AMAZON GIVEAWAYS FOR KINDLE E-BOOKS
I’m really excited about Amazon’s latest announcement: Amazon e-book giveaways. (I’ve already tested it out, too: I love it!)
Note: As of October, 2019, the Amazon Giveaway program has been canceled. However, Goodreads Giveaways are still available.
Every time I post information about Amazon or Goodreads Giveaways, I hear from authors who wish they could give e-books away through the contest.
Well, now you can. (On Amazon. Not Goordeads.) Amazon just expanded their giveaway program so that all KDP authors (even if you’re not in Select) can run Amazon Giveaways for their Kindle e-books.
You no longer need to run giveaways for print books. This makes the giveaway process much more affordable, since e-books are less expensive and there are no shipping charges.
WHY RUN AN AMAZON GIVEAWAY
I received a publicity email about this new feature (which went out to newsworthy sources), which included some helpful statistics. Let me quote a few:
- Traffic to Amazon product pages increased by more than 40% during the week of an Amazon Giveaway. That’s quite a boost! (Only a fraction of that traffic will convert to sales.)
- Over 300,000 Amazon followers of Author Central pages have been added as a direct result of Amazon Giveaways. My prediction: This number will shoot through the roof in the coming weeks, now that giveaways have expanded to include Kindle e-books.
- Over 2,800,000 Twitter followers of authors have been added as a direct result of Amazon Giveaways.
So there are two reasons you should run periodic Amazon Giveaways:
- Drive more traffic to your product page for increased exposure.
- Grow the number of Amazon followers of your Author Central page. When you release a new Kindle e-book, you will receive an invitation to send an announcement through Amazon to your followers. You can require contest entrants to follow you on Amazon.
I’ve run several dozen giveaways in the past, and tested out this new e-book feature. Here are my recommendations for how to get the most out of your contest:
- Sign up for Author Central and add your Kindle e-book, if you haven’t already done so.
- Search the Kindle Store on your computer for one of your e-books. Open the product page. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page to find the giveaway option.
- Choose Random (or Lucky Number). I prefer Random, but you have to give away more than one book to guarantee good exposure. I like to give at least 3 books away per contest.
- Making the odds long, like 1 in 2000, offers greater exposure per dollar, but also reduces the likelihood of having a winner. Some contestants pay attention to the odds, and may not want to follow you unless the odds are compelling. If you offer better than average odds, like 1 in 150, it can be a selling point in your tweet, but greatly limits your exposure. Somewhere in between is a happy medium (not worth advertising in your tweet). Popularity also varies depending on the subject or genre. Make higher odds the first time, and if you don’t have a winner, choose the option to make a new giveaway, this time improving the odds.
- Choose the option to require entrants to follow you on Amazon through Author Central. This way, you can send them an email through Amazon when you release your next Kindle e-book.
- Include the front cover of your book when you create the giveaway. Scale it down somewhat to be safely under the 1 megabyte limit. You’ll receive an error message if it’s slightly under 1 MB; it needs to be well clear of the limit. Around 1200 pixels high usually works for this for jpeg format.
- The “Sorry, you didn’t win” wording can generate interest, if you use this space wisely. (Tip: Enter several book giveaways to get ideas for how other authors use this space.)
- Compose a tweet with the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag after your giveaway goes live. This spreads the news of your giveaway on Twitter.
- Press the Twitter button in your (second!) email from Amazon (they send you two emails after your purchase), then edit Amazon’s default message to cater to your needs. It will automatically include a link to your giveaway page.
- Don’t include an image as part of your tweet. Your cover will automatically show up on the giveaway page. In my experience, you get better exposure when you don’t add an image to your tweet.
- You can delete the title of your book and replace it with a compelling description, strap line, keywords, hashtags, whatever you think will draw interest in your contest or book. You can delete the “See this,” the extra dots (…), etc.
- Don’t delete the NoPurchNec part. This is required in your tweet. Don’t delete the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag. Don’t delete the link to your contest.
- You can add hashtags (or change keywords in your book’s title to hashtags). The right hashtags can offer additional exposure for your giveaway. (Research done in the past suggested that tweets with two hashtags received better exposure on Twitter; this is not an Amazon stat, it’s a generic Twitter stat.)
- You can also share your contest on Facebook.
CHANGES TO AMAZON GIVEAWAYS
Here is a brief summary of recent changes:
- Contests can now last up to 30 days (used to be 7 days).
- Readers who have already purchased the e-book are not eligible to enter the contest.
- Any un-awarded e-books can be rolled over into new giveaways, or you can opt to distribute them directly.
- E-books purchased for giveaways are non-refundable.
- Redesigned layout and entry experience better highlights the book and author.
- Every e-book entrant who doesn’t win will receive an offer of the free sample.
- You can cancel a giveaway before it is launched.
HOW DOES IT LOOK
After you tweet about your giveaway with the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag, contestants can find your giveaway. Your tweet will look something like this:
Note that only the top portion of your book shows. If you design your book cover so it has appeal when only viewing the top portion of the front cover, you have an advantage with the giveaways.
Here is another example:
The contest page looks something like this:
HOW TO FIND GIVEAWAYS
First of all, you should enter the giveaway for my self-publishing book (volume 1). I’m giving away 10 free copies:
Since I included an example of what Julie Harper’s giveaway looks like in a picture above (used with permission), let me also include a link to her giveaway:
Find giveaways on these Twitter pages. The first link is handy, but not easy to find, and when you do find it, you need to click the Live button or you just see the most popular ones. But my first link below is special, as it goes straight to the Live feed. The second link is lacking the visual element, but is easier to find on your own.
7 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS
Write happy, be happy. 🙂
Copyright © 2016
Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
- 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
- Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)