If you’re not aware of StoryGraph, it’s an independent, alternative to Goodreads, with loads of tracking and recommendation features. It is geared towards readers rather than authors, but recently they’ve been running a giveaway beta trial. Did I sign up? Yes I did!

Screenshot of my StoryGraph giveaway for Paws and PortalsFor the beta period, giveaways are half-price, which made it a lot easier to give it a try. Standard giveaways are predicted to cost $99, and premium ones $499. Being on a budget, I opted for a standard giveaway (with the discount and exchange rate, it was around £40). Having looked at the premium giveaways running at the same time as mine, I didn’t see a big enough boost in entry rates to make it seem worthwhile, but you would get some extra features.

Unlike Goodreads, StoryGraph allows you to run giveaways in up to 177 countries. You can run separate giveaways for different formats at no extra cost. For example, I ran an ebook giveaway (50 copies) for everyone and a smaller paperback giveaway (5 copies) for the UK only. These ran for the same period and appeared on the same giveaway page.

During the beta period, the giveaways run for a month, and you don’t have any control over start or end dates. Future giveaways will have customisable start and end dates though. If you’re thinking of signing up for the beta trial, the discount only applies to fixed date giveaways.

You need to run giveaways under either a publisher or author account. When you’re given access to the giveaways dashboard, you will be given the option to select which you are. Currently, you can’t have an author or publisher account without taking part in the giveaway beta.

Another useful feature is in-app delivery of ebook prizes. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to read the ebook in their app, just that users get the option to download the EPUB file from StoryGraph, meaning you don’t need to worry about emailing the winners. Obviously, if you have DRM on your ebook, this won’t work. But honestly, pirates gonna pirate, whatever you do.

They are updating the in-app delivery to allow ZIP files too. It sounds like this is primarily for audiobooks but you can include bonus content with your EPUB this way. Perhaps useful if you want to bundle some books. You also have to option to fulfil the prizes yourself if you don’t want to use in-app delivery.

It’s StoryGraph, so of course your giveaway comes with stats! What I found most useful was the number of TBR adds. When I listed the giveaway, Paws and Portals had no reviews and, as far as I could tell, no one other than me had shelved it. StoryGraph doesn’t forcibly add the book to your TBR when you enter a giveaway, so to see 419 people adding it, was a great sign!

Screenshot of StoryGraph giveaway stats

If StoryGraph are interested in a premium membership aimed at authors, this sort of anonymised info is super useful. I don’t want to be stalking potential readers and stumbling on negative reviews, but I do want to see some interest happening.

So for my standard giveaway for a book with zero presence on StoryGraph, I got 67.1k impressions, which is how many people were on a page showing my giveaway. These people may not have even glimpsed it, but they are potential eyeballs. More importantly, a whopping 8.44k people clicked on my giveaway, meaning Lailu is doing her job being cute and inviting on the cover.

Because I had different giveaways for different formats, I got total entries of 5.2k, with 4.03k unique entries (some people will have entered both). But overall, half the people who clicked on the giveaway decided to enter. Again, great feedback for my first-time attempts at blurb writing and cover design. The print giveaway, which I remind you was UK only, got 1.87k entries. So, it’s definitely worth considering for UK authors who have been shut out of Goodreads giveaways.

Despite being a small team, their support is excellent. I was advised that my trigger warnings had been applied as “author approved” on the book page, and when I had a hiccup with one of the selected winners being ineligible, they responded within a day and sorted it all out.

Winners get a week to claim their prize, and new winners are selected if they fail to do so. You will be able to see on your giveaway dashboard how many people have claimed (and downloaded if you chose in-app delivery). You are also provided a spreadsheet and CSV file of the winners, along with strict instructions not to sign these people up to your newsletter. As I’d opted for in-app delivery, I was surprised to get the details of the ebook winners, but it does give me the option of following up those who claim and don’t download (the download link is time limited).

I’ll stress, this was part of a beta trial, and things may change by the time it’s fully rolled out. If you’d like to run your own giveaway (indie author and big publishers alike), there is a link at the bottom of the giveaways page to register your interest. The next giveaway period will run from 19th July to 18th August.

Here are the features of each tier as advertised by StoryGraph:

The Standard giveaway includes:

  • The ability to offer prizes across print, digital, and audio within one giveaway (up to 250 copies per prize format)
  • NEW: In-app delivery option for digital and audio prizes
  • Your giveaway listed on the “All Giveaways” page
  • Your giveaway featured in the “For You” section for readers with matching preferences
  • A dedicated page with an easily shareable link
  • A dashboard featuring stats on impressions, pageviews, entries, and to-read additions

The Premium giveaway includes all of the above, plus:

  • Your giveaway’s book cover featured on our homepage (6-7x more impressions compared to Standard, 700k on average)
  • Your giveaway appears in our Featured section
  • A link to your giveaway on the book page
  • A link to your giveaway whenever your book appears in a list view
  • NEW: Custom in-app notification sent to all non-winning entrants (average 3k users)

One thing I would have liked from the premium giveaway was the email to non-winning entrants, but I couldn’t justify the extra cost at this time.

A month later, I do have a handful of ratings on StoryGraph, and several of the paperback winners shared the book on social media. Only time will tell if it was successful, but I feel like it has been useful for awareness, if nothing else. Obviously, not all winners will read your book, and we all know books can languish on TBRs for years.

Living in the UK, a Goodreads giveaway wasn’t even an option for me, and I didn’t have a huge amount of success with ARC readers, so I feel this was money well spent. At least I got more copies out in the world. StoryGraph will help you reach a different set of readers than would be lurking on Goodreads too, since a lot of people are there because they don’t want to be on an Amazon platform.

Which leads me onto the fact that it might not be so useful if you are focused on driving Amazon sales. Paws and Portals is currently on Kindle Unlimited, but I intend to remove it and list with other retailers (and libraries!) in August. So I do want people outside the Amazon ecosystem to know about it.