Monday, May 25, 2020

Goodreads And Advertising

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I know I'm a bit late on this, but I have been busy...

Goodreads has ended their self-serve ads product.

I've run a number of Goodreads ad campaigns, and I do think they helped sell books, though it always helped if they were in conjunction with other ways to draw attention. Best of all, they could be done quickly and cheaply on a site that focused on readers. 

That's no longer an option.

This is from the Goodreads site:

Why did you end support for self-serve advertising? What will happen to my existing funds?

Feb 5, 2020 Knowledge

Goodreads no longer supports self-serve ad campaigns as of February 4, 2020. If you have advertising funds on Goodreads, please contact us – we will be able to refund these to you.

To promote your book, we encourage authors to use one of our other available offerings, such as:
  • Sponsor a giveaway (for U.S. and Canadian authors)
  • Participate in Ask the Author, which allows you to answer questions from your fans and readers
  • Share excerpts of upcoming publications and communicate with readers on your author blog
  • Join Goodreads groups that allow book promotion according to their group rules
  • Publicize upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking engagements
  • Consider Amazon’s self-serve ad product
The Goodreads staff didn't really answer why they ended the ads (they didn't even try), but I think it was to have ads run under the Amazon umbrella only. I also wonder if they were getting much revenue from the Goodreads ads. I didn't see anything about this on the internet. No complaining or flaming. I found out about it when I received a message saying they were refunding the few dollars I still had in an account. So maybe it's just me. As I mentioned, they could be done rather inexpensively. And I found the Goodreads ad campaign statistics useful at times. It seems the tools available for the small author are slowly disappearing.

I'm not sure what it would cost to run an Amazon ad campaign, but I have a feeling it will be more. At some point, I may try it. Or I may not. I'll let you know!

© 2020 K. R. Smith All rights reserved


  1. Tools for small authors are pretty much gone. Amazon ads are a nightmare & require excessive study & money to work out - lots of authors making money off authors offering courses. I've dipped a toe but basically you bid on keywords. It's horrible. I don't plan on ever using it.

    After the took away the free option to run Giveaways on Goodreads I knew it would become defunct for Indie authors. I think a lot of people go there for reviews so maybe at some point it might get linked to Amazon but no idea. Some people believe tge removal of reviews is from them looking to see who you are 'friends' with on Goodreads. I know a few trad published authors who have removed all their friends to avoid this.

    Although lots of authors think the idea of giving away books is dreadful, using a reader magnet is one of the last tools. Amazon makes it difficult & you have to host your book on another site like Smashwords to get it set to free, then get them to Price Match But it's a faff.

    And thrn the only route is to write a series to get a readership.

    The monetisation of all of the promotion & other tools for self-published authors makes it almost impossible to get seen. I spent 18momths studying how to market & promote (free courses, cheap books & following blogs, reading articles), but fundamentally without a huge budget to start with chances are slim. Building a big list of books can be helpful but they have to be top quality. Then you have to reach your readers too.

    It's tough out there.

    1. Thanks for the info on Amazon ads. Sounds like I won't be counting on them once I finally get a book out there (other than being in someone else's anthology, that is). I always wondered if the self-serve ads on Goodreads pulled in enough money to make it worthwhile for them to do. I guess I know the answer now.


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