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How to Do a Book Giveaway on Launch Day (the Easy Way)

How to Do a Book Giveaway in WordPress (the Easy Way)

Written By: author image Stacey Corrin
author image Stacey Corrin
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the co-founder of RafflePress. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Would you like to learn how to do a book giveaway?

Promoting a book launch with a contest is a great way to raise awareness and skyrocket sales on publishing day. But how do you get started? This article will share some of our easy steps for running a giveaway for a new book.

Table of Contents

TL;DR: How to Do a Book Giveaway in WordPress

Define Goals: Establish clear objectives for your book giveaway to guide the setup and measure success.

Target Audience: Identify and understand your audience to tailor the giveaway and maximize engagement.

Prize Selection: Choose a compelling prize that’s relevant to your audience to encourage participation.

Promotion Strategy: Strategically promote your giveaway across platforms to reach a wider audience and drive entries.

What Is a Book Giveaway?

A book giveaway is a marketing campaign where users perform specific tasks to win a book-related prize. For example, you might ask fans to write a book review in exchange for an entry into your prize draw.

Why Do a Book Giveaway?

Over 2 billion books are sold each year, and part of this success is due to excellent marketing. Running a giveaway contest for your new book launch is one of the most effective ways to spread the news to your target audience.

Giveaways are hugely popular on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, so promoting your book giveaway on those channels has the potential to make your book launch go viral.

Plus, with a successful giveaway, you can also:

  • Drive targeted traffic to your book website
  • Reach a wider interested audience
  • Grow your subscribers and email list
  • Increase your social media followers
  • Engage your existing audience
  • And much more

Not to mention, all of that attention can significantly increase the sales of your new book.

How Does a Book Giveaway Work?

Book giveaways work by offering your target audience the chance to win a book in exchange for completing specific tasks. And each task a user completes turns into another chance to win.

For example, you might ask participants to tweet about your giveaway on Twitter for 1 entry. You can then ask them to come back and tweet each day for bonus entries into your prize draw.

Similarly, you can include a number of different tasks that earn participants more giveaway entries, such as:

  • Following you on Twitter
  • Joining your email newsletter
  • Visiting a web page
  • Leaving a comment
  • And more.

How to Do a Book Giveaway in WordPress Step-by-Step

With the essentials aside, let’s look at how to do a book giveaway in WordPress for your book launch.

Step 1: Define the Goal for Your Book Giveaway

Define the goals for your book promotion giveaway

When learning how to do a book giveaway, you must have an end goal in mind. Your goal decides how you set up the rest of the contest and how you’ll measure your results at the end.

Think about what you want the outcome to be. Here are a few goal suggestions to help you find what’s right for you:

  • Generate a buzz – Your goal could be to raise awareness and create interest in your latest book on various social media platforms.
  • Pre-order sales – You might want to encourage potential readers to pre-order your novel.
  • Quality leads – Perhaps you want to gather verified leads like email addresses to use in email marketing campaigns.
  • Social media engagement – It could be that you want your audience to interact more on your social media channels.
  • Expand your audience – Or you might wish to grow your audience on social media.
  • Sell more books – And of course, it could be to sell more books.

Once you’ve figured out the goal for your book giveaways, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Choose Your Target Audience

Find your target audience

For your book promotion giveaway to reach the right audience, you need to understand how and where to reach them.

Authors and publishers might already have a good idea of who the contest will resonate with. But it’s always worth digging deeper to get the perfect picture of your audience.

Consider putting together a buyer profile of your ideal customers. Then drill down into the aspects of their personality that lead them to visit your website.

Here are some ideas for what you can include in a book buyer profile:

  • Age range – What’s the ideal age of your customers? Are they young adults, children, or more mature readers?
  • Location – Where is their location, and what language do they speak?
  • Social platforms – Which social networks do they use? Do they prefer to interact on a Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter profile?
  • Interests – Do they prefer to read sci-fi over romance authors, or are they horror fans?

Then, when you’ve uncovered your target audience, you can start coming up with good book launch prize ideas.

Step 3: Select a Great Free Book Giveaway Prize

How to do a book giveaway: choose a relevant prize.

When choosing a prize for your free book giveaway, you need to make sure it’s relevant to your audience. Mediocre prizes won’t attract the kind of attention you’ll need to get those all-important leads.

An easy option is to throw in an Amazon gift card as a prize. But then you’ll have an email list bursting with people only interested in that prize, not your new book!

