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The Ultimate Guide to Goodreads Giveaways in 2024
Elena Ristovska
By Elena Ristovska   •  Updated on  
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Goodreads giveaways are an exciting way for authors to get their books noticed. Imagine being able to share your book with a community full of avid readers — that’s what Goodreads offers. By setting up a giveaway, you’re not just handing out free copies; you’re creating buzz, inviting reviews, and opening a channel of communication with people who love books.

Hosting a giveaway on Goodreads is like throwing a spotlight on your work. When readers enter your giveaway, they often add your book to their ‘Want to Read’ list, share the news with friends, and if they win, they may leave you valuable feedback in the form of reviews. It’s a smart move for any author wanting to build a fan base and increase the reach of their book.

Using Goodreads giveaways can help your book journey from the quiet corners of the bookshelf into the hands of excited readers, sparking conversations and building connections. It’s about making your book more than just a story, it’s about turning it into a shared experience.

Benefits of Hosting a Giveaway

When you host a giveaway, especially on a platform like Goodreads, you’re tapping into a vibrant community of readers who are eager to discover new stories. It’s like planting seeds for future success. Here’s how:

  • Boosting Book Awareness: Your book gets seen. People browsing Goodreads will spot your giveaway, and that’s the first step in getting them interested in what you’ve written.
  • Growing Your Audience: Every person who enters your giveaway becomes a potential new fan, someone who might love your book and talk about it to friends.
  • Increasing Book Reviews: Winners often leave reviews, and every review is a golden nugget. It’s honest feedback that helps others decide to read your book.
  • Creating Buzz: The more people talk about your book, the more it gets noticed. Giveaways get people talking.
  • Building Connections: When you reach out to winners, you’re not just sending them a book; you’re starting a conversation. You’re building a relationship with someone who loves books – potentially your book!

By hosting a giveaway, you’re not just giving away a product; you’re sharing your passion and potentially finding others who will share it back with you. It’s a rewarding process that can pay off long after the giveaway ends.

3. How to Set Up a Goodreads Giveaway

Setting up a Goodreads giveaway is a straightforward process that can lead to big rewards. Here’s how you get started:

3.1. Creating Your Author Profile

First things first, you’ll need an Author Profile on Goodreads. Think of it as your home base on the site.

  • Go to Goodreads and sign up for an account if you haven’t already.
  • Once logged in, search for your book and find your author name listed beneath it. Click on it.
  • There, you’ll find an option to “Claim” your author profile. Go ahead and click that.
  • Goodreads will then confirm your request, and you’ll receive an email when you’ve been upgraded to an Author account.
  • Customize your Author Profile by adding a photo, bio, and links to your website or social media. This helps readers get to know you better.

3.2. Setting Up the Giveaway Details

Now for the fun part—your giveaway!

  • Navigate to the ‘Giveaways’ section of Goodreads.
  • Click “List a Giveaway” to start the process.
  • You’ll be prompted to fill in details like the title of your book, the number of copies you want to give away, and whether they’ll be in physical or ebook format.
  • Choose your start and end dates for the giveaway. Remember to set the end date to give your giveaway enough time to be discovered by readers, but not so far away that they forget they entered.
  • Add an appealing description. This is your chance to hook potential readers, so make it interesting! Highlight what makes your book special.

3.3. Selecting Book Format and Quantity

When setting up your Goodreads giveaway, you’ll need to decide on the format of the books you’re giving away. You can choose between print books and Kindle ebooks. Here’s what to consider:

  • Print Books: They have a tangible value and can make a bigger impression. Plus, you can sign them for a personal touch. However, remember that you’ll be responsible for shipping costs.
  • Kindle Ebooks: Offering Kindle ebooks is cost-effective since there are no printing or shipping fees. Winners get the book instantly, which can lead to quicker reviews.

For the quantity, you don’t need to give away a library. Even a single copy can attract attention, but a few extras can increase excitement. Consider your budget and the level of exposure you’re aiming for.

3.4. Determining the Timeframe

The duration of your giveaway can impact its success. A longer giveaway isn’t necessarily better. A shorter timeframe can create a sense of urgency, while a longer one ensures more readers see your offer. Typically, a giveaway that lasts for about two to three weeks is a sweet spot, balancing visibility with urgency.

