The Amazon Giveaway Experience

 

AMAZON GIVEAWAYS

I’ve spent the past week entering a variety of Amazon Giveaways.

Over the years, I have given away several books through Amazon Giveaways.

So now I have experience with both sides of this program.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

When I was browsing and entering the giveaways, here is some of what I experienced:

  • My first thought was that there are a ton of giveaways. Right now, there are 4000 results showing on 200 pages.
  • But one day, I actually browsed through the entire list in less than an hour. So even the giveaways that are hidden way back aren’t as inaccessible as they may at first seem.
  • There are a variety of products, and several popular products seem to land on the first pages. The value of some of the prizes is higher than I had expected.
  • If you look at the fine print though, you’ll see that the most popular products with the higher price points have much higher odds.
  • Products like books with lower price points tend to have more favorable odds. Some of the Kindle ebook giveaways have odds as good as 1 out of 100.
  • If you enter the giveaways, you quickly learn that some require you to watch a short video or follow an author. If you prefer not to do either of these, you start to look for the label, “No entry requirement.”
  • (Well, nothing prevents you from unfollowing afterward, except that you need to figure out how.)
  • Even if you don’t intend to rack up a large number of Follows, some of the books look so compelling… I followed a few authors I don’t know just because the covers really grabbed me.
  • You only see the picture and title. For a book, that’s the cover and title plus subtitle.
  • Sometimes, I was intrigued by a cover, but the cover and title didn’t really tell me what the genre was, and I didn’t want to take a chance and win a book that might not be in a genre that I read. (And it’s extra work to visit the product page to find out.)
  • In a few cases, the author/publisher had included a subtitle that clarified the genre. This was handy. In the best cases, the cover made this abundantly clear, so it wasn’t necessary.
  • For some products, if you lose the giveaway, Amazon offers you a discount if you proceed to make a purchase. So even if you don’t win giveaways, you can take advantage of discounts.
  • Only one time did I try to enter a giveaway, but receive a message that all of the prizes had already been claimed. With my luck, one second before I clicked the box, somebody else probably won.
  • However, if you come back the next day, you can easily run into a message saying that you didn’t win. That means you already tried to win that product previously. You need to remember which giveaways you entered previously in order to avoid this.
  • There is a simple solution: Look at the top right of the giveaways page for a link called, “Subscribe to never miss another giveaway.”
  • I wish I could tell you what it was like to win, but I wasn’t that lucky. (Maybe someone who has won before will be kind enough to describe this in the comments.)

If you really want to know what it’s like, go check it out. Here’s the link:

https://www.amazon.com/ga/giveaways/?pageId=1

THE AUTHOR’S/SELLER’S POINT OF VIEW

Here are some features that I like about Amazon Giveaways:

  • Your giveaways page shows you how many hits, entrants, and product page visits you’ve had. It’s interesting to compare the product page visits to the hits. It’s nice to get some data for how customers react to your book.
  • Setting up the giveaway is easy. Just visit the Amazon product page. (This works for products sold in the US store, anyway.)
  • Amazon fulfills the giveaway. You don’t have to do anything, except setup the giveaway (and pay for the products and shipping).
  • One time, a customer left a review saying that they discovered the book from the Amazon Giveaways page. That customer actually lost the giveaway and proceeded to purchase the book (I only know this because the customer left a review saying so). That was cool. (But I have no idea if anyone who has ever won an Amazon Giveaway has left a review. I would only know if the person happened to mention this in the review, but that part has never happened. However, a few Goodreads Giveaway winners have mentioned in reviews where they won the books.)
  • For paperback books, Amazon Giveaways are more cost-effective and also more convenient than Goodreads Giveaways. (However, if you give away 100 Kindle ebooks at Goodreads, since you don’t have to pay for the ebooks after paying the giveaway cost, it can be more cost-effective to run Kindle giveaways at Goodreads.)
  • You can require entrants to follow you at Amazon, if you wish. (Usually, I choose “no entry requirement” to maximize participation.)
  • Occasionally, there isn’t a winner. Personally, I prefer to have a winner; I want someone to enjoy the prize. But when there isn’t a winner, you got some free exposure. You can’t complain about that. (But for a Kindle ebook, you don’t get a refund. In that case, you need to run the giveaway again, at no added cost. Which gives you added exposure.)
  • A few authors have found creative ways to use giveaways. I don’t know if it’s worth doing, but I noticed that a few authors list a giveaway for a popular product, and require entrants to follow them. Suppose that your books is similar to Harry Potter in some ways. You could potentially run a Harry Potter giveaway and have entrants follow you. Those entrants potentially have an interest in books like yours. But some authors run a giveaway for an Amazon gift card or even a Kindle. Again, I’m not saying it’s worth doing (and haven’t tried it myself), I’m just noting that it’s been done.
  • You really need an effective cover. With thousands of results showing in a couple of hundred pages, by the time entrants reach your giveaway, your book cover really needs to call attention to people who may have an interest in it. I noticed some amazing covers while I was browsing. Book covers that aren’t so amazing, well, let’s just say that they often appear right beside book covers that look amazing.

