Why Goodreads Giveaways are a Bunch of Crap

Warn­ing: rant ahead.

The pur­pose of a give­away is to get the book into the hands of read­ers and attract atten­tion of oth­er por­ten­tial read­ers who add your book to their TBR list. Of course, the ide­al goal is to get your book into the hands of read­ers who read in your genre and write some good reviews. By good reviews I mean reviews that do the book jus­tice, whether good or bad.

My first and now only Goodreads give­away was a dis­as­ter I spon­sored wast­ed my mon­ey on. That’s right, I won’t be doing it any­more.

I had three copies to give away and the inter­est was pret­ty much good — more than 1100 peo­ple had entered over the course of a month with­out doing any mar­ket­ing from my side. Which was excel­lent result on its own.

By the end of the give­away I had my read­er address­es and mailed the phys­i­cal copies of books with­ing the next few days. I have no idea what the third read­er will bring to the table (if at all), but the first two were some­thing no writer should expe­ri­ence.


Per­son #1 declined to receive their ship­ment, so I even had to con­tact the GR staff to find out WFT hap­pened there. Still no news. Spend­ing near­ly a month in the post office, the new book that no one will be read­ing returned to Cre­ate­space. Fuck you, per­son #1. Why did you even both­er to enter this fuck­ing give­away? There were plen­ty of peo­ple will­ing to read the book.

Per­son #2 wasn’t an avid read­er in sci­ence fic­tion genre, leav­ing me with a 2-star review just because of that and I won­der why she had both­ered to enter the give­away too. WHY??? Free book? You know what I’m think­ing, right? Good.
I’d rather giv­en the book to some­one else.

Per­son #3… I won­der what will fol­low from there. I’m not keep­ing my hopes up high. That’s anoth­er non-tar­get-audi­ence read­er.

Dear read­ers, don’t enter give­aways for books you know are not your kind or you don’t plant to read at all. We authors are pay­ing for these paper­back books you don’t want. 

Dear Goodreads, do some­thing to make sure the books are going into the hands of good read­ers. Oth­er­wise, you know what I’m think­ing, right? Right. If not, there’s a hint: it’s the F-word and then the Y-word.

/rant over

Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.


  1. Yeah.… I had bet­ter suc­cess with Library Thing give­aways.… though try­ing to get a review from that end nev­er works very well. Still, they let you do dig­i­tal give­aways, so it’s not such a huge invest­ment. 🙁 Sor­ry your expe­ri­ence sucked so bad.
    My recent blog post: Yuki Onna: The Snow Woman

    1. I wasn’t going for reviews. I knew I shouldn’t expect any. But true, the whole thing sucked bad­ly and it pains me I paid for it — just that. LOL

      I got a cou­ple reviews from the Ama­zon pro­mo, one of which was rather high qual­i­ty.
      I still have 3 pro­mo days left on Ama­zon for the main book and full 5 for the addon, so I will be doing anoth­er pro­mo this month. I haven’t cho­sen the dates yet.

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