Friday, December 08, 2017

Writing: Paying For A Giveaway

I have a Goodreads account, but I don't visit there every day. I'll check it periodically, and make certain all my books are listed as they're published. My blogs are cross-posted on Goodreads, as are some comments. I haven't yet done a Goodreads giveaway, but I was considering it when I read this. Starting in January, Goodreads will charge for the privilege of giving away books. That detailed post tells you more than you might want to know, but the bottom line is that for the "special" price of $59 (until the end of January--then it goes up to $119 for the basic package) I can do a book giveaway--but I can't stipulate that entrants subscribe to my newsletter, post something about the book, review it, or anything else. I do, however, get to pay for the privilege of giving away from one to 100 copies.

Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon) has decided to monetize their service. Good for them, I suppose, but since I'm indie-published right now, that money (as well as the cost of the book and the postage) comes out of my pocket. The benefit, of course, is to get my books before a lot of readers. To put this into effect is certainly within their rights. I realize most publishers will do this for their authors (although you will note that the fee is per book, not a blanket license), but I'm not sure a lot of indie-published authors will join in.

However, in celebration of the season, I think I'll do my own giveaway (and it won't be nearly as expensive for me). Here are the rules--please read and observe all of them.

I won't require that you sign up for my newsletter--if you already are on the list, say so. If you want to sign up, go here, then tell me you've done it. And if you don't want to do anything except get your name in the hat, that's fine. Like all authors, I will appreciate it if the winner leaves a review on Amazon or Goodreads, but I won't require it.

If you've already bought (and, hopefully, read) Cardiac Event, instead of the book I'll send you an Amazon gift card for $10. If you've already left a review of the book on Amazon, I'll double the amount of the gift card. How's that for going the extra mile?

Ready to enter? Leave your email address in the comments (in this format: Dr R L Mabry at gmail dot com). Next weekend, I'll randomly select a name, contact you, and arrange to send you a print copy of my novel, Cardiac Event. 

And if you want to make a comment, feel free to do that as well.

Tweet with a single click. "A small rant about requiring authors to pay for the privilege of giving away books."

PS--My new novella, Surgeon's Choice, is nearing publication. Subscribers to my newsletter will get the details first (hint, hint). It should be available for pre-order around Christmas, and release just after the first of the year.



I enjoy reading your blogs. They are informative. I'm looking forward to reading Cardiac Event soon, and I know it is going to be good. I'm also looking forward to reading Surgeon's Choice. I have signed up to receive your newsletter and have received in the past. Keep up the good work.

Jackie Smith said...

Love your books, Richard! Interesting about Goodreads....I like your idea most!
I subscribe to your mailings. Thanks for your giveaway!
jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for your comments. It will be interesting to see how many comments I get...and (when I get around to asking the winner) whether they'll already have read Cardiac Event.

Vera Godley said...

I missed Cardiac Event though I really wanted to read it. The year 2016-2017 (spanned both years) was physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting because of major health issues my husband experience. So I couldn't get focused as much as I wished on my reading and reviewing books.

Giveaways on Pay to post them? Bah Humbug! My "reach" is certainly not as extensive as and I have no connection to Amazon or whatever, but I'll post your book spotlights (and when I can read and review) and host giveaways anytime you want. I DO NOT charge!

I haven't read it but if I win a copy, I will put it in the stack and hopefully get it read and reviewed for you.

godleyv [at] yahoo {dot} com

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Vera. I'm sorry for the kind of year you've had. Glad you agree with me about Goodreads having monetized their giveaway policy (one that might not hurt the publishers, but will certainly affect those who've "gone indie"). Appreciate your comment.

ReadingMama922 said...

I think that stinks! Like they don't make enough money??? I love your books and already subscribe to your newsletter. I think your books are the bees knees 😊

ReadingMama922 said...

Sorry, I forgot. ReadingMama922 at gmail dot com.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Debbie (and thanks for giving me your email).

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book.

Susan Johnson said...

I hate that Goodreads is going to start charging for a giveaway. I am signed up for your mailings. In fact, I get each one twice. I don't know what happened. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book.
susanmsj at msn dot com

Richard Mabry said...

From Gayle Hollingsworth (who's beginning to think it's a plot when she can't leave a comment):

I’ve already read and reviewed Cardiac Event. I loved it! All your books are enjoyable. I was sad to learn that Goodreads is owned by Amazon. I got an ugly letter from Amazon after I politely inquired why they were no longer allowing me to post reviews there. I was going to correct whatever I did wrong. Not only did they tell me I could no longer post there but they were going to remove ALL my previous reviews which numbered in the hundreds. I’m still reviewing my books I read on Goodreads and various other sites but it upset me that they would not let me know what I did wrong. They ended the letter saying any requests I made regarding this issue would be ignored. 🤬

P.S. even more sad, this all came about right after I lost my mother to Heaven on Thanksgiving Day. The stress!!

