People buy books and then write reviews of the most popular books, but there are so many out there that most books get lost in the shuffle. Readers and reviewers miss these great books. That doesn’t help you in getting exposure that comes from book reviews. You need a way to get your book out there in the public’s eye. One way is through giveaways.
Yes, giving a book away is taking a chance. You don’t know that the people receiving it will actually read your book or even give it a review. It could be days, weeks, months, or longer before they read the first sentence. That’s okay. When you take a chance, you always come out learning something to benefit you. That could be a review, a new contact, or where not to give your book away.
I can say that it is worth it. As a reviewer, there are many books that I get for free. I don’t have time to read all one thousand and fifty-five books this year. I’ll read them as I get to them. But…I’ll review them and tell others about them if I like them. Isn’t that great? Even a few months after giving the book away, the author is reaping the benefits. That’s what you really want.
Where to Give it Away
There are many places for you to give your book away. You can do it on your own website. That is easy to do and easy to promote. Use Rafflecopter or other similar widgets for people to enter and to choose winners. It is easy to use and most readers are very familiar with it.
Go to other sites, such as Goodreads and LibraryThing, to give your book away. You can have the giveaway for a week or a month or more. It is up to you. There are millions of people on these sites who will be exposed to your book. Hundreds or thousands will sign up.
Giveaways help gain you more exposure for your book. Thousands of people love to enter for free books. Something about the word ‘free’ really brings people to you.
They’ll see your cover. They’ll read your synopsis. They might follow the link to your blog. They could put it on their to-read list. The point is that they are now aware of it. That’s the point. You’re getting your book out there for others to read and tell their friends about. They might not win your book, but now they are aware of it.
In the past, I’ve entered for books that really sounded interesting. I put it on my to read list so if I don’t win it, I’ll eventually buy it.
It’s Not Counterproductive
I know that this sounds counterproductive, but it isn’t. Think about it. You don’t give your book away, and twenty people might buy it. You might get twenty reviews. I stress might because the truth is the review return is a very small percentage. If they like it, they like to talk about it. They tell their friends, and you get a few more. But if you give it away to a hundred people, that is five times the number of people you have exposed the book to and five times the number of people telling their friends. The number of sales will increase because more are talking about it.
Setting up a giveaway is the easy part. Promoting it comes next and takes a lot of work. Share the link for the giveaway everywhere. Make sure to include a cover of your book. Let people know how long they have to enter and what the prize is.
Share daily but don’t share every hour or so. That’s a little too much. You want to keep it visual without being spam.
Ask people where they heard about the giveaway. You can see where the most people are coming from and can see where your marketing is most effective. Don’t let a giveaway slip by and not use it to gain data and understanding on what you are doing right and what you can do better.