Recently I’ve heard a lot of authors discussing the benefits of running an Amazon Giveaway , and so last week I decided to try it out for myself.
Anyone can set up a giveaway on Amazon (although at the moment, the only people who can actually enter the giveaway are customers in the US – hopefully that will change soon), and there are thousands of items you can choose to give away, from Kindles to cookery equipment. Up until recently, authors could only give away a print copy of their book, but in the past couple of weeks, Amazon have changed the rules so that ebooks are also included, which is absolutely brilliant news, especially for indie authors.
For my experiment, I decided to give away a print copy. I think it’s much more exciting for readers to receive a print copy, and they’re much more likely to read it than an ebook buried on their Kindle. So I chose to give away a copy of my novel, The Silk Romance, which has a lovely cover and might (hopefully!) be instantly appealing in a Twitter feed.
I kept it fairly simple. The top half of the image is the part that will show on Twitter, and so that’s where I put the description.
Then I went to find The Silk Romance print version on Amazon US and scrolled down to below the reviews, until I found this:
After that, I was taken to a screen that asked me what type of giveaway I wanted to set up:
I selected “Random,” then “One prize” (you can give away more than one copy if you prefer), and, after much deliberation, I decided on 1 in 400 chances of winning. This means after 400 people have entered, the giveaway closes – or if you reach the end date, whichever is the first. Well, here’s where I went a little wrong (and in my defence, I’ve had a stinking cold for a week and am not thinking straight!) Anyway, I thought I’d clicked on the giveaway to last for a week – but instead, it only lasted a day! Doh! And this is another thing – you don’t get to review your giveaway – once you’ve entered the details and submitted, that’s it – off you go, so make sure you check everything and don’t do what I did :)
After choosing your type of giveaway, you choose what entrants have to do to in order to enter, eg follow you on Twitter, or follow your Amazon author page. I chose “Follow me on Amazon.” Anyone who follows an author on Amazon will receive an email telling them when that author has a new release. This makes it well worth us authors encouraging new followers, as we try to reach as big an audience as we can when we have a new release out.
So, I’ve now chosen the type of giveaway (Random) plus what entrants need to do to have a chance of winning. After that, I entered the text for the giveaway: “Win a print edition of award-winning and heartwarming love story, The Silk Romance. No purchase necessary,” plus a congratulations message for the eventual winner, and a commiseration message for the losers. (A word of warning – if you do run a giveaway like this, it’s possible readers will be disgruntled if they lose. A reader on Goodreads left me a one star rating after failing to win my giveaway of my contemporary romance A Way from Heart to Heart.)
I uploaded my lovely image and checked everything thoroughly (apart from my dates, obviously!) and clicked submit.
Of course Amazon encourages you to promote your giveaway, and there’s a special Twitter hashtag #amazongiveaway you can add to your tweets.
Well, since I thought I had a week to do any promo (and not just the day I’d mistakenly allocated! :) I only posted two tweets and one Facebook update. Despite all that, I woke up next day to find the giveaway was over, a winner had been selected, and I had 300 new followers on Amazon. If I’d carried on for the full week, I’d definitely have achieved the full 400 followers, and could maybe have achieved more if I’d selected the option “1 in 500”.
So, for the price of a print copy plus postage, in just one day I now have 300 followers I didn’t have. Will this equal more sales on my new release? Only time will tell, but I’m defnitely going to do another giveaway, and I have one planned for next week. If you’d like to enter it, please do follow me on Twitter or Facebook to find out the details when I post them next week. Here’s the image I have all ready:
…and I’ll make sure to keep the giveaway open a week this time!
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Are you an author, and have you ever run an Amazon giveaway? Are you a reader, and have you ever entered a giveaway? If so, where did you hear about it?
I hope you found my post useful. If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!