by Shelley Hitz
Have you heard of LibraryThing? If not, LibraryThing is a website similar to GoodReads where readers can review books, interact with authors, and more. It is free to sign up as a member.
One of the neat features of LibraryThing is they allow members to conduct eBook giveaways. Unlike GoodReads where you have to give away print copies of your book, on LibraryThing, you are able to give away eBooks.
I like this feature as it allows authors to conduct giveaways with no out of pocket expense. You can give away Smashwords 100% coupons or create eBook files to give away (i.e. PDF, epub and/or mobi files).
If you create your own files, you can either attach them to an e-mail or upload them to your hosting and give the reader a download link. However, you can also conduct a print book or audiobook giveaway as well.
LibraryThing giveaways are an opportunity for authors to get more exposure and potentially more reviews. You can see the current list of giveaways on their site here: http://www.librarything.com/er/giveaway/list.
Please note: If your book is enrolled in the KDP Select program, you will not be able to give your book away on sites like LibraryThing. Therefore, one option is to initially publish your eBook on Kindle without enrolling it in the KDP Select program. Then, conduct your giveaway on LibraryThing and solicit reviews. Once you have completed your giveaway, you can enroll your book in KDP Select at that time. This is what I did with the giveaway I mention below.
How to Conduct a LibraryThing Member Giveaway
To post a book for a Member Giveaway, at least one of the following must be true:
1) You are a LibraryThing Author
2) You have at least 50 books in your LibraryThing account
3) You have a paid LibraryThing account.
Step #1: How to Become a LibraryThing Author
The easiest way to conduct an eBook giveaway is to become a LibraryThing author. It is free and simple to do. First of all, you will need to sign up for a free member account.
Once you are signed in to your account, you will then need to search on LibraryThing.com for your author page by searching for your name. You can use the search box in the upper right hand corner of their website. If you already have an author page, you will see an “Is this you?” box in the upper right hand corner. You then click on that link to request author status. If you do not find your author page after searching on their site, you may need to add your book to their database first.
Step #2: How to Set Up Your LibraryThing Giveaway
To set up your LibraryThing giveaway, go to this link and fill out their form: http://www.librarything.com/er_book.php?program=giveaway
I recommend giving away 100 copies if you are doing an eBook giveaway because the giveaways are listed by the number of copies given and the date the giveaway ends. Therefore, the books with the most copies available will be listed closer to the top of the list and get more exposure.
You can also choose which countries you want for your giveaway. Personally, I chose all countries for my eBook giveaway to get the most exposure possible. Also make sure to check the box “requesting reviews” when filling out the form.
You can choose one week, two weeks, three weeks or four weeks for your giveaway duration. I wanted to conduct my giveaway as quickly as possible so that I could then enroll my book in the KDP select program; therefore, I chose the shortest duration – one week. But, it is up to you how long you want your giveaway to run.
In my giveaway description I made sure to let readers know these three things:
- How the eBook would be delivered
- The type of book I was offering so I could attract my target audience
- That I was conducting the giveaway in order to get more reviews online
Feel free to use my description below as an outline for your giveaways.
The eBook will be delivered via a Smashwords coupon so you can choose the eBook format you prefer.
Please note: This is a Christian book.
We are giving away these books to increase the impact of the message of the book but also to get more reviews online. Reviews on Amazon, GoodReads and LibraryThing are appreciated.
Once your giveaway has ended, you then receive the names and e-mail addresses of those who requested your book. I typed up an e-mail and then copied and pasted it into each e-mail to save time. If you use Gmail, you can also use canned responses to save time sending the e-mails.
My Giveaway Results
I conducted a LibraryThing eBook giveaway on 12/6/12 for my book, “Unshackled and Free: True Stories of Forgiveness” and offered up to 100 copies.
- 13 reviews on Amazon prior to the LibraryThing giveaway
- 34 readers requested the book out of 100 available copies
- We received 3 new reviews on Amazon, 4 reviews on LibraryThing, and 2 reviews on Smashwords
When you conduct an eBook giveaway through LibraryThing, realize that not every reader who requests your book will actually read it and post a review for you online. However, it is relatively simple to post your eBook giveaway online, there is no out of pocket cost to you if you use eBook copies and there is potential for you to get more reviews for your book. Therefore, I believe it is a worthwhile use of your time.
Have you ever tried a LibraryThing eBook giveaway? If so, what were your results? Share your comments below.
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.