Bookish Happenings

Five Best Places to Win Book Giveaways

I often see questions on social media from fellow book lovers wondering how they can get their hands on advanced copies of books, particularly if they aren’t dedicated book reviewers.  While there are many answers to this question, giveaways are probably the easiest way to snatch a book before it hits the shelves.

Giveaways are also a fantastic way to discover new authors and push yourself outside of your typical reading genre.  I personally have found myself a new fan of several authors I’d not previously heard of after winning giveaways for their latest novels.

So, you ask, where are the best places to win these giveaways?  Well, let me tell you!

  1. Goodreads

Goodreads is probably the easiest place to start.  They run hundreds of giveaways every week and you can organize by Featured, Ending Soon, Most Requested, and Recently Listed.  My game plan is usually to sort by Ending Soon and scroll through to find the books that catch my eye.  You are able to see how many copies the publisher is giving away, how many people have entered so far, and when the giveaway ends so you can get a good idea of your odds of winning.  In the last year I’ve won 19 Goodreads giveaways for the books below and have reviewed 8 of them so far.

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2. Bookish and BookishFirst

I don’t have as much experience with entering Bookish giveaways but I’ve heard great things from other people.  Bookish has a Giveaway Central page that lists tons of new, upcoming titles.

Now, BookishFirst is something a little unique.  You have to do a little work to earn your spot in the giveaway by reading a mini-excerpt of the book that’s up for grabs and responding with a short review giving your initial impressions.  But my guess is that there are less people entering these raffles so your chance of winning may be a little higher than your average giveaway.

3. Join Book Groups/Follow Reviewers on Social Media

Interacting with the reading community is one of the best ways to learn of new giveaways.  The admins running the pages often partner with publishers to host giveaways on their social media sites, and sometimes authors drop by to do Q&A sessions with their fan base and raffle off a book or two in the process.  I’ve won one book through my favorite bookish Facebook group, In Literary Love (shh, don’t tell the others)!

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Some of my other favorites who frequently host giveaways are: A Novel Bee, Rebecca’s Book Reviews, and Suzy Approved Book Reviews.

I am not a huge participant in the “Bookstagram” world but if your preferred social media platform is Instagram, here is a list of the 12 Bookstagrammers you should be following in 2019.

4. Join Author Mailing Lists

Have a favorite author (or several favorite authors)?  Many have their own mailing lists and newsletters where they post giveaways for their upcoming books.

Some of the authors I subscribe to who run giveaways are Laura Griffin, Christina McDonald, and Hank Phillipi Ryan.

But, I don’t know of any author that hosts giveaways like Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke.  They frequently host giveaways for huge piles of books and you can sign up for their newsletter here!

5. Follow Publishers on Social Media

Listen, it’s no secret that my lovelies at St. Martin’s Press are my favorites.  So, of course I’m going to put a plug in for following them on social media.  You can join their Facebook page here to find giveaways for some of their upcoming titles.

I also love Flatiron which is another extension of MacMillan Publishers and subscribe to the Simon and Schuster newsletter which has giveaways from time to time.

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I guess what I’m saying here is there are SO MANY opportunities to win giveaways for new books (I haven’t even scratched the surface here).  You just have to know where to look.

Now, before I go, let me just say something.  Publishers give books away to generate buzz prior to the book hitting shelves to hopefully boost sales.  So if you win a giveaway, you should try your hardest to read it (or at the very least plaster the cover on your social media accounts).  I do not enter giveaways for books that I would never read.  I just don’t.  So use your judgment and please be kind to our authors and publishers!

Now get entering, and good luck!

Bookish Happenings

Adventures at Parnassus Books (Nashville, Tennessee)

So we are doing something a little different on the blog this month.  I have typically just used this as a space to share book reviews (which is still the case), but I’d like to branch out to other bookish topics as well.  And there’s no finer way to start than documenting my recent trip to Parnassus Books in Nashville!

Co-owned by Ann Patchett, author of books Commonwealth, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and many others, Parnassus is a book lover’s dream.  Walking in, the first thing you notice is the earthy and soothing smell of books.  And then you look around!  Floor to ceiling shelves covered in colorful paperbacks and hardcovers, festooned with decorative notes and tidbits, Parnassus is a sight to be seen.  I adored the way the books were displayed sporadically in both parallel and perpendicular orientations on the shelves, giving the store a less clinical and more homey feel.

The selection of books was superb, with so many outstanding authors represented.  From fiction to biography to children’s to young adult to romance, this store had it all.  I even came across a shelf displaying the month’s picks from local book clubs in the area and a display of books written by local authors, which added some small town charm in a big city bookstore.

Oh and did I mention, I made a new friend!  Since I’ve started this book reviewing journey I’ve engaged in several different social media groups teeming with fellow book lovers.  Imagine my surprise when in one of the smaller groups I’m a part of, I came across a gal who said she lived in Nashville and was hoping to check out some of the local bookstores.  Cue Kristine, fellow book lover and brave-random-stranger-meeting soul.

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I’m always amazed to think of all the people out there I’ve met that still enjoy reading.  It’s not dying people!  It’s thriving!  You just have to know where to look.  Put down the video games and join us in the stacks.

Speaking of stacks… I obviously had to buy something while I was visiting.  So I picked up a signed copy of Parnassus co-owner and author Ann Patchett’s This is the Story of a Happy Marriage which was Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club pick in November 2017.

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Since I’ve recently joined the Hello Sunshine train (the name of Reese’s book club for those who aren’t familiar), this seemed like the obvious choice.  Now just to find the time to read it in between the other 50 or so books I have on my list.  So I better get to reading!