Of course, you can always ask for things to be better:

  • Amazon Sellers who sell a variety of products (like housewares) can create promotional codes and offer discounts to entrants. They can also track their sales. But authors/publishers can’t.
  • It would be great if KDP authors/publishers could offer discounts to entrants who lose the giveaways and if they could track sales that result from the giveaway. I submitted this suggestion to KDP. If you have any suggestions (or if you also want to suggest the discount option), feel free to use the Contact Us button at KDP.
  • There are only a couple of options for the odds of the giveaway. It varies from book to book, depending perhaps in part on the value of the prize. The odds used to be much more flexible. I can see Amazon not wanting you to set outrageous odds that would prevent a winner, but why can’t we make the odds more favorable? For a few books, it’s not easy to get a winner. And if you want to have more than just a handful of winners, well you usually can’t make the odds favorable enough to give away 10 or more products in a single contest.
  • Entrants must be residents of the US or the District of Columbia. I believe authors can setup giveaways even if they reside in other countries, provided that they setup the giveaway from the US site, but entrants must be residents of the US. Maybe this is restricted from a legal standpoint; in some countries, the rules governing giveaways may add unnecessary complications. I’m sure someone in another country is thinking, “That’s not the case where I live.” Remember, if you want to make a suggestion to KDP, you’re welcome to use the Contact Us button.
  • Unfortunately, if you’re an Amazon Prime customer, you still have to pay for shipping/handling for physical prizes (but there are no shipping charges for Kindle ebooks) on top of paying for the prizes (and any tax). The shipping/handling is sometimes more than you might expect. (There was a brief period where it hadn’t been charging for shipping if you had Prime. Either that was a glitch that lasted a couple of weeks, or Amazon was testing that out and it didn’t work out well enough to maintain it.)
  • When I click the link to enter the giveaway, I just see the book cover and title. I don’t see the category or a description. Yet I’m often deciding, do I want to follow the author in order to enter this giveaway (because I’m not inclined to follow hundreds of authors just to enter giveaways, which of course makes the Follow more valuable)? It would be nice to see part of the description or the category. Of course, the curious entrant can still find these things by visiting your product page.

MY GIVEAWAY

Here is a link to a giveaway for my Grade 6 math workbook, ending on August 11, 2019:

https://www.amazon.com/ga/p/32efe68a5b58e615

If you enter, good luck.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

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

Kindle e-book Giveaways now at Amazon (#AmazonGiveaways for #ebooks)

Gift Kindle

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!)

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.

GIVEAWAY RECOMMENDATIONS

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:

Giveaway Ebook

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:

Giveaway Ebook 3

The contest page looks something like this:

Giveaway Ebook 2

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:

Chance to win 1 of 10 copies of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon (Vol. 1)

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:

Chance to win 1 of 4 copies of 48 Short Stories for Girls by Julie Harper

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.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/amazongiveaway?f=tweets&vertical=default&src=hash

https://twitter.com/GiveawayLinks

7 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS

amazon.com/7days

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2016

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • 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)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

How to Motivate more Amazon Follows

Amazon Following

HOW TO GET MORE AMAZONS FOLLOWERS

Amazon just announced a new tool designed to help authors generate many more Amazon followers.

First, let me give a little background:

  • Customers can follow their favorite authors directly at Amazon.com.
  • It seems ideal for both customers and authors, EXCEPT…
  • Unfortunately, most customers don’t think to do this.
  • Customers need to visit the author page and click the button to follow the author. Few do it, presently.
  • Amazon lets you send an email to your Amazon followers after publishing a new Kindle edition. But first, you need Amazon followers.

