No matter what genre you write, how many books you've published, or how long you've been in the author business, everyone faces one common challenge. How do you attract new-to-you readers? Read on for our tips, and don't miss the one thing we don't recommend doing, which we discuss at the end of this article.

One of the most tried-and-true methods of getting the attention of bookworms who might enjoy reading your books is to host a giveaway. We discussed the benefits of giveaways for authors in an earlier blog post. Those benefits included everything from finding new readers and building your subscriber list to strengthening your relationship with your existing readers.

Hosting a giveaway can be as easy as choosing a giveaway platform, deciding on the prize(s), and sharing it in your newsletter and on social media.

A Prize Package vs. a Single Prize

Many authors select frequently used prizes like an Amazon gift card or an e-reader. While these prizes can get a reader's attention, prizes that focus on your genre are more likely to attract people who read that genre. It also lowers the chance of readers feeling misled if they win the prize only to learn that the author writes outside of their preferred genre to read.

A prize package is a great way to entice readers to enter your giveaway while making it loud and clear that you write in a specific genre. You can find some items in themes appropriate for a range of genres. Ones that past Novel Publicity clients have used include but are in no way limited to the following:

  • Bank journals, pens, and stickers
  • Blankets and book-themed socks
  • Bookmarks, e-reader pillows, and reading lights
  • Puzzles, board games, and playing cards
  • Kitchen items and home decor

When in doubt, add a small stuffed animal. You might choose a black cat plushie as a giveaway prize if you write cozy mysteries with black cats. Teddy bears (or a pair of them) work well for a romance-themed giveaway. Fantasy authors may select anything from unicorns to yeti and anything in between. The possibilities are truly endless!

The One Thing to Avoid Using as a Giveaway Prize

If you use a giveaway to help promote preorder sales for a new release, you might avoid using that book as a giveaway prize. The reason is that some readers will hold off on preordering or buying your book if they think there is a chance that they could instead win a copy. Here are some alternatives:

  1. If this release is part of a series, then you could discount book one and use book two in the prize package.
  2. Give away an Amazon gift card that readers can use to buy books – including yours!
  3. If you have a reader magnet, use it as a prize for everyone who enters. This has the added benefit of also growing your newsletter subscriber list if you use a service like BookFunnel that collects email addresses when delivering the book to readers.

Are you ready to host a giveaway? Do you need help getting started, or perhaps you'd like someone to do the heavy lifting so you can focus on a higher priority, like writing? If you answered yes, then go to to schedule a marketing call so we can discuss all the details!

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