Will I Be Paying Goodreads To Give Away Free Ebooks – No Thanks

Paying to Give Away Free Ebooks

Paying Goodreads $119.00 is what it costs to give away 100 ebooks for you.

When you think free ebook promotions can’t get any more expensive, along comes Goodreads with a new offer to give away your ebooks for more than $1.00 per copy.

As far as bargains go, paying Goodreads for free book promotion certainly doesn’t sound like one to me.

There are much better alternatives.


Free ebook promotions

Bookbub is very expensive, with prices up to $500.00 for free ebook promotion.

But it has been the go-to promoter for free ebooks for many authors.

The whole point of free ebooks is to increase Amazon sales ranking.

Bookbub at least returns a lot of downloads for the price. For $500.00, one can expect around 30-35,000 downloads, which equals around a cent per copy.

So paying Goodreads to offer free ebooks at over $1.00 per copy is awfully expensive.

My feeling about free ebook promotion is that as a promotional tool, it has some benefits.

However, paying a lot of money to give away your hard work should only be considered when there is a clear marketing goal that will earn a return.

With Bookbub, the goal is to increase sales ranking that will, in turn, result in real sales.

While this result is never guaranteed, at least Bookbub has a track record of reasonable success.

At one cent a copy, it is perhaps a reasonable gamble with Bookbub, but the new Goodreads offer at over $1.00 per copy is definitely not a good investment.

Instead, why not do a KDP Select giveaway for free and get hundreds if not thousands of downloads?



I have to say in conclusion that free ebooks have evolved over the last few years.

What was once just one promotional tool for self-publishing authors is now an industry that can exploit hopeful authors.

Amazon owns Goodreads.

So here we have Amazon wanting to charge $119.00 for something that authors can get for free on KDP Select.

Well, only so long as they are exclusive with Amazon.

It is also worth noting that free ebooks are also a hook used by many Amazon Associates affiliate marketers as a way to attract customers.

My thinking for some time now has been that free ebooks are very profitable for Amazon. But for authors? I’m not so sure anymore.


Further reading: Free Ebooks Don’t Work Like Free Stuff And Free Giveaways

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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3 thoughts on “Will I Be Paying Goodreads To Give Away Free Ebooks – No Thanks

  • Avatar for Lyra
    March 13, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Two Thumbs Up – Agree – Why? – Why? – Why are authors considering this silly notion?

  • Avatar for Eva Blaskovic
    February 19, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Good grief. Or should I say Goodgrief? Thanks for the article.

  • Avatar for Jack Eason
    February 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    What do you epect Derek? After all, Goodreads is now part of Jeff Bezos’ money driven empire…

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