LibraryThing Giveaway Promotion

As some people will know, early in June I offered a LibraryThing giveaway, providing 50 copies of Inside Evil to people on LibraryThing in return for reviews. I had many hopes, not to increase sales, but to get reviews. Here are the results.

It can safely be said, that the LibraryThing giveaway was a bit of failure. At the very least, it failed to live up to expectations. Of the 50 books that I offered, 39 people downloaded the novel from Smashwords which I would think is a pretty good result. However, over the course of the past month, I’ve only had ONE review and around FOUR Goodreads adds. It’s a little disappointing, as I hoped that a ratio of at least 10% would give me a review, but alas, so far, the one sole review is all I’ve had. Still, this was a 4star one so it’s not a complete loss and I was ecstatic to see that the reader posted on LibraryThing, Amazon and Smashwords.

Of course, when you’re running a LibraryThing giveaway, it’s important to remember that the types of people bidding in these contests are the type of readers who may well have a substantial backlist of books to read. After one month, I’ve had one review. However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be more to come in the future as individuals finally get around to giving Inside Evil a go.

Would I use LibraryThing’s giveaway again?

At the end of the day, it’s a great giveaway tool and so, yes, I would use it again. I plan to offer 50 copies of Tower of Souls to readers about a month before the release. This should give people the chance to read the book and make a few reviews so that when it goes live on Amazon and Smashwords, there is already some feedback available. Obviously, it’s a sequel, so people winning the book may even buy Inside Evil first so that they’re caught up on the story.

If you’re thinking of using a LibraryThing giveaway, then don’t expect great instant results. Be happy for the reviews that you do get in, and utilise it as a way to get your work read and find a few new fans and followers.

Raising your profile with Authors Den

For many self publishers the battle with obscurity will begin as soon as the ‘publish‘ button is pressed and we realise that readers aren’t going to automatically flock to our books. Through unsolicited reader reviews and emails from people about your books, you can quickly establish that, yes, your book isn’t crap and there are people out there who are loving it. This can help stop the huge disappointment that is likely to ensue when book sales are slow. If you’re getting one and two star ratings, then perhaps your works needs some fine tuning. But, if you’re getting positive reviews from the few readers that you do have, then it’s a shove in the right direction to keep persevering.

Obscurity is a very hard problem to cure, and visit any self publishing forum you’ll to see hundreds of threads about how to get more sales. Reviews will encourage new readers to buy, but how do you get these reviews in the first place? Getting into the Top 100 is likely to get you seen by more people, but how do you get enough sales to reach these desired spots? Around 1,000 Amazon sales and you’re entering the realms of catching the eye of an algorithm or two so that you’ll appear in some of the spotlight lists. After launching your book and noting sales dribbling in, you may wonder whether you’ll ever make that 1,000.

It seems as if the most positive think that you can do is to write. Write more books, add to existing series, put out titles that people will want to read. However, this takes time, and you can be raising your online profile whilst you write. A Goodreads marketing campaign or a LibraryThing giveaway may help readers find your work and spread the word. Joining sites such as Shelfari, Goodreads and LibraryThing will also help, especially if you participate in discussions. A new site that I’ve come across is Authors Den, and with the owners claiming to have a million visitors a month, then surely creating a profile here is a good idea. Making a profile is easy and you can add books, WITH sales links. It may not give you a thousand sales, but in my eyes, anything to get both your name and book titles seen my more people is a bonus.

Library Thing – Giveaway Promotion

There are many resources that you can use when it comes to advertising a book. I like to take the passive marketing approach, joining in with discussions posted on communities and groups such as Kindle Boards (KB) and Goodreads and getting clicks from signatures, rather than aggressively posting about my work. KB really is a must if you’re a self published author, and you’ll find all manner of help in the Writer’s Cafe forum. Meanwhile, I am slowly getting to grips with Goodreads, and after my post the other day, I’ve noted that Inside Evil is now on several people’s ‘to be read’ lists. I haven’t actively advertised at all. I’ve simply engaged with readers and writers in the forum and they’ve decided to add my book.

I’ve been looking for a way to offer a limited number of freebies of late because, of course, getting people to read your book must be your main aim. Having opted out of KDP Select, there’s no way I can offer freebies of my book on Amazon other than changing the actual book price to zero. However, someone on KB talked about Library Thing and the opportunity for no-cost free promotions and so I decided to get involved.

I’d taken a look at Library Thing once before, when I initially published and was looking for advertising options. However, I hadn’t realised that they offered a wonderful give-away option. It’s superbly easy to navigate and as long as you’re not offering your title for free anywhere else, you can sign up a certain number of copies to be offered to members. I’ve set a one month deadline and 50 copies, and on June 5th, Library Thing will email me a list of people who have requested my free book in turn for a review, along with their email address so that I can send out the correct files.

I only set this up a few hours ago, and I already have one request, so it seems like it could be a great way to get a book out there, especially if you’re a new writer. I can only speculate as to whether reviews will come out of this promotion, but I think Library Thing could be a good resource for building fans and spreading the word.