For the last few years, if an author wanted to promote their new novel, they could easily set up a giveaway contest on Goodreads, a social media site for book lovers (you’ve probably heard of Goodreads if you’re on Bookstr, but gotta serve up all that pertinent info). Readers enter with a mouse click and the author or publisher would be responsible for mailing a copy of the book when the contest ended. That is, until now.
Goodreads has announced that it will begin charging authors and publishers to give away their books. The site has become incredibly popular, and with that, there’s a lot of crap to sift through to find the treasure. The fees should help filter out some of the noise, but let’s be real, the fees are abrupt and off-putting.
With two tiers for giveaways, a “standard” package that will cost authors $119 to give away up to 100 copies, or a “premium” package that will cost $599 and gives the author an “exclusive placement” on the giveaway page.
Gif via Pinterest
By the way, that cost is for a single contest, not a one time fee, not a monthly membership.
There is some introductory pricing, but it’s just half off.
People are understandably peeved, considering they’ll have to pay $200-600 to give away their own work. Especially when they could do it themselves, for free, on their social media.
Book discovery is a challenge authors are still trying to overcome, and Goodreads has been a useful tool for authors who don’t have the resources of a major publisher because the books would be listed alongside their competition. This change will hurt smaller publishers and independent authors the most. Authors and publishers who have the means to afford to get their book prominently featured on the site will absolutely get the upper hand, and readers will only be able to easily discover books that have a marketing budget to boost them there, which is counterproductive to the original message of the site.
They don’t call it selling out for nothing.
Featured Image Via PBS.