Friday, June 24, 2016
Authors are all advised to engage in social media--website, blog, newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. I won't go into the proper way to use these--author/mentor Edie Melson does a great job there. What I want to address is one of the things authors soon learn gets more attention than the best-crafted post anywhere. I'm talking about "the giveaway."
However else you market your books, giving away copies turns out to be one of the most effective means of getting the word out about them. When an author or a publisher's marketing manager arranges a blog tour, one of the first things they're asked is, "Will you be giving away a copy of your book?"
There are a couple of important things that are often omitted from the "rules" of these giveaways. The first is, "Please leave your email address with your comment, so if you win we can contact you." I've been involved with a number of giveaways, and it's amazing how many people forget this simple request. Of course, you don't want to post the email address in its normal form, because web crawlers snatch these up. But by now most of us know to use this form: Dr R L Mabry at gmail dot com. It only takes a few seconds to add it, but some still don't.
The second thing, especially important in venues that have a lot of overseas clicks, is to specify whether the winner can be from the US only, or worldwide. I've found that when I have a contest on international sites like Soul Inspirationz, it's easier to simply say the giveaway is open to all comers. If they come from outside the US, it's not terribly expensive for me to order the book from The Book Depository or a similar store.
Choosing a winner isn't too problematic. It can be as simple as picking a number, then awarding the book to that number comment. Another option is using the free app, Rafflecopter. However it's done, giveaways are a great marketing tool.
Have you ever participated in a giveaway? Have you won? Do you think they're worthwhile? Let me know.
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(picture from Pexels.com)
NOTE: For those of you who participated in the Medical Judgement giveaway, LitFuse Publicity has just released the name of the winner. Thanks to all of you who entered and helped get out the news about my latest novel.