Marketing Basics - Contests & Giveaways
One method to attract more readers is to host giveaways. You can offer up a prize that will attract your audience in exchange for things like comments on your blog or tweeting about your book. These work well in conjunction with a blog tour. The idea being, word of mouth sells books. The more people talking about your book, the more chance people will buy it.
As an example:
On your blog, you post the release of your newest self-published book. You ask your friends and followers to share the info on the various social networks. For each mention on a different social network, they can earn one entry into the contest.
The prize, of course should be something to motivate. Often times just giving away a copy of your book is not motivational enough, however a $25 gift card to Amazon.com might be.
Your followers should come back and tell you how many times they were able to share your book’s information.
Once the contest ends, you add up each entry and draw a name at random to pick the winner.
That’s not the only way to run a contest but it is a simple example. Keep in mind though, that prizes should not be too extravagant nor too cheap. You want something that will motivate people to talk about your work, but you don’t want to break the bank trying to get new readers. Giving away something large like a Kindle or a Nook, might not be the best or most cost effective prize when you’re starting out.
Giveaways are an excellent way to help gain readership and reviews. As mentioned before, when you are requesting book reviews it is expected you give a copy away for free (either print or ebook). There are other places to host giveaways that will give you some excellent exposure.
For print books, Goodreads is an excellent resource. If you have an account set up with them, you can click on your book’s link and on the right-hand top corner (under Author Tools) you should see “List a giveaway.”
This option lets you list your books via the Goodreads system. You can list as many copies as you want. You can make copies available to a variety of countries, or limit them to just USA. You can also schedule how long that giveaway will be listed for.
Once you complete the setup for your giveaway, Goodreads takes it a step further and gives you widgets to advertise your giveaway on blogs and other social networking sites.
These giveaways help get your book noticed. People like freebies!
Goodreads is not the only place to list your books for free. You can list them on your blog, or offer them to readers on your social networking sites.
Giveaways are a way to spread the word about your book, but don’t give them all away. When people see things being given away too often it can color their perception of the item. They may come to expect that it should always be free, or that it is not of good enough quality to be sold. Just remember, make your giveaways a special thing, not something that is offered every day.