So you need to get creative and think of prize ideas your audience will love while promoting your book at the same time.

Related: What Happened to Amazon Giveaways? (+ How to Still Run Them)

Let’s look at some suggestions for a prize you can use for your book contest or giveaway, along with the type of audience they’ll suit:

  • Free book giveaway bundles from a chosen author
  • Bookends for design lovers
  • Historical replicas for history buffs
  • Tickets to a murder mystery dinner for fans of crime and mystery novels
  • Tickets to a ghost tour for horror book lovers
  • Sessions with a personal trainer for health-focused readers
  • Spa days for the wellness crowd
  • Free restaurant meals for the romantically inclined
  • Movie props for sci-fi and fantasy enthusiasts

But that’s not all. There are a ton of proven contest prize ideas in this article. Go ahead and check it out!

Then, come back and learn about the best tool for running your sweepstakes.

Step 4: Choose a Powerful Giveaway Tool

Successful book giveaway campaigns should have a powerful tool behind them. Having a giveaway platform that takes care of your contest for you reduces the time you have to spend gathering entries, marketing across social media, and even drawing a winner.

While there are many giveaway tools to choose from with varying benefits, RafflePress is the ONLY giveaway tool designed primarily for WordPress websites.

How to do a book giveaway with a contest tool

RafflePress’s lightweight WordPress plugin is ideal for launching a book marketing giveaway and is packed with features for gathering qualified leads, growing your audience, and creating viral giveaways.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it elsewhere, either. The giveaway landing page option lets you publish contests on their own landing page. So you can share the URL on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and anywhere else on the web.

So go ahead and grab your copy of RafflePress here, and then we can move on with the instructions to do a book giveaway.

Further Reading: How to Go Viral on Instagram: 12 Tips & Tricks

Step 5: How to Do a Book Giveaway With RafflePress

So you know your goals, have pinpointed your audience, have an awesome prize, and found the best tool for the job. Now, it’s the fun part of putting it all together to build competition to launch that new book.

When you’ve downloaded your copy of RafflePress, you’ll need to install and activate the WordPress plugin. Then, follow these instructions to create an online contest to set yourself up.

Add Ways to Enter

Next, decide how people will enter the contest. Remember this needs to align with your ultimate giveaway goals. So the actions people take will result in your goals being met.

Ways to enter giveaway

Here’s an example we’ve put together to give you an idea. For our book launch promotion, the goal is to get more people to pre-order the book. Therefore we’ve chosen the following entry actions:

  • Refer-a-friend – This is a mandatory action where entrants have to share a link to the contest in order to unlock more ways to enter.
  • Visit a Page – Here, entrants can visit the pre-order page to unlock a single entry.
  • Pre-order – We’ve used the Invent Your Own action available in RafflePress to set this up. To confirm the pre-order of the book, customers need to add their order number, and it will unlock 5 extra entries for them.
invent your own way for people to enter with RafflePress

As you can see, each action leads the participant toward what we want them to do, which is to pre-order the book. And that’s why we’ve made it more desirable for them to act with 5 extra entries.

It gives them more opportunities to win.

Some other entries you can use for book giveaways include:

  • Write a blog post – Ask users to write a book review on their blog to enter your contest.
  • Leave a comment – You can add a bonus entry option to comment on a recent blog post.
  • Subscribe to RSS – Ask people to subscribe to your RSS feed for new blog posts and updates.
  • Join a Newsletter – Get users to subscribe to your email list for another bonus entry.

Configure the Settings

Next, you’ll need to confirm the settings for your giveaway. RafflePress comes with 7 different sections in the Settings tab: General, Giveaway Rules, Email Verification, Success Tracking, Success Redirect, Social Logins, GDPR, and Recaptcha.

The most important of these are the Giveaway Rules. It’s easy to get a head start putting your rules together. RafflePress has a Rules Generator Template that asks a few questions to generate a set of rules automatically. Just click the button to get started.

Generate contest rules

You can see our documentation for details on all the RafflePress settings.

Step 6: Publish Your Contest

Now it’s time to make your book launch competition go live! Click Publish at the top of the screen, and you’ll see 3 publishing options.

You can publish your contest in the following ways:

  1. RafflePress Content Block – Embed the giveaway widget in a post or page with the new WordPress block editor.
  2. WordPress Shortcode – Embed the giveaway in the classic WordPress editor, the sidebar, widgets, or theme with a simple shortcode.
  3. Giveaway Landing Page – Create a landing page free of distractions on your site for the giveaway.

