Friday, July 7, 2017

Amazon Giveaways

I've been eyeing Amazon Giveaways for a while, now that they work for e-books as well as physical items. Giveaways help create buzz, cultivate potential future readers, and possibly earn those much-needed reviews.

So yesterday I decided to try it.

You can run a giveaway on any item you like, even if it's not yours, but I did it for my new e-book. Another idea is to give away prizes that are somehow related to your book. Then you can change the settings to make it less public and send the link only to your readers as a sort of loyalty reward. Various other possibilities make this a versatile tool.

This is how a giveaway goes:

-Go to your book (or whatever item you want to give away) and click on “Set up a Giveaway” near the bottom.

-Buy as many copies as you want to give away (so doing this on a sale day might be a good idea, depending on your pricing). You can choose from 1-50 copies, which means it's economical to play around and do small test giveaways. Pay as normal through Amazon. If you're giving away your own book, you will recoup some of this money as royalties when the sale goes through.

-Set various parameters, like if you want a random drawing at the end or if you want, for example, every 100th entrant to win.

-Decide what people must do in order to enter. Possibilities include following you on Amazon or Twitter, tweeting a message, watching a video, or answering a poll. You can also do it without requiring anything from the entrants, but I think getting followers or having people tweet about your book would be helpful marketing tools. It's a bit unclear how useful Amazon followers are. You can't see how many you have or contact them directly, but Amazon supposedly sends them e-mails when you publish new books or have other big events. Amazon may also ask you to write messages which they send on to your followers. If anyone has experience with this, it would be interesting to see in the comments below.

-Create a title for your giveaway.

-Write a short welcome message, a message to people once they've entered, and a message to the winner/winners (maximum 250 characters each). Look at some other giveaways to see examples of their welcome messages (usually a snappy contest or product description) and decide what will work best for you.

-Upload a photo of you (or your logo, etc). Don't upload your book cover here, as they'll automatically show the book cover below and you don't want to duplicate. Something went wrong with my picture, as it didn't appear when the giveaway went live. Unfortunately there's no preview.

-Submit it. Mine went live within a few minutes, though it can take several hours.

-Post your link on your social media, blogs, etc. For legal reasons, be sure to include wording like “enter for a chance to win,” not “enter to win.”

For more information, see Amazon's FAQs.

My Experience So Far:

In the first 4 hours that my giveaway was live, without me doing any advertising at all, 129 people entered the contest, and they all had to follow me on Amazon to do so. Then the rate slowed so that in 24 hours the number was about 180. 

 Obviously I wish one of the requirements were to subscribe to my mailing list, but it still seems a positive thing. Now I'm going to do a bit of promotion and see what happens.

If you're interested in Alaska, or just want to see how it works, check out my giveaway:

Your Experience?  

If any of you out there have done Amazon Giveaways, we'd all love you to share your wisdom in the comments below.

Being an Arizona girl, Melinda Brasher loves glaciers, streams, whales, bald eagles, and real trees with green leaves.  That's why she's in love with Alaska.  If you want to see a bit of Alaska for yourself, check out her latest book, Cruising Alaska on a Budget; A Cruise and Port Guide.  Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

This is a wonderful case study.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

@Melinda Brasher, I loved this so much I copied it for my files! Hugs.

Unknown said...

Yes I did this and have a really positive outcome

Karen Cioffi said...

I agree, Melinda, this is a great case study. It's interesting that you can give away your own product or that of others. So, once you buy the products you want to give away, Amazon sends it directly to the winners?

Karen Cioffi said...

This could be used as a great marketing tool for an info product with upsells within.

Melinda Brasher said...

Yes, you can give away most anything that Amazon sells. You could give a vacuum cleaner if you wanted, though I suggest it be more closely tied to your book. With my Alaska guide book, I've considered giving away something that would be useful on a trip to Alaska: a rain poncho, compact binoculars, a detailed map of Glacier Bay, a novel taking place there, etc.

Melinda Brasher said...

What requirement did you set for entering your contest?

Melinda Brasher said...


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