Book giveaways are a powerful way to get a lot of exposure – and your book in the hands of new readers, who might even write reviews. The success of your book giveaway depends very much on how you promote this event – and also how you leverage the networking possibilities you gain with new followers and contacts.
Print Book Giveaways on Goodreads
Goodreads only allows print books as Giveaways. They offer all members: “Be the first to read new books! Pre-release books are listed for giveaway by publishers and authors, and members can enter to win. Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway.” The idea is that many of the people who win a free book will be good enough to write a review of it on Goodreads (some people are so enthusiastic that they write reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari etc). Reviews help book sales, so publishers and authors are keen to do giveaways. However, if your book is in digital format only: there are ways to print a handful of books, once you have an ISBN. However, there are some competitors to Goodreads, who offer e-Book Giveaways for members, such as:
BookLikes Allows e-Book Giveaways
In terms of features and functionality, BookLikes is similar to Goodreads. Of course, they don’t have nearly the traffic that Goodreads does, so you should not expect similar results if you have done a book giveaway there in the past. If GoodReads allowed e-Book giveaways, they would be almost perfect in my mind. But since they don’t, sites such as BookLikes are another alternative for authors who don’t publish print books.
To list your book giveaway on BookLikes, sign up for a free account and click on the giveaways link when you are logged in. On the next page, there should be a tab at the top of the page in the main navigation that says “Create Your Giveaway.”
You will be asked for the same info as the other sites in the form on the following page. Their rules seem to have been almost copied directly from Goodreads, as they appear to be identical. For more questions go to their FAQ’s. Best of all, you can choose to pick the winners of the giveaway yourself. It is certainly less expensive then to donate print books and you can offer easily a dozen or more copies. You can either send the winners a PDF or you can gift the e-book via Amazon and boost your sales ranking at the same time.
Print and e-Book Giveaways Through Book Bloggers
Consider offering copies of your book to other bloggers you follow, or you have found through a Google search and have them host a giveaway. Book bloggers often really appreciate being able to do giveaways, and this can extend your reach outside of your previous networking!
Giveaway on Your Website
Your blog or website are great places too for giveaways, especially if you have thousands of followers / readers there or an extensive newsletter email list. Use the same announcements and promotions as you would do for a Goodreads or BookLikes giveaway (see below).
Do’s and Don’ts of Giveaways
Do: Enter your first giveaway 4-6 weeks before your book’s launch and then periodically every other month. Schedule your giveaway at least three days in advance.
Do: Write a compelling giveaway description with snippets of reviews and mentioning any awards the book won
Do: Offer always auto-graphed books, when it is a printed version.
Do: Follow everyone who applied for the giveaway. On Goodreads you can follow 25 people/day. These are the people who are interested in your book. Send a thank-you-note to everyone who entered, and offer 2-3 chapters of your book to the not-so-lucky ones, and invite them to join your newsletter.
Do: Use the free event feature at Goodreads and Google+ and invite everyone there to participate in the Giveaway.
Do: Announce the giveaway at least once a day on your Google+ timeline and share it with: public, your circles and extended circles – as well use the function “Also send email to Your circles” next to the sharing button (for your first post and then towards the end of the giveaway period to remind them).
Do: Post your giveaway regularly to all the Social Media sites, don’t forget Pinterest or Flickr (use not only your cover photo, but anything that fits to the theme of your book), and maybe create even a short video about this giveaway. Make arrangements for interviews in local newspapers, mentioning your giveaway (plan well in advance!)
Do: Write a blog about your giveaway – and post this blog article not only on Social Media, but also on free e-Zines.
Do: Announce your Book Blog Giveaways in these listings / blogs too:
- http://www.yabookscentral.com/info/10186-ya-and-kids-books-giveaways (YA and Kids)
Do: Vary the giveaway time length: One giveaway only for a week, and later another one for three weeks.
Don’t start or end your giveaway on a holiday or the days before. People are busy with other things around this time or they travel.
Don’t limit your giveaways to your own country, offer it worldwide. It means more exposure and if your giveaway is only one to three copies it’s affordable, especially if you let it send as a gift through Amazon – this way it helps your ranking too. But always include a friendly note, even when you gift it via the online retailer.
Don’t delay the delivery to the winner. Send or let it send the same minute the giveaway ends or you receive the name of the winner.
Using best practices, planning well ahead and using every kind of promotion will deliver a successful campaign for your book. And don’t forget the benefits of connecting with new followers and readers of your books. And here you can find tips for readers, how to win books on Goodreads.
Which additional giveaway possibilities did you use – and how did you promote your own giveaway?
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