Gail Hollingsworth

Jan H said...

I am already a subscriber. I post reviews on all books I read fishingjan at AOL dot com

Richard Mabry said...

It's Friday afternoon, and the comments have started to come in. Thanks to everyone who leaves a comment.

Anonymous said...

Haven't read Cardiac Event (yet) but look forward to it. I love reading your blog - it comes straight to my inbox, is short and to the point, and always makes me think! And of course I love your books!
jkmarko at cox dot net

PS My bookclub loved reading Stress Test!

Mary Preston said...

I never knew that about Goodreads.

I look forward to catching up with all of your books.


Connie R. said...

I'm disappointed to hear that Goodreads is going to try to profit off from author giveaways. I will probably feel guilty every time I enter a contest now. But I also realize that business expenses ARE tax deductible, or has that changed too. But BOO for Goodreads.

bcrug at twc dot com

Richard Mabry said...

And this comment showed up on Goodreads--I'll reproduce it here so her name can be in the drawing:
Read and reviewed Cardiac Event; I will buy and read a book by an Indie Author, quicker than others. (I have quit reading several popular authors, due to the price of their books), it's a shame Amazon is requiring so many $$ for a "give-away. My rant will be on twitter. I follow you on Amazon, but will give you my e-mail address: gstokes776 at gmail dot com. I love your books and appreciate you going the extra mile to get your books out there.

Unknown said...


Richard Mabry said...

This one via an email (stemming from reading my post on the blog):

Thank you for offering "Cardiac Event" in a giveaway. Please put me on the list to receive a copy.

I did not realize how much cost is involved in the giveaways. I will keep that information and use it when considering what books to purchase in the future.

Linda Klager

MJSH said...

Thank you for offering the giveaway. I didn’t realize Goodreads was owned by Amazon and how the Goodreads giveaways impact authors. Thanks for enlightening me.


Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for all your comments. It's interesting that a lot of what I've said is news to you--probably because you're on the other side of the fence. I thought I knew most of what an author needs to know, but I'm still learning. Thought I'd share some of that with you all.

Susan Snodgrass said...

I am a forever fan. I have read all your books, so if I win, I will take the gift card. I have reviewed them, too.
My email is TSL9Snodgrass at all for com.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for your faithfulness, Susan.

Paula Shreckhise said...

Hi Richard. Thanks for the detailed information. I had heard that Goodreads is part of Amazon now. There have been other posts about reviews being deleted. From those I gleaned that you have to be careful how you Word a disclaimer when you have been given a book free by the author or publisher. You can’t state that you received it “ in exchange “ for a review. Keep it simple and say : I have received this book from the author/ publisher and all opinions are my own.
I wonder how many authors will still do giveaways on Goodreads? I’m getting several notifications each day.
I am a subscriber and a fan of your books. I have not read this book as yet but I sure want to. Thanks for this post. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

Richard Mabry said...

Paula, the word on the street is that the new Goodreads policy on giveaway will probably not affect reasonably large publishers, but may affect indies. Stay tuned.
And, yes, we all need to be careful when we give a book and ask for a review--you can give one, but should suggest (but not demand) an honest review.

J Smith said...

I enjoyed your audio book a few years ago. Reading more of your work would be fun! pudy68 at gmail dot com

Richard Mabry said...

I've sworn not to reposition those who've left comments on Goodreads, but here's one more:

I signed up for your newsletter. I don't know why I hadn't already done that because I love your books. Thank you for an opportunity to win a copy of Cardiac Event.
lhanberry1 at gmail dot com

Jacque said...

I am signed up for your newsletter and thoroughly enjoy it. I have left a review for all of your books. Unfortunately it names me as Amazon customer and I have to figure out how to change that. I do believe cardiac event is your best book. I have already read it twice. That is interesting to know about Goodreads. I did not realize it was owned by Amazon.

Jacque said...

Ooops. I forgot my email address. Bouttime at gmail dot com

James R. Callan said...

Thanks for the information on Goodreads. What a disappointment. Does Amazon really need this? It was nice when they really wanted to help authors. This looks like they really want to help Amazon. Am interested in Cardiac Event. Sounds like ti should be a winner.

jamesrcallan at gmail dot com

Richard Mabry said...

James, I believe yours is a new name in my commenters--welcome. And thanks to everyone who has left a comment. I'll pick a winner (or my handy-dandy picker will) on Saturday and notify them.

Fred St Laurent said...

We set up a Group (you own for life) and promote it actively for a year) and you can do as many give-aways as you want, stipulate the winners, converse with them, ask them to join your newsletter, or meet you on a Skype call.

All for a one time fee!