Sunday, January 22, 2012

5 steps to a successful giveaway

I love giveaways. My books would forever live in a cyber black hole if it weren't for the book giveaway. At first I wasn't too keen on the idea of giving away my literary masterpieces; I mean I spent a lot of energy on my work, why should I give them away? Because its necessary. So, let me just get to it, here are 5 steps to a successful giveaway.

1.Write a basic inquiry letter. You remember those from back in the day when you were trying to get an agent.Put it on your desktop for easy copy and paste. It should have some very basic information such as your name, the isbn# of your book for easy reference, the genre of your book, an introduction of your book, the number of books you want to giveaway, your website or blog link, your book trailer link,and a big fat juicy kiss.

2. Bloggers! Bloggers! Bloggers! This is a partnership. They need writers just as much as we need bloggers. The two go hand and hand like Oreos and milk. So don't be intimidated. When sending your inquiry to bloggers always greet them by name and include something specific about their blog so they know you didn't just send them a form letter. Make sure to read their "about me", and their "review policy", you'll find most of the information you need there. You want to make sure the blogger is in your book genre too.

One of my rookie mistakes were sending queries for my "realistic" YA fiction out to bloggers who were only interested in "dystopia" or "fantasy" books. There should be a blog directory for different genres. I put my YA book blog directory on my bookmarks for quick reference. When the bloggers email you back be prepared for either an author interview or to share information about the book or yourself that they'll post on their blog.

3.Book giveaway sites. Let your search engine do the work. Google the words: book giveaway and a treasure trove of information will come up. Goodreads.com is one of the best sites for giveaways; you're allowed to enter the number of copies and the dates of the giveaway. There are sites available that cater to authors and publishers looking to giveaway an ARC or (Advanced Reading Copy). But never pay for a giveaway, I stumbled upon a site where they were charging an author $100.00 to post on their site. That's not necessary.

4.Don't forget to send out the book. I know this should go without saying but sometimes you can forget. I usually send out the book to the winners within 24 hours. Don't forget to autograph the book with a little note using the winner's name. They aren't just winners, they're potential customers. And BTW: keep your giveaways in the U.S. and Canada. Trust me, you don't want to get sticker shock when you go to the Post Office. I spent $12 to send a giveaway to Brazil, that's more than the book costs.

5.Nurture you fans. There are readers and then there are fans. I'm so happy to say that I have fans. And its the coolest feeling in the world. I only have 7 of them right not, but they're my fans none the less and I give them the royal treatment.

My fans email me and tell me how they love my books and for that, I reward them with free copies, book marks etc... Your fans will eventually become a part of the "word of mouth" machine that's so powerful and you can depend on them to write good review too. I have one fan who's 13 years old and in middle school, she sent me the sweetest email about how she could relate to one of my characters in the book because she's going through the same thing. It made me emotional. It's email's like these that makes me realize my writing is a gift to be shared. When I read email's from my fans, all the mess of marketing melts away because I made a connection.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Mary Jo ... this is really great info ... but it took me about four reads to get through it. I don't know how you formatted it, but from this side it reads like one really loooong paragraph

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  2. Thanks for the post, Vici, I'm actually doing my first giveaway for one of my blogs (first anniversary next week) and you just really simplified a lot of my planning! Great advice all around!

    Tamara at Writer's Rainbow (http://www.writersrainbow.com)

    PS the blog with the first anniversary is Extra! Extra! (http://extraextrarecipes.blogspot.com) and readers will get a chance throughout the month of Feb to win a really cool Locavore apron! :)

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  3. Helpful info Vici. I edited you content a bit for easier reading.

    Karen

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  4. Felt quite emotional myself reading about your teenage fan. Brilliant and thanks for the useful info

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