Goodreads Giveaways and Krissie’s Bookshelf

I joined GoodReads in March 2008 and have been VERY active on the Website since that time.  I love GoodReads and spend way to much time on their site.  Having said that I still have an one issue with GoodReads —the first reads giveaways!

Since March 2008, I have entered giveaways for approximately 330 books and have won books for four of those giveaways.  I enjoyed those books and was very happy to have gotten them.  I read at least three books that I probably would not have otherwise.  Krissie, another member, that frequently enters the same giveaways that I do has won 72 books since joining in March 2008.  Recent additions to Krissie’s first-reads bookshelf include:

I Curse the River of Time: A Novel by Per Petersen
Horns by Joe Hill
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Translyvania, and Other States That Never Made It by Michael J. Trinklein
The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo

I entered for each of these books and didn’t win any of them.  Krissie has great luck!  The GoodReads Giveaways page says that “Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway” and I received a recent e-mail from ENC Press after a recent giveaway that advises that “GoodReads does the random picking,” however, I am beginning to wonder…

I did read 100% of the books that I won and rated all four of them.  I actually reviewed two of them or 50%.  I noted that Krissie has rated only 16.7% of the books that she has won from the GoodReads giveaways, but shows a review for 100% of the 72 books on her First Reads bookshelf.  Her typical review is as follows:

“First it has to arrive in the mail, and then I have to find the time and motivation to read the Others, and then I can read this one. I have a new plan for the Others. I’m not sure it’ll work out very well, though.”

Can someone explain what is going on with GoodReads giveaways?  How do so many First Reads end up on Krissie’s bookshelf?  Are the books given away randomly or is some other method used to give away the First Reads books?

One last thought, I sure hope that Krissie doesn’t enter for Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James, because I really want to win a copy of that book!

9 thoughts on “Goodreads Giveaways and Krissie’s Bookshelf”

  1. According to the e-mail sent to first reads winners:

    “First Readers who post reviews are also more likely to win free books in the future!”

    So that means that while they may say ‘random’, ther is obviously some sorting first!

    Fantastic post!

    1. Thanks for your comment. I will definitely check my previous e-mails. I will say this with regard to Krissie’s bookshelf – while she posts a “review” – I would hardly call it a review myself.

      Perhaps the problem is with my definition of “review” and GoodReads definition of “review.”

    1. Catherine:

      In checking this morning, I see that Krissie has won yet another book. That is two books since I initally posted this eight days ago! Amazing!

  2. Wow! I just started entering Goodreads. Now i feel a little let down about the reviews on new books.
    I love to read and I can hardly wait to start the next book. I hope to hear from you.

  3. The key piece of information you are missing is the number of giveaways Krissie enters.

    You say you have entered 330 giveaways in about two years. That means you are only entering about fourteen giveaways per month. That’s fine. You are clearly only entering giveaways for books you want to read.

    But how many giveaways is Krissie entering? You don’t know. But I can take a guess. If she wins at the same rate you do, she could win 72 books in two years by entering 250 giveaways per month. And would you believe that’s about how many total giveaways there are per month? In other words, Krissie is probably entering every giveaway there is.

    Krissie clearly wants to win as many books as she can. Maybe she simply likes to get free things. Maybe her taste in books is that broad. Or maybe she resells them on Ebay. In any case, you are comparing apples to oranges. You are comparing someone who enters a select number of giveaways to someone who enters every giveaway. You will never win as many giveaways as Krissie because your motives are not the same.

    Still, you may want to consider ways you could be less picky. Why do you only enter 14 or so giveaways per month? I was picky when I first joined — I only entered giveaways for Advanced Reader Copies of books by established writers. And in one year I won one book. I am less picky now. I still only enter giveaways for books I want to read, but I now trust that most writers are of decent quality, and I don’t just enter giveaways for ARCs. And in two months I’ve won three books. (All ARCs, ironically.)

    Just consider that you will win one book for every 50 to 100 giveaways you enter. You are currently entering about 14 giveaways per month, so you will only win a book once every three to six months. If you can find a way to double the number of giveaways you enter, you can cut that in half to once every six weeks to three months.

    1. Interesting! Thank you for your comment and I will take your suggestion and enter more giveways. I do find that I am spending more time on now though. Perhaps I will have better luck there!

  4. Here’s a an observation from a publisher. If the Goodreads members use the Giveaways to win as many books as possible, rather than to win books they truly are interested and write genuine reviews, the program may well disappear from lack of freebies. The reason authors and publishers give away free books is to sell books. Real reviews are one way to spend their marketing dollars. If the Goodreads program provides a good return on that investment, it will flourish.

  5. I’ve been wondering about this as well. I’ve entered about 270 giveaways and have won exactly ONE book. That’s coming from someone that has written over 100 reviews. Hmmmm…. Maybe I’m just unlucky?

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