Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How to Do a Giveaway on Your Blog

As a writer/blogger, I've seen more than my share of book giveaways. I've even offered a few of my own. With my new book coming out, I can't help but review the things I've learned. I have many, many more things to learn, so please feel free to share your own tips in the comments.

And now...here are my tips for hosting a giveaway on your blog.



Tip #1: Don't offer the item to a random commenter.

I'm actually afraid to comment on blogs now that do this. I stay pretty busy reading books from those of you who help me out with my blog tours and such. I don't have much time to read random books. So if you contact me to tell me I won a book, I won't take it. Ever. If the book is written by a member of my network, I'm going to want to buy it. If it's written by someone who isn't part of that network, it's just a big, fat: 



Tip #2: People want the Amazon gift card, not the book.

If, like me, you use an Amazon gift card giveaway to get people to tweet about your book, be prepared. There are thousands of people out there who will do whatever it takes to get that gift card. If they win second place and second place isn't that gift card, this is what you'll hear:



Tip #3: Give away just enough.

A while ago, someone offered advice that I've found handy. If you're doing a Goodreads giveaway, offering one book is just as effective as offering two or three or four. You'll get just as many entries and you can save one of your freebies for a later giveaway.



Tip #4: Decide whether you're limiting it geographically.

You have the option to limit your giveaway to your own country or send your free item around the globe. Before you decide, know the cost of postage to get the item overseas, as well as the complications that come with shipping internationally.



Tip #5: Know your goal.

Before you press "publish" on your giveaway, know what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to sell more books? Get more "to read" adds on Goodreads? Increase your Twitter follower base? Make sure when you set up your giveaway, you make those goals a part of your giveaway requirements. If you're interested in boosting your Twitter followers, require entrants to tweet about the giveaway. If you want Goodreads adds, use that as a requirement or host your giveaway through that site.



Tip #6: Use the right tools.

There are several options for hosting giveaways. One is to host it through Goodreads, which you do through your book's page. You can also use Rafflecopter, which is the best. Rafflecopter lets you create the entry requirements mentioned in tip #5...plus the basic version is free.

Okay, now it's your turn. What are your tips for hosting giveaways?



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33 comments:

  1. Good points!
    If it's a friend, I want to purchase the book rather than win it. I want to support my blogger buddies and buying the book rather than accepting a freebie is a far better way to do it.
    My recently playing cards giveaway was a big hit. Most entries ever!

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    1. I always tell people I learned that from you! Most of my blogging buddies' books are $.99-$2.99. I think I can manage that! Plus, that's why they put all the hard work into giveaways and blog tours and such in the first place--they want book sales.

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  2. Great tips, Stephanie. The Rafflecopter widget is the best I've found when doing giveaways.

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    1. I don't know of any other, but there may be? It's so easy to use.

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  3. Excellent tips! I'm with you. I never comment if it means I could win a prize. That's not the reason I comment and I don't want to be rewarded for it.

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    1. I've done giveaways where a comment got you one entry, but the person commenting had to specifically check they wanted to be entered into the Rafflecopter. If I have done something where a commenter was chosen, I always specified that they should mention in the comments that they want it. I've been contacted several times, though, letting me know I won a book I didn't even request and I clicked over and saw that I'd done nothing more than leave a comment. So I just ignored the email saying I'd won.

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  4. Super tips, Stephanie. You've certainly learned a lot along the way and I'm grateful you've shared your journey, which makes ours less like a trek :) Thank you!

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    1. We all are on that trek together at least!

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  5. excellent tips and discussion. I've never done giveaways. By the same token, I indeed buy fellow bloggers books and don't want a freebie. But folks like "free" - heck, they'll stand in line for 2 days for a free Chik-fil-a sandwich store opening. Crazy. It's all crazy and yes, you have to have your reasons and goals before embarking on "free".

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    1. Free is always good! I actually will sometimes wait until an author's "free" promo is over to get her book so I can buy it and put money in her pocket. Every little bit helps!