3.5. Crafting a Compelling Description

Your giveaway description is more than just information—it’s a call to action. You want to entice readers to enter, so make it irresistible:

  • Start with something attention-grabbing, like a rave review or a unique aspect of your story.
  • Mention if the book is autographed, a limited edition, or has won any awards.
  • Keep it concise and exciting, offering just enough to pique interest and encourage readers to click through to learn more.
  • End with a strong call to action that invites readers to participate in the giveaway.

Remember, your description is a miniature pitch for your book. It should reflect the tone of your writing and give readers a taste of what they’ll experience when they dive into your pages.

And that’s it! Once you submit your giveaway, Goodreads will review it before it goes live. Then, watch as readers start to show interest in your book and enter your giveaway. It’s a simple but effective way to get your story into the world.

4. Tips for Maximizing Giveaway Results

Maximizing the results of your Goodreads giveaway can significantly increase your book’s visibility and reader engagement. Here are some strategies to get the most out of your giveaway:

  • Be Strategic with Timing: Schedule your giveaways to coincide with peak reading times, such as summer breaks or the holiday season when readers are looking for their next great read.
  • Engage with Entrants: Take the time to interact with those who enter your giveaway. Respond to their comments or questions and show your appreciation for their interest.
  • Promote Across Platforms: Don’t rely on Goodreads alone. Share your giveaway on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to drive more traffic to your giveaway page.
  • Utilize Hashtags: When sharing on social media, use popular book-related hashtags, as well as a unique hashtag for your book or giveaway to increase its discoverability.
  • Update Your Followers: Regularly update your followers about the giveaway. Remind them when it’s about to start, halfway through, and about to end to keep the momentum going.
  • Leverage Your Email List: If you have an email list, send out a newsletter announcing the giveaway. Encourage subscribers to participate and share with friends.
  • Offer Multiple Copies: While one copy can generate interest, offering several copies can multiply the excitement and potential engagement, leading to more buzz around your book.
  • Consider International Giveaways: Expanding your giveaway to include international readers can broaden your book’s appeal and reach a global audience.
  • Follow Up with Winners: After your giveaway concludes, follow up with the winners. Ask them kindly to consider leaving a review if they enjoy your book.
  • Track Your Results: Keep an eye on how many people enter your giveaway and add your book to their shelves. This can help you understand your reach and plan future marketing efforts.
  • Use the Giveaway as Market Research: Pay attention to who is interested in your giveaway. This can provide valuable insights into your target audience and how to better market your book.
  • Prepare for Post-Giveaway Engagement: Plan how you will continue to engage with participants after the giveaway. Perhaps you can offer a discount on another one of your books or invite them to subscribe to your blog or follow you on social media for updates on future work.

By following these tips, you can not only increase the number of participants in your Goodreads giveaways but also build meaningful connections with readers that can last well beyond the giveaway itself.

5. Hosting a Giveaway on ViralKit for Goodreads

5.1. Why Choose ViralKit?

If you’re an author looking to amplify your Goodreads giveaway, ViralKit could be a game-changer. Here’s why opting for ViralKit can be a smart move:

  • AI Powered Contest Builder: ViralKit’s AI tool streamlines the creation of your giveaway, helping you set up a polished contest in minutes.
  • Customization at Your Fingertips: With ViralKit, you can ensure your giveaway matches your book’s branding. The platform offers custom styling options through a user-friendly editor and diverse display options.
  • Expand Your Reach: ViralKit connects with over 60 social platforms and offers over 250 entry methods. This vast range means your giveaway can reach readers where they already love to spend their time online.
  • Effortless Integration: The platform boasts 30+ API integrations, allowing you to seamlessly connect your contest with a wide array of CRM systems.
  • In-Depth Insights: Real-time analytics give you a clear view of how your giveaway is performing, enabling you to make timely adjustments to maximize its impact.
  • Robust Security: Advanced fraud protection ensures your contest is fair and secure, maintaining the integrity of your giveaway.
  • Website Integration Made Easy: Embed your giveaway directly into your website or use ViralKit’s hosted landing page, making it simple for readers to participate.
  • Manage Participants Effectively: The platform allows you to manage entries with ease, select winners randomly or manually, and download user data for future marketing campaigns.
  • Encourage Viral Sharing: ViralKit’s referral system incentivizes participants to share your giveaway, potentially turning your contest into a viral sensation.
  • Verified Actions: To maintain the quality of entries, ViralKit verifies user actions through API integration wherever possible.

