How to Organize a Book Sweepstake

16 Jun



European Robin


To gain a maximum of exposure for your book(s): creating a book sweep-stake is an interesting marketing tool. Thanks to social media, such as Google+,, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc. where you can announce the sweepstakes, it works like a snow ball system. It may start with only one person (you) who invites friends and acquaintances to the sweep-stake, who in turn invite their friends, who invite their friends…. well, you get the point.

An invitation for a sweep-stake could be for example:
“You and five friends are invited to experience a marvelous evening of fine dining and wining, a delicious five-course dinner, prepared by a talented chef, perfectly paired with exquisite wines, value $500.”  ”Enter your name and email address”.
Then a window pops up: “Congratulations! Your entry was successfully submitted. Thanks for your entry. Now invite the five friends you would like to share your gourmet dinner & wine with, and log-in with Facebook.”
It might even go viral…
This way, word is spread already 5 times…. and these 5 friends also want to win and enter the contest, and tell their friends about it, and these friends…  The first prize could also be a ski-outing, a surf-lesson, a nostalgic train trip or a scenic flight, depending on how much you want to spend for this marketing campaign.
Sweep-stake costs are tax-deduct-able
You certainly can deduct the cost for this campaign from your tax, provided you document it.
Sweep-stakes are regulated in many countries, the USA, Canada and many European states all have laws governing sweep-stakes. In Canada and several European countries the entrants have to solve a math puzzle – which you can use to bring expose the title of your book(s) even more into the spotlight.

You could ask for example: If 15,600 copies of my book “How to make a Million in one year?” has been sold in 2011, and 12,000 books in the first quarter of 2012, how many of this book “How to make a Million in one year?” have been sold in total so far?
Don’t forget to link the title of your book to the online retailer (Amazon, Apple, Google, Sony) or even better: your own e-commerce (book sales) website.

Smaller book sweep-stakes:
If you want to participate (or win yourself) in a book sweep-stake, enter as a writer/publisher or as a participant yourself on sites such as,,,, or even on James Patterson’s homepage.

Everyone dreams about winning large sums of money, but we also like to win smaller prizes too. We like to being called “the winner”. Sweep-stake promotions are a great way to increase your visibility and your book sales. Joel Friedlander wrote in a great article at CreateSpace: “There’s a whole science to running contests that focuses on social media sites. If you have a good-sized following on Facebook or Twitter, a contest can be a great way to engage with your readers, at the same time spread the word about your books, and make a lot of new fans.  You might run an entire contest on Twitter and gain a lot of new Twitter followers at the same time. On Facebook, the most common request is to ask readers to “like” your fan page in order to enter.”





If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help:

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