How to Run an Effective Book Giveaway

Building an audience can feel like a lot of work for authors. It requires creating genuine connections with readers, and authors are often not sure where to start. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to begin establishing connections with readers and it starts with sharing content.

There are three core elements of effective content giveaways for building your audience. These three elements are applicable to fiction and nonfiction books, and are relevant for both established and aspiring authors:

  1. Blog-post-2It’s the right story
  2. It’s given freely
  3. It’s in a credible package

Share the right story.

Getting your story in front of the right people at the right time is critical for a giveaway to work. That’s true whether you’re a nonfiction author trying to spread important ideas or a fiction author trying to connect through compelling narrative. Authors have to target the right audience, and the content needs to resonate in the right way.

We’ve shared millions of book giveaways through our products, so we know readers will respond when presented with the right content at the right time. People are overjoyed when a giveaway is from an author they already know and love, but we’ve also found that readers will take a chance on an author who is not yet established when it’s the right story. That’s great news for all authors trying to reach new readers.

Readers will take a chance on an author who is not yet established when presented with the right story.

Give the story freely.

Many authors (and marketers for that matter) require readers to give permission to be contacted in the future in order to receive a book free of charge. This is the wrong approach.

Consider giving the reader a choice to opt-in to your mailing list instead of requiring a mandatory subscription in exchange for a book. When we offer this suggestion to authors, we often hear pushback. Our response to skepticism is that readers who opt-in freely to a mailing list will be much more open to future contact. Readers are also much more willing to try something new if they don’t have to give their email address in exchange.

Present a credible package.

There’s no more credible way to present a book giveaway than through a personal recommendation from a trusted source. It’s important to empower readers to share content on behalf of the author, and any giveaway should be packaged to give fans a simple way for them to share the content.

Simple also means that someone can read a book in a way that’s easy for them. For ebooks, a reader should be given the option to download a book on a device of their choosing. We often find that authors struggle with matching the right book format to a reader’s device when doing a giveaway, and they don’t consider how that individual might share a giveaway with their network. Make giveaways simple for readers and they’ll be more comfortable sharing your book with friends.

If you can bring these three elements together in your book giveaways—the right story, given freely, and in a credible package—you can’t be ignored. Start sharing now.