With ViralKit, your Goodreads giveaway can transform from a simple book promotion into a powerful marketing campaign, providing you with tools to engage participants, grow your audience, and track your success every step of the way.

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5.2. Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up

Hosting a Giveaway on ViralKit for Goodreads

Step 1: Choose Your Creation Method

  • Start with a Template or From Scratch: Begin by logging into ViralKit. Decide whether to use a pre-designed template for quick setup or start from scratch for full customization.
  • Leverage ViralKit’s AI Contest Builder: For an automated solution, opt for the AI Contest Builder. Simply input your contest details, including the focus social platforms, prizes, and dates. The AI will generate a contest framework based on your input.
  • Utilize ViralKit’s Starter Templates: Select from various pre-designed templates tailored to different social platforms and campaign objectives. This quick-start option provides a solid foundation for your contest.

Step 2: Enter Your Contest Details

  • Manually input or use the AI Description Generator to craft an engaging title and description relevant to your book giveaway. Ensure it’s enticing to your target audience.

Step 3: Customize Entry Methods and Preview Your Contest

  • If using the AI-powered builder, it will suggest relevant entry methods. Customize these to fit your giveaway’s theme and encourage desired interactions.
  • Choose from a wide array of entry methods provided by ViralKit, including social media actions and email subscriptions, to increase engagement and participation.

Step 4: Define Your Contest’s Terms and Schedule

  • Set your contest’s terms and conditions, either by inputting custom terms for legal protection or using ViralKit’s auto-generation feature for convenience.
  • Schedule your contest with a clear start and end date, ensuring it aligns with your promotional goals and audience availability.

Step 5: List Prizes and Customize Security Settings

  • Detail the prizes you’re offering to attract and incentivize participants. Use ViralKit’s settings to list the prizes and define the number of winners.
  • Adjust security settings to balance entry opportunities with contest integrity, including entry limits and VPN usage policies.

Step 6: Personalize Entry Requirements and Verify Participants

  • Customize pre-entry requirements to collect necessary information from participants while controlling entry allocation.
  • Opt for email verification to ensure participant authenticity and maintain contest fairness.

Step 7: Engage Participants with Post-Entry Actions

  • Boost engagement by defining actions participants can take after entering your contest, such as social media shares, which can help your contest go viral.

Step 8: Finalize Visuals and Launch Your Contest

  • Personalize your contest’s appearance using ViralKit’s Style Editor to match your brand or book theme.
  • Decide whether to embed the contest on your website for a seamless user experience or use ViralKit’s hosted landing page for ease of sharing.
  • Utilize ViralKit’s management tools to view entries, select winners, and download participant data for future marketing efforts.

By integrating these methods, you can harness the full potential of ViralKit to create a more dynamic and engaging giveaway for your Goodreads audience, making the process efficient while maximizing your book’s exposure and engagement.


In conclusion, hosting a giveaway on Goodreads is a powerful strategy for authors seeking to enhance visibility, engage with readers, and ultimately, expand their audience. By leveraging platforms like ViralKit, authors can streamline the giveaway process, from creation to conclusion, with innovative tools and features designed to maximize the contest’s impact.

ViralKit, with its AI-powered contest builder, customizable templates, and extensive social platform integrations, offers an unparalleled solution for authors to create captivating and effective giveaways. Whether you’re looking to grow your social media presence, increase your email list, or simply get your book into the hands of eager readers, ViralKit provides the flexibility and functionality to achieve your goals.

Embrace the opportunity to transform your Goodreads giveaway into a dynamic and engaging campaign, setting the stage for broader recognition and success in the literary world.

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