Giveaways are an effective way to get new subscribers, grow your social media, and get more eyeballs on your books. The downside is that marketing your books isn't free. No matter which option you choose, you'll have to 

A few weeks ago, we walked you through how to create a giveaway to promote your books and mentioned a few popular giveaway platforms – Gleam, UpViral, and Rafflecopter. In this article, we'll discuss the pros and cons of some of the more popular platforms as well as a couple of outside-the-box options.

Gleam

PROS

  • The Gleam platform is bright and colorful, even at the free version, and the paid subscriptions allow you to change the colors and icons for the various entry types.
  • Yes, there is a free version – no strings attached!
  • Gleam is one of the best options to help you build a social following.

CONS

  • The fancier bells and whistles (as well as the majority of the post-giveaway data) are locked behind a pay wall.
  • There's no leaderboard, so if that's something you need for your giveaway, Gleam isn't the right platform for you.
  • You risk getting social media followers who aren't in your target audience.

UpViral

PROS

  • Prize and leader boards are automated for your convenience so there's less work on your already busy plate..
  • You can create custom landing pages with your branding, making it easy for your fans to know they're in the right spot..
  • The post-event analytics contain data that is super detailed which can help you with your future marketing endeavors.

CONS

  • There's no free plan, which is important to keep in mind if you're running occasional giveaways.
  • While landing pages offer a lot of customization, the forms are lacking in what you can and cannot change.
  • The CRM (customer relationship management) options are lacking and something to consider of that's one of your top priorities.

Rafflecopter

PROS

  • Rafflecopter is one of the most widely-used giveaway platforms and is therefore easily recognized.
  • The set-up features are to the point making it quick and easy to get your giveaway up and running.
  • If you're looking for a way to run a basic giveaway to help grow your Facebook and/or Twitter following(s), then Rafflecopter is the way to go!

CONS

  • The free version of the Rafflecopter widget allows for very little in the way of customization.
  • Some of the most useful features to set up your giveaway are only included with the more expensive plans.
  • You can expect to play a little more with Rafflecopter's paid plans without a lot of extra in return.

More Options

These giveaway widgets are only three in a sea of many. There are a couple more options you have for running giveaways, and they involve using resources that you already have at your fingertips.

The first is your newsletter. If you want to run a giveaway that is exclusive to your subscribers, then your newsletter is the place to do that. You can ask them to email their entry or fill out a Google Form, for example. Because your subscribers were the only people to receive the details about your giveaway, it's more likely that you'll only cater to those readers.

The final option mentioned here is social media. Here are some examples for various platforms.

  • Facebook – Create a giveaway post on Facebook and encourage readers to do something for a chance to win.
    • Popular entries are to like a page, follow a page, and/or comment on the giveaway post.
  • Twitter – Tweet about your giveaway and tell readers what they have to do to enter.
    • Ask readers to follow you on Twitter, like/retweet/comment on a post, or tweet using a hashtag that you designate for exclusive use for your giveaway.
  • Instagram – Create an instagram post and let readers know how they can enter to win.. 
    • For example, you could ask readers to follow and use a special hashtag.

You're welcome to mix and match as it fits the needs of your giveaway. Word to the wise, when creating hashtags, search for them on the social media platform(s) you plan to use before using them for your giveaway. (You definitely want to trust us on this one! #AskUsHowWeKnow )
The more you can think outside the box to connect with readers, the better. And if you need help, the Novel Publicity team is on standby to lend assistance for whatever you need. Visit https://www.novelpublicity.com/hire/ to peruse the full list of our team's skills. We'd love to work with you!

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