So just imagine how awesome it would be IF…

  • Amazon offered a tool to help authors generate more Amazon follows.
  • Through this tool, Amazon motivated customers to follow authors.
  • Many customers took advantage of this opportunity to follow authors of interest.
  • Amazon follows rose from a mere dozen to hundreds or thousands for many authors.
  • When you publish your next Kindle e-book, you could send an email through Amazon to hundreds or thousands of Amazon followers.

This seems like a distinct possibility now.

Here is how it works:

  • Visit the product page for a print edition of your book. (Don’t have one? Check out CreateSpace.)
  • Update: You no longer need a print edition if you publish through KDP.
  • Scroll down to the bottom. Click on the option to list an Amazon giveaway.
  • Check the box to require contestants to follow you on Amazon. (This is new!)
  • Everyone who enters the contest now also follows you on Amazon.
  • The next time you publish via KDP, you’ll be invited to notify your Amazon followers of your latest e-book.

In the past, you could only generate Twitter followers or require contestants to watch a YouTube video.

Now, you can require contestants to simply follow you on Amazon.

Finally, Amazon came up with an idea to help authors generate more Amazon follows.

It’s a win-win-win situation:

  • Customers don’t have to hunt down the author through social media or newsletters. Follow authors right on Amazon.
  • Customers get a chance to win free print books in exchange for becoming Amazon followers.
  • Authors get exposure through the giveaway and grow their Amazon following.
  • Amazon, of course, sells more books.

MY AMAZON GIVEAWAY

Click the following link or image to enter my Amazon giveaway for a chance to win my mathematical pattern puzzles book.

When you enter the contest, you’ll become one of my Amazon followers. It will keep you updated of new books that I publish.

AMAZON GIVEAWAY TIPS

  • When your Amazon Giveaway goes live, tweet about it.
  • Click the link in the giveaway email to tweet about it through Twitter.
  • Be sure to leave the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag in the tweet. This posts your tweet to the Amazon Giveaway page.
  • I’ve had better luck not adding an image directly to the tweet. (The cover for your book will probably still show automatically.) I seem to get more exposure by not including my own image.
  • Add 1 or 2 relevant hashtags to your tweet.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • 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)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section.

My Experience with Amazon & Goodreads Giveaways

Image from Shutterstock

Image from Shutterstock

BOOK CONTESTS

Amazon has a new giveaway option for physical products, like print books. Scroll down toward the bottom of the product page to find this option.

Update: KDP authors can now run Amazon Giveaways for e-books, too.

Goodreads also has an option for authors to give away free books.

I’ve run several Goodreads giveaways and I’ve also run four Amazon Giveaways to give free print books away.

Here is how the two giveaway programs compare:

COST

Goodreads giveaways win when it comes to the author’s cost:

  • At Goodreads, you can order author copies directly then ship them yourself with the cheapest shipping method available (economical if you restrict the winners to your own country). If you live in the US, you can also ship to US addresses via media mail. (It may be even more economical to drop-ship directly to the customer, rather than order author copies to your home first. However, ordering author copies lets you inspect the books first.)
  • At Amazon, you pay full retail price for the books plus standard shipping charges. You must pay up front when the contest begins. Although you will earn a royalty, it will still cost much more than a Goodreads giveaway, in general.

TRUST

Both Amazon and Goodreads are trusted by customers.

Although Amazon actually owns Goodreads, Amazon is the more recognizable brand. Readers who have Goodreads accounts trust Goodreads, but it’s harder to drive readers who don’t use Goodreads to sign up.

Also, Amazon ships the books directly to winners, and Amazon has a good customer service policy in case there are any issues (like damage during shipping or a defective book).

Therefore, I give Amazon a slight advantage in the trust department.

TIME

Amazon again has a small advantage with regard to time:

  • The big thing is that Amazon ships the book directly to the winner (with standard shipping) as soon as the winner is declared, which is pretty good delivery time.
  • Also at Amazon, entrants find out immediately upon entry whether or not they win. There is no delay. With Goodreads, you can enter a giveaway today and it might not end for weeks, by which time you’ve forgotten about it.
  • Amazon approved each of my giveaways within a couple of hours; Goodreads usually takes a day or more.
  • Amazon giveaways run for one week or less; most of my giveaways were over in a few hours. You can run a short-term Goodreads giveaway, but it will cost you traffic. Amazon giveaways can generate good traffic in one day (but see my Promotion note below). I usually run my Goodreads giveaways for a month to generate as much traffic as I can.
  • If you want to give out books in a hurry, you can choose an Amazon giveaway to award winners on a first-come, first-serve basis. (However, my recommendation is to use the Lucky winner option, where 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 will win. In my experience, the books still go out quickly. See my Promotion note below.)

