Pleae welcome Tia Tormen, our guest author today.
Tia Tormen is a writer, photographer, graphic designer, videographer, video editor, make-up artist and poet. She has also studied psychology and loves to do dream interpretation. She spends her days working a regular job and her early mornings and evenings writing. When she isn’t writing she can be found doing photography or studying the ancient martial arts, Tang Soo Do Karate and Haidong Gumdo Sword, or attending her writing and critique group, Write or Die. She is a mother of five children and has enjoyed every insane minute.
Her loves include double chocolate chunk ice cream, Dove dark chocolate co-author CK stone, and her children, of course.
Her favorite quote is from the RHPS; “Don’t dream it . . . be it!” She firmly believes that life is what you make it and is living her life to the fullest.
She has two fine art photography books available: “Naked in the Light” books one and two. Both are available on Amazon.
Hidden Design, the Prophecy, is her first full length novel, with co-author CK Stone.
I’m not sure what I’m more excited about, the Goodreads giveaway that I signed up for, or the fact that Stephanie Ayers asked me to blog about it for OWS-Our Write Side. Both. The answer is definitely both.
Signing up for a Goodreads giveaway was simple. The first thing I needed to do was make sure the print novel was listed on Goodreads, which would not be available for another two weeks. You can list books that are coming soon but not available for distribution. However you need to have a registered ISBN# for the book. Fortunately I had my own Bowker registered ISBN# and the print book files had already been uploaded to Create Space and Ingram Spark, which made listing the novel a whole lot easier.
According to the Goodreads rules, you can give away from one, to as many books as you can afford, during a single Giveaway. Goodreads states this: “There is no magic number, and one copy is enough to set up a giveaway. But, to generate the most buzz for your title, try to provide as many copies as you can afford. The average 20-copy giveaway in the U.S. attracts 940 entries.” They also suggest one month of promotion for each giveaway. For this first giveaway I chose to giveaway one book over a two week period–mainly because I am planning to do more giveaways and want to space them out about a month each with a couple of weeks between each. I don’t know if this is a more effective plan than say, giving away more copies over a longer time period of time. I’m still fiercely promoting the novel and gaining new followers every day so we’ll see how it goes.
Aside *Note, Ingram Spark gives you the option of choosing your release date and then releasing your book on the date you want. Create Space doesn’t give you that option. You have to go into your book setup about 3-5 days before your release date and manually choose your distribution channels, and then hope it releases on the date you want it to. Even after doing that, CS still shows the release date of your novel, as the date you first upload your files to CS, not the date you release it for distribution. Very frustrating.
Okay so back to the giveaway. The set-up process is simple, Fill In The Blanks and then sit back and wait a few days. The Goodreads team will email you and let you know your giveaway has been approved. I honestly didn’t know they had to approve a Giveaways before going live on Goodreads. The Giveaway team does a little research to make sure your print book is indeed, in print. Goodreads provides you with a Goodreads Giveaway Widget code that you can add to your website or blog — or anywhere that HTML code can be pasted and displayed on a website.
Second aside note while we wait for those files to be approved. Goodreads has implemented a giveaway program for authors of ebooks. According to what I read on the site they are working with Amazon so this program wont be free. Didn’t I mention that the print copy giveaways are free? My bad. Print books are free to list. Goodreads handles some of the promotion of their giveaways via a newsletter, but you either have to have the book listed on your “to read” list or show a preference for a certain genre—they send out notices of giveaways based on your preference of genre.
Once your files are approved, you are assigned a team member that will answer any questions you have and then once the giveaway is over, provide you with the winners information so you can mail the print copies of the book. And then we wait again.
Giveaway Launch day: I decided to launch the giveaway on a Saturday and not promote it at all just to see what Goodreads does with it initially.
Day 2 Sunday: Imagine my surprise when I got up on this morning to check on it and 177 people had already entered the contest! Today I started promoting the giveaway on my FB social media ports and in groups that allow promotion. I cross promote a little, but tend to hold back on too much promotion because I understand that some people are members of many of the same groups that I am. When I see someone cross-promoting in in multiple groups, it’s a turn off for me. I want to get the word out there, not overwhelm people and piss them off with the same post, multiply posted on the same day over and over. I still have two whole weeks to promote.
I did discover that there are four categories that giveaways fall under.
1. Ending Soon
2. Most Requested
3. Popular authors
4. Recently listed
So unless you are a popular author or have a lot of people requesting your book, it’s a certain bet that your book is only going to show in the top of the listings when it is first listed and right before it ends.
There are literally hundreds of giveaways happening on Goodreads every day. When I checked the “Ending Soon” category, there were 94 pages, with thirty giveaways per page, that were listed. That is a lot of books being given away every day.
Day 3 Monday: 198 people requesting the novel. After posting around FB yesterday I checked to see if more people had signed up for the giveaway. I’m doing some Twitter promotion this morning and then again in the afternoon.
Day 4 Tuesday: 227 people requesting the novel. This is after tweeting and sharing and posting about the giveaway yesterday. I think I’m going to give the promoting a day of rest on my own ports. However, I have asked my daughter, Natalie Evans, if she will post the information on her social media ports. She writes fan-fic and has a large following on several different ports. Let’s see what the girl can do.
