the Little Red Reviewer

Bloggery How To: Give Aways

Posted on: August 30, 2014

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?

cut bread

Looks good so far.. . .

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.
  • author blurbTalk 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, but Actually, 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?

Other stuff:

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!


11 Responses to "Bloggery How To: Give Aways"

Thanks, these are excellent suggestions! I was actually wondering about it just yesterday….you read my mind 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Fun fact: you actually do need to say if the publisher is providing the book since it counts as sponsored content then :-/ Obviously it unlikely anyone is going to throw down the hammer on a book blogger just trying to do something nice, but technically the FTC is a bit crazy about “lotteries” or whatever *sigh*

Thanks so much for linking to Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday 😀


Thanks for the clarification about saying if the publisher provided the book. I’ve always given a thanks and a shoutout to publishers who provide me books for giveaways (because it’s polite, and the right thing to do), but I hadn’t realized it’s *really* a thing you have to do!


I like hosting giveaways, but I sometimes find I don’t have as much time as I would like to babysit it. I need to learn how to schedule tweets on twitter, etc. Still, you have lots of good points and I hadn’t heard of Bookblogs.ning before.


when you figure out how to schedule tweets, can you show me? I have the same challenge, i’ll start a give away, then totally forget to promote it after the first two days.


I can’t tell you how many giveaways I have found because other people are tweeting for that extra chance to win.

Twitter is giveaway GOLD.


I swear by Rafflecopter. Using the leave-a-comment method is great if you have relatively few entries, but I learned my lesson after one really popular giveaway where putting the names on paper took foreeeeeeeeeeeever.


in the past I’ve just typed everyone’s names into Excel, then used to choose a number. it did take just about forever to write our all the entries for the Blind Date with a Book give away, but that one was kinda fun. I have a sneaky suspicion that this new Jim Hines give away will get me to start using rafflecopter!


I used to be rather partial to the names out of a hat, because time consuming as it was, it was a lot of fun.


I just wanted to thank you for this post. I’ve never done a giveway, but this encouraged me to try one. Good tips!


Hi Megan, thanks for your comment! give aways are really a lot of fun, you should go for it! 😀


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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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