AUDIENCE

There is a big difference between the audience for Amazon giveaways and the audience for Goodreads giveaways.

Readers enter Goodreads giveaways. They love to read books. They search for books that they are interested in.

A much broader audience enters Amazon giveaways. There is a good chance that many of the people who enter Amazon giveaways aren’t specifically looking for your book. They might just be hoping to win something cool from Amazon, and your book is one of many products giving them that chance.

This means there is a greater chance that your book won’t be read, that the reader won’t be familiar with your genre, etc. (That’s if you use the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag. If instead you promote exclusively on your own, you can control the targeting better. But then popular is reduced to what you can achieve on your own.)

TARGETING (BIG FACTOR*)

Goodreads lets you target giveaways by entering keywords. (Tip: First search the Goodreads giveaways to see which keywords are in use and how popular they are. Try to find popular keywords in use at Goodreads giveaways which are a good fit for your book.)

Amazon doesn’t let you target your giveaway. If you tweet your Amazon giveaway with the hashtag #AmazonGiveaway, everybody looking for free Amazon merchandise will see your contest. Some won’t be readers; some won’t be readers in your genre. Everyone at Goodreads is a reader, and with all the Goodreads giveaways to choose from, most will be readers. (However, instead of using the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag, you could promote on your own, though that will diminish the popularity of the contest, unless you have a great marketing base or plan.)

TRAFFIC

Amazon giveaways generate a lot of traffic in a short period of time IF you tweet your giveaway using the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag.

I ran a couple of giveaways where every 100th entrant would win, where I gave away 5 books. Most of my contests were over (or nearly so) within a few hours. That means 500 people saw the book in a span of a few hours.

Goodreads giveaways can also generate good traffic, but it takes time. You get the most traffic on the first and last days of the giveaway, but all the days in the middle add up, too. If you run a giveaway for a whole month, you can get 1000 or so entries, depending on how wisely you select your keywords and how popular your book is.

POPULARITY

Amazon giveaways seem to be popular. For one, Amazon is huge. You can win products at Amazon, shipped to you directly from Amazon. How cool is that?

There are some cool products in the Amazon giveaways. I saw one for a guitar. Great prizes put people in good moods.

Also, the Amazon giveaway is new, so it has people curious.

Goodreads giveaways are also popular among Goodreads members. And since the Amazon giveaway is new, people are still learning about it.

Both kinds of giveaways are pretty popular right now.

EXPERIENCE

Customer experience in these giveaways is good in both cases.

Obviously, Amazon is well-known, well-trusted, and has a great satisfaction guarantee.

But Goodreads members love their giveaways, too.

A nice thing about the Goodreads giveaway is that you can ship the book to the winner directly, allowing you to inspect it firsthand and pack it nicely so you know that the winner receives a great copy of your book (no defects, no damage—if you pack very well).

REVIEWS

Goodreads encourages winners to review books. Goodreads also selects winners who are more likely to be a good fit for your book or who are more likely to review books that they win.

Not every Goodreads winner posts a review, however. If you give away 5 books, you might get a couple of reviews. There are no guarantees, though.

Goodreads winners are more likely to post a review or rating at Goodreads. Very often, they don’t also post the review at Amazon, but it does happen once in a while.

You might think that Amazon giveaway winners would be more likely to post a review at Amazon. But the audience for these giveaways isn’t restricted to just readers, and the contest isn’t targeted, so it might not work out that way.

FOLLOWERS

You can require people who enter your contest to follow you on Twitter. If they already follow you, they can still enter the contest. (Note that you can also waive the Twitter requirement.)

I tried this on a couple of giveaways. With every 100th entrant winning and 5 books to giveaway, I had a few hundred extra followers on Twitter in a few hours.

Wow! I thought that Twitter option would discourage entries, but it didn’t seem much different from my other giveaways.

You’re not “buying” followers. You’re saying, “Since you’re interest in this book, perhaps you’d be interested in following the author of this book.” And they can simply unfollow you afterward, if they wish, so really there aren’t any strings attached.

