Bloggery How To: Give Aways
Posted August 30, 2014on:
I’m about to close up a very successful give away (you should totally go check it out!). Doing giveaways can be very daunting, it’s like baking bread. You do the kneading, you sit around while it rises, you’re pretty sure you measured everything right, it looks good when it comes out of the oven, but you have no way of knowing if it’s a success until you rip off that first piece and pop it, still steaming, in your mouth. Good bread, or bland over cooked bread?
My first give away was a disaster, I don’t think I got a single entry. Worst. Loaf of Bread. EVER. Here are some tips, and things I’ve learned along the way about how to make your book give aways successful. Because I like sharing. And giveaways are actually very fun!
The Why, the What, and the How
Why should you do a give away?
- A publisher is offering you a giveaway copy of a book you enjoyed/want to promote
- You have duplicate copies
- You have a bunch of ARCs that are sitting around
- You want this book to get into the hands of another fan.
A few tips on writing a great GiveAway blog post:
- Put the word “give away” in the post title. You want people skimming their readers, or Feedly, or whatever to see right away that there is a give away involved.
- Show the cover art of the book. Put in the blurb that’s on the back of the book. If you reviewed the book, link to your review. Link to the author’s website if you want.
- Talk up the book! What subgenre is it? Who might like it? Is it being advertised as similar to Game of Thrones, or the Sookie Stackhouse books, or satire or horror, or something else? Scalzi or someone else really cool blurb it?
- If you didn’t read it, or don’t plan to, it never hurts to link to or quote some positive reviews of the book. Again, you are trying to build excitement.
Other info your post should include:
- How to enter. Should people e-mail you? Use a widget? Rafflecopter? Retweet the link for extra points? I tend to keep things as simple as possible, and say people just need to leave a comment in the post to be entered.
- Are there restrictions? Is this an international give away, or US only?
- What format is the book in? Electronic? Print? Is it paperback or hardback? Brand new? Slightly used?
- How long does the give away run for, and when will it close?
- Who is providing the book? You or the publisher?
Well, you don’t need to provide that info, butActually, you DO need to say if the publisher is providing the book. The publisher may put on restrictions such as only an e-book is available, or print can only be mailed in the US or something.
How should you advertise your give away?
- Tweet it. In the tweet, tag the author and publisher if applicable. Use hashtag Giveaway, as it’s not unusual for bloggers who like giveaways to run a search for that hashtag. Tweet it again every few days. You won’t be annoying, I promise.
- Give away Linkups. I’m a big fan of the Friday Link Up at On Star Ships and DragonWings and I also use the Blogger groups at Bookblogs.ning (free to join)
- If you are working with a publisher, they should offer to tweet your give away and/or put it on their facebook. If they didn’t offer, you should ask.
- Have you tweeted your give away yet? Why not?
What if the book I’m giving away isn’t the first in a series? That’s a tough one. This is when you really need the author and or publisher to retweet, put info on their facebook, etc. Because the people most interested in that book will be people who are already a fan of the series. It’s easier if the book can be read as a stand alone. Ask the publisher if they’d be willing to include an e-book of the first book in the series. They might say no, but it’s worth asking.
I’m trying to cull my shelves, none of these are new books or even ARCs. That’s okay, and in fact may even work to your advantage. Don’t be surprised if a give away of not-new-books sets off a flurry of responses that include “I read that book years ago and loved it!”
Won’t I be annoying if I’m constantly tweeting and retweeting about my giveaway? Nope. Tweet once a day, or every other day, and trust me, no one will mind. You’ll pick up more retweets (and site hits!) this way too.
Do you have other tips? Give away success stories? Give away horror stories? Share ’em in the comments!