Getting the Most Out of Book Giveaways
Book giveaways in the form of free downloads are a widely used promotional tool, especially for self-published authors working with large platforms online. Giveaways for specific time ranges during the launch period are one of the more popular book promotion methods. If you’re a self-published author mulling whether to not to try a giveaway, read on for tips and advice from veteran books marketers.
If you decide to try a promotional book giveaway, the next step is to promote it. Most authors announce they are giving away free downloads using email lists and social media accounts. The goal is to get news of the free offer to interested fans and followers in hopes they will be the ones to take advantage. The opportunities are more significant for authors with several titles already published because after reading a free download, and many fans will return to purchase other books.
Book Giveaways Can Lead to Other PR Opportunities
Another way giveaways work as a book promotion strategy is for newer writers to receive endorsements from prominent, established authors during giveaways. When Sarah Pekkanen’s first novel, The Opposite of Me, came out, she benefited from having Jennifer Weiner, an established author, plug her work on blogs and social media. Results of the book promotion effort? Pekkanen’s Amazon.com ranking leaped from about 200,000 to 62 in as little as one day. Pekkanen also learned what other writers have learned: “Authors didn’t have to wrestle over scraps of media attention; we could boost each other instead.”
To get the most mileage out of book giveaways, the book publicists at Smith encourage authors to cross-promote their giveaways in blog posts (both on your author’s blog and as a guest poster on other blogs), in press releases, on social media, and in email newsletters. One or more days into giveaways, check your book sales at major online booksellers to see if you see the desired impact. It’s also essential for authors to review their book sales several days after giveaways have ended. After all, you don’t just want your sales to increase during giveaways. You also wish to see the numbers stay up after the giveaway ends.
A Well-Rounded Publicity Promotion Campaign is Best
The bottom line for authors exploring book giveaways is viewing them as part of a much broader book promotion campaign. Given the level of competition everywhere books are sold, you need to try many tactics to help interested readers discover a new book. Over-reliance on any single tactic is not likely to bring the desired result. It’s the same with social media. It’s an excellent way to promote your book, but it’s not the only way. If you can afford a publicist or have the time and skills to handle it DIY, you want a well-planned media outreach campaign along with many other tactics.
There is no doubt that well-executed book giveaways can be a successful sales promotion tool. But they alone are unlikely to bring the level of success most authors expect. As you’re planning your launch promotion, feel free to include a giveaway and do it along with many other things to give your book every chance for success.