The other week, many authors saw the news about the change Goodreads is making to their Giveaway feature, and the publishing (both traditional and self) worlds had a mini explosion.
In case you did happen to miss this tidbit in the news, the general idea is that Goodreads will now charge authors to do a Giveaway on their site. This service used to be free to do, and only would cost authors the cost of their books they gave away and the shipping. Now, authors must pay for those books and shipping as well as pay for the actual Giveaway service. This service is going to cost anywhere from $120 – $599.
Whether you are for, against, or indifferent to the change on the Goodreads platform, it is, if anything, a reminder that the publishing world is constantly pivoting and changing, with little to no warning. We all depend on the online sales, no matter our publishing situation, and we all need to reach our audiences. What will that be, in the future, especially as services (no matter which service that is!) continually change, or become too big an investment for any but the most well-backed authors? It’s going to be interesting as the publishing world continues to evolve, large big publishing houses struggle to keep afloat, and millions of books are propped on a large array of distribution locations.
These changes may encourage us to go back to our roots and find our audiences on a more intimate, grassroots level, which would certainly mean the audience is more engaged and interested in a long-term way. We may be on the brink of new technology for meeting readers and fans, which would likely be a good thing (albeit we might find it annoying to constantly have to relearn the next new place to spend time! Will it be new social media? A new place to promote?). And we certainly need to turn to one another for help and ideas.
This is where a community like Women Writing the West comes into play. The camaraderie with the group is robust, thoughtful, supportive, and fully active. Authors promote, congratulate, and applaud the successes of one another, and we love to see our family grow. Even beyond the social sites such as Facebook, we have private chat groups on Listserv, and offer ideas, advice, and contacts that cannot be found easily otherwise.
As our president, Carmen Peone says, “We are rich in wisdom with this organization.”
Regardless of what happens next, pieces to the writing and marketing puzzle are worth it to get our words out there. We should all be sure we support each other as changes in the publishing work continue to trickle down to us. We’re stronger together, and we’ll survive the shifting sand beneath our feet, no matter where it comes from!
If you want to read about the new Goodreads policies, you can read them here: https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1108-goodreads-introduces-new-u-s-giveaways-program-a-more-powerful-book-mar