Giveaways are a great way to promote your books and engage with readers—and they don't have to break the bank. This handy guide will walk you through the basics of creating a giveaway, from deciding on the budget and method to delivering the prize(s) to the winner(s).

1. Identify Your Goals

Why do you want to host a giveaway? Do you want to connect with more readers on social media? Are you trying to get more newsletter subscribers? Perhaps you want to get your new release, pre-order, or rebranded backlist series in front of new-to-you-readers.

2. Create a Budget

Novel Publicity has created giveaways with prizes as minimal as a $10 Amazon gift card. Then again, some authors' budgets were as high as a few hundred dollars. The average giveaway prize budget is $50. That allows for a range of small prizes as well as an Amazon gift card.

3. Decide on a Title

Once you've decided on the amount of your prize budget, it's time to select a title. Here are some examples of titles from past giveaways:

  • Molly Fitz's Crazy Cat Lady Giveaway
  • A Military Romance Giveaway from Shirleen Davies
  • Vanda's Love in Times Square Giveaway
  • A Snowed Under Giveaway from Mary Feliz
  • Sylvia McDaniel's Lipstick and Lead Giveaway

As you can see, all of these titles have something in common. If you're thinking that each title mentions the author's name, you're correct! Each title also reflects the theme of the book being promoted or the author's genre as well. Other themes could include holidays, the setting of your books, or anything else that will help you engage with readers and make them interested enough to buy your books!

4. Select the Prizes

Things that have worked for past giveaways include charm bracelets or necklaces, book-related art prints, bookmarks, blankets, water bottles, and snacks. Whenever possible, try and theme the items. 

3 Tips for Choosing Giveaway Prizes from Amazon

  1. Look for items that have at least 10 reviews. Read through the most recent ones. A negative review from years ago may be irrelevant today.
  2. Items should have at least a 4-star rating. You can't count on the number of reviews alone. If an item has 50+ reviews and a two-star rating, for example, that's a huge red flag.
  3. Read the Q & A section of the Amazon page for the item. If the answers reveal a lot of complaints from past customers, then you may want to pass this item over for another.

You don't have to get your prizes from Amazon. You might offer up copies of your books, a subscription to a service like Audible, handmade items from an Etsy seller, or a themed subscription box from CrateJoy. The sky is the limit! Well, that and your budget.

Once you know your prizes, you will want to put them on some graphics to let readers know what they can expect to win. When Novel Publicity creates graphics for giveaways, we use a 1080 px x 1080 px square that works on most social media platforms and a 1000 px x 400 px banner that can be used for a newsletter or social media headers.

5. Choose a Giveaway Platform

Now that you know how much you're spending on which prizes and what you're calling your giveaway, it's time to choose a platform. Novel Publicity has used Gleam, UpViral, and Rafflecopter when creating giveaways for authors.

There are pros and cons to each service, and those depend on which level of price plan you choose. It's definitely worth your time to research the various options before making a decision.

Now that you know the steps to create a giveaway, it's time to put this knowledge into action. If all goes well, it will be an experience that results in two winners—the lucky reader whose name is drawn for the prize and you for achieving your giveaway goals!

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