“Build your email list. It’s the best way to sustainably market your books.” Great advice, but easier said than done. Thankfully there’s a powerful marketing tactic that can significantly boost your book’s exposure, while at the same time helping you build a loyal fan base of readers: Book Giveaways.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the world of book giveaways, explain how they differ from free promos, the benefits of running a giveaway, and how you can make the most of your new subscribers list. Let’s go!
Book giveaways vs free promos
It might seem like running a free book giveaway and simply making your book free are the same thing. But these are two very different marketing strategies with two very different goals.
Running a free promo or setting your book price to permafree is an incredibly popular tool to increase downloads of your book, get reviews, or encourage readers to purchase other books in your series. It’s a tried and tested marketing method to get your book into as many hands as possible.
However, book giveaways work a little differently. While there can be many different iterations of book giveaways (offering your book for free exclusively to a giveaway site, giving away a certain number of copies etc), the primary goal for a giveaway is to build an email list of readers that you can use to continually promote your work to over a long period of time.
How do I run a book giveaway?
1. Define Your Goals
Before you start your book giveaway, be clear about your objectives. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve through this giveaway. Are you aiming to gain more readers, generate buzz, receive reviews, or increase your social media following or email subscriber list? Understanding your goals will shape the way you structure and promote the giveaway.
2. Choose the Book Giveaway Platform
Picking the right platform for your giveaway is arguably the most important step as it’s essential to ensure you reach the correct audience.
The first option is to run the giveaway yourself via your own website or blog. This is perfect for an author that has an established audience or community and lets you have complete control over the specifics of the giveaway.
Another great option for those that want to run the giveaway themselves is social media. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are simple to use and are designed to make sharing as simple as possible.
Don’t want the stress and hassle of running the giveaway yourself? Written Word Media has just launched our new Subscriber Surge Giveaways service. For more information on this click here.
3. Determine the Giveaway Details
In terms of details, you’ll need to set a duration for your giveaway. A longer timeframe will likely attract more participants, but shorter giveaways can create a sense of urgency.
The other main detail is how many copies of your book you’d like to giveaway. Having more prizes can create more buzz and increase the chances of winners spreading the word.
4. Set Specific Rules
Make sure you clearly define the rules of your giveaway to the audience. Make sure the entry requirements are easily understood by the reader (entry to the giveaway needs an email signup or social media post etc), when the winners will be announced, and explicitly clear what the winners will receive.
It’s also important to make sure you follow all the applicable giveaway laws in your country/region. For example, when running a giveaway in the US, you will need to determine whether you are running a sweepstakes or a contest (sweepstakes are determined by chance and contests by consideration) and this will impact the specific rules you’ll need to follow. More details on this can be found here.
5. Promote the Giveaway
Whether you are running the giveaway entirely by yourself or using a third-party platform, sharing the giveaway on your own social media accounts is an easy and effective way to spread the word.
You can also run Facebook ads for your giveaway to generate even more buzz.
6. Select the Winners
Once the giveaway period has come to an end, you will need to randomly select the winners. To ensure fairness, consider using a tool or random number generator to find a winner. If you’re running the giveaway via your own social media, consider congratulating the winners in the comments section.
Benefits of running a book giveaway
There are a host of positives that you can achieve by running a book giveaway for readers, some of the most notable include:
Grow Your Email Subscriber List
This is traditionally the most common benefit of running a giveaway because providing an email address is a very simple entry condition for the reader. Once this user is on your email subscriber list, you are able to open a direct line of communication with that reader.
Expand Your Reach
A book giveaway is the perfect opportunity to reach new readers outside your existing audience or community.
Giveaways will create excitement and buzz around your book. As more people sign up for the giveaway, they’ll often share it with their friends and family, creating a positive word-of-mouth effect.
Get Reviews and Feedback
Giveaway winners may leave reviews or offer feedback, which can be invaluable for refining your writing and understanding your readers’ preferences.
Boost Book Sales
While running a book giveaway might not initially create sales for your books, the long-term impact of having loyal readers that you can contact directly in the future is a key tool to help promote your other backlist titles or future new releases.
How to make the most of your new email subscribers
So, your giveaway has finished, the winners have received your book, and you now have a list of names and email addresses of new readers. Now what?
Send a Welcome Email
The very first step you should take is sending a welcome email to your new subscribers. In this email, you should thank them for entering the recent giveaway, so they are reminded how they got on your mailing list. This email is your first chance at converting this subscriber into a loyal fan, so add a personal touch about you as an author, share some of your work, and tell your story.
Encourage Communication and Interaction
Now that you’ve established a connection with your new subscriber, you want to encourage them to communicate with you or connect with you on other platforms like social media. Sharing links to your social media or author website will help the subscriber find you in other places.
Give Exclusive Content
One of the benefits of having a direct line of communication with these fans is the ability to share exclusive content or previews of your work. This will make the reader feel special and appreciated. This could be something as simple as a free short story or a sneak peek at an upcoming new release.
Don’t Spam Your Subscribers
Having the ability to directly email your subscribers can be a great asset. But it is also something you must show restraint with. Emailing a subscriber too often can often lead to them unsubscribing from your mailing list. So, just make sure you only email them when you have something important to share that will be of interest to them.
Running a book giveaway is an effective marketing strategy for indie authors looking to expand their readership, create buzz, and establish a loyal fan base. By defining clear goals, promoting the giveaway strategically, and engaging with subscribers, you can make your giveaway a resounding success.
We’re so excited to offer a giveaways solution for authors, so they can take advantage of this valuable tool without the hassle of running it themselves.
Go here to schedule your Subscriber Surge Giveaway today. And remember, Gold and Platinum members save 10% on the cost of their Giveaway. Become a member before scheduling your Giveaway to start saving today!