Here's the other side of the discussion on Goodreads new giveaway practices. I haven't tried it, so I will simply post both sides and let my fellow authors decide.
While giving away print books remains an option at both the Standard and Premium level, giving away Kindle books comes with its unique advantages.
Authors only pay for the listing, not the books being given away.
Whether you choose to give away 1 ebook or 100, it costs $119 for a Standard Giveaway and $599 for a Premium Giveaway. Goodreads automatically delivers the ebooks to winners at no additional cost, meaning you don’t have to pay for those ebook copies.
“We worked to ensure a seamless experience for both authors and readers,” explains Greg Seguin, Giveaways’ Product Manager. “Creating, entering, and winning a Kindle book should feel the same as winning a print book but with the added delight of getting the book the day you win.”
Authors can give away up to 100 copies per giveaway.
To get more people talking about your book, you need to get more copies into readers’ hands. Traditional publishers have been running large giveaways with 25-100 winners each to help create many bestsellers over the years.
But for authors who run print book giveaways, the cost of the books and shipping can quickly add up. Some authors have limited their giveaways to just one or a handful of winners, and missed an opportunity to create even more buzz. With Kindle book giveaways, that additional cost is no longer a concern for authors who publish via KDP. Authors can get up to a hundred copies of their book into readers’ hands, just like the largest publishers can.
Winners receive the book instantly.
While winners of print books can expect their book within 2-3 weeks, winners of a Kindle book giveaway can start reading the book immediately after they win. This means they’ll finish reading the book sooner and may post a review sooner as well. Run a Kindle book giveaway for 1-2 weeks to get a much tighter turnaround on driving buzz around your book.
Authors can use Kindle Notes and Highlights to promote your giveaway.
One creative new way authors can promote their Kindle Book Giveaway is by incorporating Kindle Notes & Highlights. By signing up for our KNH Beta for Authors (just send us an email at KNHemail@example.com), authors can highlight their favorite passages in their book and share them on Goodreads. One creative strategy: Run a Kindle Book Giveaway right before publication and encourage winners to share their annotations on Goodreads to get their friends talking about your book leading up to publication day.
Depending on the timeline, budget, and goals, a Kindle Book Giveaway might be the more convenient and cost-effective way to promote your book on Goodreads.
Click here to learn more about running giveaways to U.S. residents and here to find some Best Practices for Giveaways.