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Your Self-Published Book: Promoting With Giveaways

Photo by shutterhacks via FlickrBook authors, whether self-published or traditionally published, need to work at publicizing and selling their books. And for those of you who aren’t sure how best to go about that task, marketing professional Marcela De Vivo offers advice on promoting books through social media and exciting giveaways. Read on for great tips (that will hopefully translate to great sales)!

So, you thought up a great story and you got yourself published. Now, it is just a matter of directing attention toward your amazing self-published book! Promoting your work through giveaways can be just the thing to generate interest.

Here are five steps to ensure that your book promotion will be effective:

1. Don’t be too quick to offer your book as the grand prize. Depending on your audience, this can be a risky, unprofitable move as potential customers may not be so keen to take their time to give out their contact information this way. If you do choose this approach, a giveaway on Goodreads would be your best bet as you can be certain your audience contains avid readers.

An e-copy of your book for everyone who enters is an alternative that can spread interest through word-of-mouth. Another option may be to choose an item for the prize that generates general appeal, such as a gift card or movie tickets. In return for an email address, a “Like” on a Facebook page, or any other desired means of generating notice from others, people can have a chance to win your chosen giveaway.

Photo by Jason A. Howie via Flickr

2. Generate notice by making use of all forms of social media. Nowadays, everyone is on some form of social media. By promoting your contest on all social media sites, you are promoting yourself and your book. Utilize sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. You can really engage with your potential readers this way.

At the same time, you need to straddle the fine line between insufficient marketing and eye-glazing marketing. You don’t want to update constantly with so many posts that you end up losing followers.

3. Have a time frame. The sooner the deadline, the better. People are often bombarded by ads and contests from all directions. You want to make sure that your contest not only grabs people’s interest, but holds it. Motivate people to sign up and spread the word as soon as possible with a fast-approaching deadline. Referring back to to Step 1, it also helps if you are giving out an attractive prize.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t have these contests often. You can hold contests before holidays and make your giveaways appropriate, festive gifts.

4. Make your rules easy to understand. Not only that, make it easy enough to want to do. With that said, this is your contest, so make the most of it. Aside from requesting an email address or a “Like” on a Facebook page, you can ask visitors to leave a comment or suggestion on your blog (yes, have a blog to promote your book), take a survey, or have people link your contest to their social media page as the means of entry into the contest.

If you are promoting on a site other than your own, be sure your contest rules fall within acceptable parameters for the site. You don’t want to end up being banned due to some form of cheating.

5. There is strength in numbers. If your budget and audience are limited, you can recruit the help of other authors to join in to create an even bigger contest with a grander prize, thus generating interest in one another’s books amongst each other’s followers.

The key is to be resourceful in all avenues when getting your book out there. Consider these tips to help promote your book and build an audience.

Marcela De Vivo is a marketing professional from the Los Angeles area whose writing covers social media management, email marketing, and CDN hosting. She finds that the combination of promoting her blog as well as having giveaways through social media platforms is highly effective. Find Marcela on Twitter!

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: What entices you to participate in a contest?

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