Day 5 Wednesday: 241 people requesting the novel. My daughter did some promoting for us on her Tumbler accounts late last night, but I’m not sure if that made a difference. I keep hearing that I need both a Tumbler and Pintrest account, but am not inclined to start two new ports so I asked my daughter about some of the differences between the two since she has used both. The difference, in her words; “I can post something on Pintrest and like two people will show interest in my stuff. I post something on Tumbler and get like two-thousand responses. If you’re going to start something new, get a Tumbler. Also, they wont care that your book has sex in it and people who don’t have a Tumbler account can read your stuff without having an account or being signed in.” She has been out there blogging and promoting her writing for about five years now so I’m figuring she knows what she’s talking about.
Day 6 Thursday: 254 people requesting. The increase in requests seems to be staying consistent no matter where I post information about the giveaway. Maybe I’m just not posting enough or on the best days or during the peak user hours.
I decided to do a little research into infographic articles on peak usage times for FB, Twitter and Tumbler. All of them state that there is no clear answer but do offer some suggestions for peak usage times. These suggestions are for peak usage in your time zone, so let’s say your followers are spread out across the world, the best times to reach anyone, will depend on what time it is in their time zone. The information I found suggests these dates and times as peak usage days and hours:
Facebook: Between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m (M-F) results in the highest average click through rates. These numbers peak around 3 p.m. and hit rock bottom on weekends when people presumably have better things to do.
Another articles states: Sat & Sun 12-1pm. Wed 3-4pm and Th/Fri 1-4pm.
Twitter: M, T, Th & F 12-3, and 5-6pm on Wed.
Tumbler: the peak hours start at 7pm, with Friday evenings being the best day to post.
Looks like I’m going to be doing some promoting today and tomorrow on FB and Twitter, before the weekend hits.
Day 10 Monday: 290 people requesting. I did do a lot of promoting on FB and Twitter on Thurs and Fri and asked my daughter to hit her Tumbler account on Fri eve. We added 46 people requesting over a period of three days. And still I feel clueless about this whole giveaway process.
I read an article over the weekend that strongly suggests that you not limit the giveaway to certain territories. I did limit this first one, choosing US, CA, GB, and AU. Ask me why. I don’t have an answer. Maybe I’m just unsure about the saleability of the novel as a story. The next two giveaways wont be limited to certain territories.
Day 11 Tuesday: 307 people requesting. We broke 300! This has to be great for a debut novel by two unknown authors. If the average 20-copy giveaway in the U.S. attracts 940 entries in a month, and we’re only giving away one copy and it’s only been a week, I feel like we’re doing well. Here’s to hoping we break 400 by Saturday. I’m starting to feel nervous and excited all at the same time.
Click cover to buy!
Day 13 Thursday: 373 people requesting. I starting pushing the promotion on Twitter and FB yesterday and today. I would love to break 400 by Saturday. Not sure it can be done, but I’m willing to hope.
Day 14 Friday: Only one day until the giveaway is complete. I feel nervous. I’m so excited to see so many people interested in receiving a copy of the book. I posted the giveaway end date on FB (including a few writing/reading and giveaway groups, tweeted about it and Natalie posted it on her Tumbler one last time.
Day 15 Sunday. I haven’t check the numbers since Thursday. I like holding on to that sense of anticipation as long I can. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the final Goodreads numbers this morning. 745 people requesting Hidden Design, the Prophecy! That’s not bad for a debut novel by two unknown authors. And just knowing that 745 people requested the novel is pretty special.
Of those 745 people that entered the contest, 114 people added the book to their “to read” list. I’m kind of confused by human nature at this moment. When I have entered a giveaway, I always add the book to my “to read” list. I mean, what’s the point in entering if you don’t want to read the book?
I did check some of the stats of the Popular Authors and the Most Requested categories. Some of those giveaways are getting requests in the thousands. But not all of them.
The autographed copy went out in the mail Monday afternoon and this first giveaway is complete. I did learn one very valuable lesson. Don’t give away “autographed” copies! If you do that, you have to mail the copy to the winner and if the winner doesn’t live in your country the postage can be very expensive. The winner of this first giveaway lives in GB and we are in the US. It would have made much more sense financially, to order the book directly from Amazon UK and pay that printing and shipping charge. I did look into ordering the book directly from CS (so I would pay less per copy) and shipping the copy to GB, but CS did not give me the option for shipping anywhere outside the US during the checkout process. I went to the CS community BB’s and found an answer: “If you’re trying to add an address during the order/checkout process, that’s likely the problem. You want to go to the Shipping Profiles section of your account first, and set up the address there — then, that address will be available to select during checkout.” Problem solved!
Over the next two months there will be two more Goodreads giveaways for Hidden Design, the Prophecy. We hope you will take the time to add the novel to your Goodreads “want to read” list so you will receive notifications on the next two giveaways.
I hope you found this article to be informative and entertaining. Thanks for reading!