Since they are willing to win your book, they must have some interest in that genre or content, right? (Well, some people just want to win something.) So many of these followers are indeed relevant to your audience. Unlike all the promises you see of people who can give you hundreds of followers, this contest can actually attract Twitter followers who have some interest in books like yours. However, since the contest isn’t targeted, they probably aren’t as relevant as, say, Goodreads winners would be.

Here’s another way to look at the optional Twitter follow requirement. The people who are actually willing to follow you on Twitter are probably, on average, somewhat more interested in your book.

People who enter Goodreads giveaways are unlikely to follow you on Twitter. But they are likely to add your book to their to-read lists, which helps make your book appear more popular at Goodreads. Also, having added your book, they’re more likely to bump into it again in the future.

CONVENIENCE

Both giveaways are convenient for customers to enter. They just need to have an account at the respective site (though presently Amazon giveaways are only open to US customers). If you’re driving traffic to your giveaway, people who don’t have a Goodreads account already need to sign up for one. They’re more likely to already have an Amazon account. Though very many readers do have Goodreads accounts.

Amazon is quite convenient for the author: Set it up in a few minutes and you’re done; Amazon takes care of the rest, except for promotion. However, if you simply tweet your promotion with the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag, in my experience, that is fairly effective for the first few hours.

Goodreads requires obtaining author copies and mailing them yourself (or drop-shipping). It can also be inconvenient, if something comes up in your life at about the same time as the giveaway ends.

PROMOTION

You have to promote the Amazon giveaway. However, if you have Twitter, you can tweet the link to your Amazon giveaway (you receive it in an email an hour or two, usually, after your giveaway is approved) with the hashtag #AmazonGiveaway. If successful, you can get good exposure through that hashtag for a few hours.

The truth is that you can sign up for Twitter for the first time, run a giveaway with 1 winner out of 100, include the option for entrants to follow you on Twitter, and by giving away a few books, you can have a few hundred followers a few hours later (depending on how successful your giveaway goes).

At Goodreads, you just need to select keywords wisely to get decent exposure for your giveaway.

In both cases, you can get added exposure for your contest on your blog, through Twitter of Facebook, by getting bloggers in your genre to mention your contest, and so on. (In fact, if you want to target your Amazon giveaway, one way is to promote it yourself instead of using the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag.)

QUALITY

At Amazon, there is no way to check the book beforehand to ensure that the book isn’t defective. However, Amazon has a great customer satisfaction policy.

At Goodreads, you can choose to order author copies from the publisher, inspect them firsthand, and ship them yourself. If you pack them very well, you’ll have peace of mind that the book will arrive in excellent condition.

INTERNATIONAL

Presently, only US residents (50 states + DC) can enter Amazon giveaways.

If you want to reach UK or Australian readers, Goodreads allows this. However, if you live in the US and allow international entries, shipping can get pretty expensive (and then there is the possible issue of a gift tax, depending…). Or if your book is available at The Book Depository (probably the case if you use CreateSpace’s expanded distribution), you might be able to ship your book internationally for free (though you’ll have to pay the retail price, and it may be higher than Amazon’s list price); and you won’t be able to inspect the books firsthand.

SALES RANK

I wasn’t expecting the Amazon giveaways to impact my sales rank, but I ran four different giveaways and the sales ranks improved considerably soon after the giveaway was promoted.

You have to buy the books directly from Amazon when you initiate the contest. So maybe this impacts your sales rank. (If so, this luxury might not last forever.)

Another possibility is that customers who didn’t win the book went to go buy a copy.

Whatever the reason, you can’t expect a huge impact from this. For one, sales rank tends to quickly settle back where it had been. For another, it’s not a cost-effective thing to do if this is your main goal: You’re paying retail price plus shipping. However, if you’re running the contest for other goals and you happen to get a small boost in sales rank, think of it as a nice surprise.

SALES

Giveaways can net a few sales. There could be short-term sales from people who didn’t win. What you really hope for is branding and long-term sales from recommendations. That is, you hope the winners will actually read your book, and then you hope they’ll like it enough to recommend it. It’s a risk, and it’s a hope. Successful contests help with branding and recommendations.

Amazon giveaways may be more likely to generate an occasional short-term sale. Here’s why: When you enter an Amazon giveaway, you find out immediately whether or not you win. If you really want the product, but you lose, the logical thing to do is check it out, perhaps add it to your cart or even buy it now. But other people will just go enter a different contest instead; it depends on how much they really wanted that product.

