This month’s questions is around giveaways. We’ve noticed this being mentioned a few times over in the Author Basics private  group, so thought we’d also cover it here on the blog…

Giveaways are a powerful way to connect with potential readers and to reward your existing readers. They can grab you a lot of attention in social media and if your giveaway gets a lot of eyeballs, it can also make a you a bit of cash as well in the form of book sales, depending on how it’s run.

There are several ways that you can run a giveaway, and we’re going to explore four different options below, starting with the easiest to set up (which also happens to be the cheapest!)…

Option #1: Landing page on your blog/social media accounts

If you’ve got an email list built already, this could be a great option for you. Or, if you’re just getting started, you can also go this route.

If you have a WordPress website, then there are a number of plugins you can use to create a landing page or giveaway. Here are some that are free and easy to install:

Basically you would use these plugins to either capture email address or run your giveaway, randomly picking a winner. We like the Golden Ticket giveaway plugin, because it requires your readers to take some actions and ‘find’ the golden ticket to earn a place in the giveaway. Very clever!

Option #2: Goodreads giveaway

Did you know that you can run a giveaway on Goodreads? This is specifically to giveaway a physical copy of your book, so if you’re looking to build buzz about your next book launch, consider doing a Goodreads giveaway.

It doesn’t cost you anything to setup the giveaway, but you will be responsible for sharing the details on social media. Goodreads will also display your giveaway, but you’ll get the most traction if you continue to send traffic to it.

Find out more below:

Slideshare of the Goodreads Giveaway guidelines

Option 3#: Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter is a good solution if you have a small budget (with paid plans starting at $13) and want to find new readers. It’s a proper ‘giveaway solution’ and if you want to use it properly, you’ll want to be giving away at least a number of items to make it worth your while and those of your giveaway entrants.

Things you could include in your giveaway (book related of course!)

  1. A paperback version of your book + an Amazon gift voucher
  2. Merchandise relating to your book, works very well for fiction authors
  3. Lots of paperback books based on your niche, great for non-fiction authors

The sky’s the limit and it really comes down to your budget. Think about what your readers want and go from there.

Once you’ve set up your Rafflecopter, it’s time to promote it. Social media is great, but don’t forget to send an email out to your list, even if your list just consists of your family and friends! Ask them to share it and get it out to as many people as possible.

Click the image below to take a tour and see how it all works:

How to use Rafflecopter for your book giveaway


Option #4: KingSumo giveaway plugin for WordPress

This is is our preference if you’ve got a WordPress website and have a bit of cash to invest in this plugin.

KingSumo Giveaways allows you to run your giveaways right from your blog, capturing email address and funneling them into your email service provider.

It provides easy social media interaction and requires your entrants to take a couple of actions before they are entered. Once they are in the draw, they can increase their chances by taking further actions to share your giveaway.

If you’re planning to go down this route, you’ll definitely want to be offering some great prizes to warrant the money spent… at least $100 in giveaways.

Below is an example of a KingSumo Giveaway that Buffer did recently…

Using KingSumo Giveaways on your WordPress website

It integrates seamlessly with most WordPress themes and offers loads of customisation. People like Nick Stephenson and Mark Dawson use KingSumo.

If you’re going to run a giveaway, make sure that you are consistent with sharing the details at least daily, if not 3-5 times a day. You want to let people know that you’re giving free stuff away!

As soon as you’ve got people on your email list, don’t lose the opportunity to introduce yourself and your books, by implementing some autoresponders.

Once a reader has been through the autoresponder series, if they haven’t opened your last 2-3 emails, you should delete them off your list. Drastic we know, but you only want to keep the people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

Hopefully, you’ve found this blog post useful! If you’re considering your own giveaway, make sure you share it with us too!