Author Marketing Ideas, Part Three: Giveaways


Marketing can often seem tedious or darn near impossible to successfully carry out. The good news is that most people simply over-think things. There are dozens of useful marketing techniques you can utilize, which are free or nearly free, that allow you to see actual results. In this series ‘Author Marketing Ideas’ we are going to introduce you to numerous techniques and ideas you can use to market your books, blog, website, etc. Each post will introduce you to one new idea, and give you ten simple tips on how to best utilize that specific technique. Check back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for more great marketing ideas!


Giveaways are exactly what they sound like. It is when you give something away for free, often in return for someone doing something for you. Giveaways can be done in two basic ways. Although there are more ways, certainly (the possibilities are quite endless), these two basic ways are the most commonly used. These are flash giveaways, and Rafflecopter giveaways.

Flash giveaways are quick, and typically run on a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter. They run for anywhere between one and twenty-four hours. Typically, the prize offered is small, such as a small piece of swag, or free e-book. Flash giveaways can be run as games, with the person who offers the best answer receiving the prize, or with entries being earned for doing one small, specific task. Tasks can be almost anything which helps the author. Ideas include: liking a post, sharing a post, sharing an author’s social page, subscribing to a blog, liking someone on Amazon or Goodreads, following on another social media account, etc.

Rafflecopter giveaways are typically more complex, run for a longer length of time, have larger prizes, and may include one or multiple authors. Rafflecopter giveaways may even have numerous prizes which people can earn ā€“ in fact, they normally do. This gives each entrant a better shot at winning. With multiple author giveaways, each author will typically donate a prize. Sometimes each author will even pitch in a small amount of money, say $5 or $10, so that they can offer a large grand prize, like a Kindle or Nook. This helps to bring in more people, because the prize is something everyone will want.

10 Simple Tips

1. Make sure the prizes you offer with your giveaways are something that your readers will actually want. Good examples include swag, e-books, paperbacks, and gift cards.
2. Try donating items to other author’s giveaways when the opportunity arises. This will help to expand your primary audience, because multiple authors will be basically pooling their followers together.
3. Don’t overwhelm yourself by hosting an enormous Rafflecopter giveaway at a hectic time, or hosting too many swag giveaways at the same time or in a row.
4. Make sure you promote your giveaways through all possible channels. This includes your personal social pages, author social pages, blog, and website.
5. Encourage people who enter to share the giveaway forward. Rafflecopter allows you the option of making sharing the giveaway on Twitter one way to gain an extra entry.
6. Don’t make giveaways too complicated, or else you might dissuade your followers from entering it.
7. Make each new giveaway unique from the last as much as possible. This way, it doesn’t seem as though you are simply rehashing the same things over and over again. Your followers like uniqueness, so give it to them.
8. Experiment with the different types of giveaways, as well as ways to enter, to see what works best for you, and your readers/followers.
9. Always make sure you get entrants contact information so that you may get in touch with them if they are a winner. Failing to do this is one of the biggest mistakes authors (and everyone else) makes when first conducting giveaways.
10. Don’t be afraid to as for help if you need it. Often, hiring on a personal assistant or asking a close friend/family member to help you run a giveaway, can help to ease the stress associated with doing such.
If you’d like to read more on a similar topic, be sure to check out our post, Author Marketing Tips Part One: Business Cards & Signature Branding .


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dave Criswell
    Sep 18, 2014 @ 15:37:04

    Thanks for the mention Chelsea – we agree that giveaways can be a powerful tool šŸ™‚

    – Dave from Rafflecopter


    • Dixie's Ranter
      Sep 18, 2014 @ 15:55:07

      My pleasure. I’ve used Rafflecopter more times than I can mention – it’s an incredible application. šŸ™‚


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