Top 5 Book Giveaway Services for Authors
How do you keep readers engaged between books?
Some authors are prolific enough to maintain active mailing lists simply by sending out notices whenever they have a new book coming out. These authors don’t need to worry much about what goes into their emails—usually a cover and a blurb with a link to the store page will work.
But if you go months or more without a new release, you might be looking for ways to keep your mailing list alive and re-engage readers who might have turned out. You'll also want ways to get more readers onto your list, so that when the time comes, you'll have more people to share your books with.
Book giveaways get you attention on demand. You can give away copies of a new release, an old favorite, or a debut to drive both newer and older fans to your list, whetting appetites and showing that you are still an active writer—even if you don’t have anything coming out just now.
With giveaways being especially easy to set up and schedule, you can choose to host your own or run larger promotions for groups. Unfortunately, you’ll probably need an outside tool to help you run your giveaways. Your website and email list are great, but they don’t necessarily have what it takes to collect contest entries and deliver a prize to the winner. Instead, most writers rely on an outside service to make everything easy.
Here are some of the favorites:
Some of the easiest and most effective giveaway services aren’t even designed for authors. You can run a raffle for your book, just as you’d run a raffle for anything, and deliver the prize through email, Book Funnel, or whatever service you prefer.
KingSumo is easy to use and will give you a boost of social media followers in addition to emails you can add to your list. Because it’s free, you can easily buy a promotion on the platforms of your choice to get a variety of readers interested in your books, and later email the winners about their prize.
KingSumo also gives a great entry experience with an attractive layout and a variety of easy entry options for people who really want to win.
Rafflecopter is the big name in giveaways for a reason. It’s easy to use, flexible, affordable and integrates with everything from your blog to your emails. You’ve likely entered a Rafflecopter giveaway before and probably didn’t even notice because of how smooth that integration was.
While it does cost, it offers a variety of plans and an easy system for selecting winners from a pool. You can set up custom contests and polls, which makes this a fantastic option if you’re looking to do more than a simple giveaway raffle for your list.
If you know what you want, it might be easier to start where you’re at: your books. Some services catering to readers give authors the option of running giveaways through their platforms, pitching to readers instead of subscribers or social media fans. This is an effective way to land book reviews and can also generate attention on a new release.
Goodreads is one of the biggest reading hubs out there and one of the only social media platforms dedicated exclusively to books and reading. Readers on Goodreads can make lists of books they want to read, track books they’ve read, and leave ratings and detailed reviews for each.
If your books are available through Amazon, you can easily set up a giveaway on Goodreads to claim more reviews and more devoted fans. One note to make is that you will need physical copies on hand to give away. It’s an investment, and for some, an inconvenience—but it also makes your book a real treasure for readers who want to take a look!
Information about setting up a giveaway on Goodreads can be found here.
Goodreads has one competitor in the market, and that’s LibraryThing. While LibraryThing is smaller than Goodreads and doesn’t have as large of a following, its followers are devoted and love giving reviews for their favorite books.
The good news about LibraryThing is that you don’t need to use print copies of your book to run a giveaway—ebooks work just as well, making this a great resource for writers on a budget. Unfortunately, you do need a paid account to run your giveaways, so decide ahead of time if this is a strategy you’ll want to use in the future.
Information about setting up a LibraryThing giveaway can be found here.
If you want a site that’s all book giveaways, all the time, Booksweeps is the right place. Unlike Goodreads and LibraryThing, Booksweeps caters exclusively to readers who want something free on the side. They have promotions for reader magnets as well as free book giveaways, and you can choose to host your own—promoted and networked to Booksweep’s growing reader base—or team up with other authors.
You can learn more about Booksweeps or sign up for a free starter account here.
When choosing a giveaway service, you need to decide upfront what you want your outcome to be and how (or if) you can get readers on board. The more expensive options usually come with better and more targeted promotions that will get more readers onto your list. But you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg or get an account on a fancy platform for an effective giveaway. If you’re just looking for something to excite your current audience and get a few more reviews, a small free giveaway can be just as effective.
How do you run your giveaways? Please share in the comment section below or join our group for self-publishing fiction writers on Facebook for more discussion.