Goodreads members can do the same thing with Goodreads giveaways, except that often you don’t find out if you win until days or weeks later. Amazon makes the decision immediately.

WIN A FREE BOOK!

When I published this post, it appears that there is still another copy of my self-publishing guide available to win through an Amazon giveaway. If you haven’t entered this contest yet, here’s your chance to be a winner. Good luck! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of DATE / TIME, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules: https://amzn.to/GArules.

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e45070404d91f90a

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 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

Giveaway Directly from Amazon.com? Now You Can.

Giveaway SP Vol 1

No purchase necessary. See official rules: http://amzn.to/GArules

 

NEW AMAZON.COM GIVEAWAYS

Now you can give away free physical products, like printed books, directly from Amazon.com.

Amazon hosts the contest:

  • Amazon hosts the giveaway.
  • Amazon determines the winners.
  • Amazon ships brand new products directly to customers.

How does it work?

  • Find the US product page for a physical product available directly from Amazon.com.
  • Update: If you publish through KDP, you can now run giveaways for Kindle ebooks.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Look for Set up an Amazon Giveaway. Click the gray Set up a Giveaway button.
  • Select Lucky Number or First-Come, First-Served. A Lucky Number giveaway will last longer.
  • Select the number of winners. For a Lucky Number giveaway, also select a number for which entrants (like every 25th entry) will win the contest.
  • You may add your Twitter account and require entrants to follow you on Twitter. This is optional.
  • Click the yellow Next button.
  • Complete the welcome page. If you used the Twitter option, the image will automatically be your Twitter photo. Otherwise, you’ll be able to add your photo on the welcome page.
  • Proceed to checkout. You pay for the books plus estimated shipping charges. Read the terms carefully.
  • The giveaway will expire one week later. Only residents in the 50 US states and DC can enter the contest.
  • Amazon ships the products directly to the winners via standard shipping (3-5 days).

You’ll receive a link to your giveaway by email, separate from your payment confirmation email.

PROMOTE YOUR AMAZON GIVEAWAYS

Here are some things to consider when you promote your Amazon giveaway:

  • Use the words, “Enter for a chance to win.” Don’t say, “Enter to win.” The word “chance” is important. You don’t want to get into legal trouble because your contest was misleading.
  • Include an abbreviated version of the official rules and a link to the official rules. This is required in some states. Amazon suggests including the text, “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of DATE / TIME, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules.” Then link to the official rules at http://amzn.to/GArules.
  • Of course, you also want to mention the product that you’re giving away (your book, for example, if you’re an author) and link to your Amazon giveaway.
  • When you tweet about your promotion, include the hashtag #AmazonGiveaway.
  • Promote your giveaway through your blog, your Facebook author page, Twitter, your website, an email newsletter, getting bloggers to promote your contest, or finding sites that promote contests, giveaways, or free products. There will probably be new sites and blogs growing to promote Amazon giveaways, with some specific to books.

Click the following link to see Amazon’s frequently asked questions for giveaways:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/giveaway/faqs/ref=aga_hm_faqs

SOME COOL AMAZON GIVEAWAYS

Here is a chance to win a guitar. How cool is that? (Realize the contest could be over by the time you get there.)

http://t.co/MYRRfKMGXS

Here is a chance to win a Little Golden Book for Disney’s Frozen (realize the contest could be over by the time you get there):

https://t.co/4v0mqPam6v

Here is a chance to win a rice cooker (realize the contest could be over by the time you get there):

https://t.co/zcRJQaAg4h

I have two books in Amazon giveaways.

One is for a chance to win my algebra workbook:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e58cd7d0b2157396

The other is for a chance to win A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon, Volume 1 (realize the contest could be over by the time you get there):

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e45070404d91f90a

Author Julie Harper has an Amazon giveaway for one of her cursive handwriting workbooks (realize the contest could be over by the time you get there):

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/95f8dbd9350ae3df

FIND MORE AMAZON GIVEAWAYS

Visit the Twitter hashtag page for #AmazonGiveaway:

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23AmazonGiveaway

Follow @amazongiveaway on Twitter.

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

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

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Comments

Click here to jump to the comments section:

https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/giveaway-directly-from-amazon-com-now-you-can/#comments