, Goodreads is just one of many ways to get your name and work out to different readers.

If you have done a giveaway on Goodreads, please share your experience in the comments.

It would be great, if you are on Goodreads to go to my author page, where you can add Kevin and the Seven Lions, and Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien to your shelves.  Thanks!


I am working on at least two more books this summer.  One that is not a Kevin book, I am going to try and start another series, and two I want to work on the next Kevin book.  But join my mailing list for new releases.  I will only email when there is a new release, and I won’t giveaway your email or spam you.  I am too busy to do such a thing anyway.

2 thoughts on “The usefulness of a Goodreads Giveaway and word of mouth

  1. KidLitReviews

    Another site you might try is This site is for only children’s books (through young adult), so there is no completition with adult books. I believe you can grab an author page (I may be wrong about this), but I do know you can add your blog/website to their system. Jacketflap is a busy site with loads of readers and parents. If you have heard of this site, just ignore my comment. 🙂


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