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  6. Great tips, Stephanie! I don't have any tips for book giveaways, but I did have an experience years ago. I held a flash fiction contest and gave away an ereader. Sad to say, I only had two entries. :(

    Don't think I'll do anything like that again. The ereader cost $50.00 on Amazon. It might have been worth it if we had more fun stories to read during that contest.

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    1. I joined in a giveaway that had an iPad as top prize. Everyone paid a small amount to be able to be part of the giveaway. I got a TON of Twitter followers but they were all crap. I wouldn't recommend it! I just want people to tweet about the giveaway to bring attention to my book--I don't want them to follow me unless they're actually interested.

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  7. Most of the time I don't even enter these things. I used to, and then I just stopped. I can see I knew nothing about how to do giveaways right.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  8. Wonderful tips, Stephanie. I used to want to win books, but now I prefer to buy them to help the authors, so I enter very few contests anymore.

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  9. I don't know if I would ever try to give it away on my blog, if I ever get my story published.

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  10. I don't do the comment thing, either, for giveaways. I never get that many comments anyway (either on my blog or Facebook). I do offer a giveaway of books (not mine, but ones I've gotten at conventions) via my newsletter, but the reader still has to enter (by sending me an e-mail). Even then, I don't get that many entries, but at least I get the books out of the house. Haha!!

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  11. I read something a while ago on Goodreads giveaway and that having a long giveaway is less effective than multiple shorter giveaways. I don't think I have the article bookmarked anymore, but it gave me something to think about.

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  12. I don't have any tips, but I'll keep this info in mind if I ever have the opportunity to host a give-away.

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  13. I did a giveaway for my last release and really didn't know what to expect. It went well, but going forward, I think I'll do a better job of promoting it. And getting people to Tweet about the book is a great idea.

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  14. Great tips! Although I've been writing for years, I'm still a newbie to the way things are done online. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I agree about the giveaways. I want to support fellow writers by buying their books, so I agree 100% about giveaways. If I don't already have your book, I'll buy it! Give the free books to readers who don't yet know how great your writing is.

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  15. Great tips. For myself I hate the rafflecopter giveaways that require you to jump through umpteen steps. One blog recently had a giveaway that saw readers having to jump through no less that 42 'hoops' to enter.

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  16. Giveaways are fun but yes, I like to only offer them to my loyal subscribers of the blog!! It's only fair. Xxoo

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  17. Thanks for all the great tips! I've been considering doing a giveaway but haven't taken the plunge yet. This is good food for thought.

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  18. These are great pointers. Especially regarding limiting the number of giveaways. I have wondered about that.

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  19. Yeah, I'm a bit leery about commenting in that situation, too. Sometimes I'm interested in the book, but most of the time, I'm just commenting.

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  20. What a coincidence. I have been thinking of doing a similar post but from the giveaway entrants' perspective. And yes, people just want that giveaway card at the end of the day. It won't increase anything unless the giveaway itself requires that. Great tips.

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  21. I wish international shipping wasn't so costly. I hate excluding people in giveaways, but I can't afford to ship internationally when the prizes are big and or heavy. :(

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  22. Good info. I've never thought about how a person would set up a giveaway. Something new to learn.

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  23. I never really thought about how giveaways are organized and the dos/don'ts involved. Very interesting! I'll definitely be looking at them from a new perspective going forward.

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  24. I am another who never organized a giveaway. Great advice, though, and well stated! Thank you for sharing.

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  25. I think offering an ebook can remove the stress of shipping internationally. And more of us are reading ebooks as well as print books anyway. I agree especially with Tip #1. I try not to enter giveaways now unless I truly truly WILL read that book.

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  26. Good point about the Goodreads book number. You're so smart! I also like to buy friend books and also have almost stopped reading outside my circle. There are just too many to choose from, I'm sticking with friends first...and I can't even keep up with that list!

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  27. I just want to say thanks. I'm so glad I read this.

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