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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