Amazon Giveaway is Retiring. Now What?

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NO MORE AMAZON GIVEAWAYS

October 10, 2019 will be the last day that you can run an Amazon Giveaway. (To do so, visit the product page for any eligible item at Amazon.com.)

October 17, 2019 will be the last day to enter Amazon Giveaways as a customer. Until then, you can find Amazon Giveaways here:

https://www.amazon.com/ga/giveaways

What will you do after that?

Authors can still create contests for free books through Goodreads Giveaways.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

I currently have a Goodreads Giveaway for my new Fun with Roman Numerals math workbook. You can enter my giveaway until October 7, 2019:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48192781-fun-with-roman-numerals-math-workbook

Pros:

  • Goodreads is a popular site for readers.
  • Giveaways generate interest, and almost all entrants add your book to their To-Read lists, which adds activity to your book’s Goodreads page.
  • The price per-book for a Kindle eBook giveaway is pretty reasonable if you choose to give away 100 books. You pay a flat fee for the giveaway price, but don’t need to purchase eBooks on top of that. (However, for a print giveaway, you do need to pay for books, shipping, and packing in addition to the giveaway fee.)
  • A successful giveaway can generate significant interest at Goodreads. I’ve run several dozen giveaways (mostly for print books) for books in my name and in pen names, with very often at least 1000 to 2000 entrants, occasionally more. Really popular coming attractions can generate heavy interest, though of course it’s not as easy to have that popular title.
  • You’re likely to receive some reviews at Goodreads (unless you only give away a few books). (You’re less likely to receive Amazon reviews from Goodreads Giveaways, but it does happen, just not as often.)
  • For a print giveaway, you can include a bookmark and a brief thank-you note, for example.
  • You can run a giveaway for a long period of time (like a month). Although you gain the most exposure on the first and last days, the days in between add up when there are several of them. (A recent newsletter from Goodreads, which includes tips for a successful giveaway, suggests having multiple giveaways leading up to publication.)
  • More people get the chance to enjoy your book. 🙂

Cons:

  • Goodreads Giveaways have a significant up-front cost. This is the main con, but it’s a big one.
  • For a print giveaway, you have to purchase author copies, pack, and ship them, in addition to the giveaway fee.
  • Not as many winners review books on Amazon as they do at Goodreads, if Amazon reviews are what you’re hoping for.
  • Currently, you can only run a giveaway for entrants in the United States and/or Canada, which limits worldwide exposure.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

16 comments on “Amazon Giveaway is Retiring. Now What?

  1. I’ve never used either Giveaways because of the cost factor, plus the fact that I’m in Australia. Do you think Amazon will replace this ‘tool’ with something else, or is it retiring to give Goodreads all the exposure?

  2. I was very disappointed in my Goodreads giveaway–seemed a big spend with almost no result. Gave away 100 ebooks but saw no bump in awareness or follow-through to the seres. I won’t do that again.

  3. I believe they discontinued Giveaways because they were defective. Glitchy. For example, originally you choose the “lucky number” of entrants, and logically you chose fairly low so that more people could win. That later changed for some reason and one was now presented with three high options which often made the odds of winning a book too high. If you make them in the hundreds or even thousands, very few will be given away, and that, particularly for writers, means no possible reviews. That led to a lot of write angst. Possibly the justification for it was that it meant that the book stayed up on the giveaway page longer, which advertised it visually, and that probably worked well for sellers of other, non-book items. But it doesn’t work well for writers who need actual reviews, and to generate them, or at least the possibility of em, the book needs to actually be given away.

  4. On more thought, I do see the benefit of making odds way high. The writer just buys one copy with the likely probability that no one will be able to win it. So it runs the length of the Giveaway duration serving merely as advertisement. If someone is interested they can click to the book homepage and buy it. That would probably result in a better quality of review, and maybe even more chance of a review, then if your average Joe or Jane just click on a freebie.

    In any case, giveaways for ebooks was a nice, cheap way to advertise. I hope Amazon can rethink it, fix certain glitches, then bring it, or something similar back. Giveaways of Goodreads or Amazon paperbacks are way too expensive for the average tighten your belt writer.

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