We’ll choose the dedicated landing page option for this example because it’s distraction-free and more likely to encourage people to enter.

How to Do a book giveaway with a giveaway landing page

So go ahead and click the Giveaway Landing Page option.

You’ll be asked to set the permalink for the landing page, which is pretty simple. Just enter your preferred URL parameters. Then click the View button to see what your competition looks like.

New book launch giveaway example

Great job! You’ve now got an amazing landing page for your contest.

Expert Tip

Kelly Schuknecht

“Once you launch your giveaway, keep in mind that you have to stick with the rules you set. If the giveaway isn’t doing as well as you’d hoped, you can’t extend the deadline or change the terms or prize or anything else.

I ran one giveaway where I thought no one was going to enter at all. I ended up receiving one entry at the last minute and, well, that was the winner! It didn’t go nearly as well as I had expected, but I was able to learn from the experience and apply what I learned to the next giveaway I ran so I had much better results.”

Kelly Schuknecht – Author Coach

Step 7: Strategically Promote your Book Giveaway

To create a super successful giveaway, you need a clear strategy that lays out all the steps you’ll take to promote it. You can’t just sit around and wait for people to enter.

There are plenty of ways to promote your book launch, but some of the easiest ways are to share the contest on social media.

Instagram giveaway example

For example, this Instagram giveaway from Hayland and Whittle has a great photo showing followers what they could win and giveaway hashtags to widen their reach on Instagram.

Start promoting your giveaway a few weeks before the contest goes live, so you get heaps of entries on day 1.

You can also promote your book giveaway by:

  • Sending an email newsletter with a link to your giveaway page
  • Adding a popup to your website prompting users to enter
  • Listing your book giveaway on sweepstakes directories
  • Posting your contest on community sites like Reddit

For more tips, check out our article on contest promotion ideas to make your contest go viral.

Step 8: Pick a Giveaway Winner

When your contest has ended, it’s time to choose a winner. But how do you pick a winner for a giveaway? The fairest way is to draw a winner from all verified entrants randomly.

It’s easy to do this with RafflePress. When the contest ends, head to RafflePress » Giveaways and click the Needs Winners link.

choose a winner

Here, you can see everyone who’s entered and how many entries they have. To randomly choose a winner, click the Pick Winner button, select your options, and click Choose Winner Now.

Email the winner of your giveaway

The winner is then highlighted so you can click to email them and deliver the good news and make them feel special.

Step 9: Measure Your Results

The final step for your book launch contest is to analyze your results and see if everything went according to plan. It can also highlight areas of improvement to achieve more success in the future.

The easiest way to collect actionable information for optimizing your giveaways is by using MonsterInsights. MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.

It’s easy to track visits to your contest landing page, along with all site traffic, referral traffic, eCommerce sales, and much more. Even better, you can view all your reports within the WordPress dashboard.

See actionable analytics with MonsterInsights

By looking at your website data, you can see which book promotion strategies drive the most traffic to your contest page. Then, you can use it to improve upon your next giveaway. And with real-time statistics, you can monitor traffic during your contest and tweak settings while it’s live.

How to Do a Book Giveaway: Ideas and Examples

Here are some exciting book giveaway ideas you can use as inspiration.

Copperpots Twitter Book Giveaway Idea

Twitter book giveaway idea

In this example, Copperpots used Twitter to promote a book by Charles Bronson. Users have to like and retweet the post and follow their Twitter profile to enter.

By using giveaway hashtags like #giveaway and #win, they help their post reach a much larger audience than they typically would.

Herbal Academy Instagram Book Giveaway

Instagram book giveaway example

In contrast, Herbal Academy used Instagram to promote their book and run an exciting giveaway. They also used it to partner with a relevant brand to increase their reach.

To enter, users had to:

  • Like the photo
  • Follow them on Instagram
  • Follow their partner’s account
  • Tag a friend in the comments

This book launch idea is a great way to support non-competing partners in your industry. And the result is everyone benefits from the promotion.

Valentine’s Instagram Book Promotion Giveaway

Valentine's instagram book giveaway example

In this Instagram book giveaway example, Atria Books used Valentine’s Day to promote their romance book collection on Instagram. The lucky winner could receive a bundle of free romantic books to celebrate the big day.

This is an excellent book launch idea to raise awareness about your new publication.

Facebook Book Giveaway Example

how to do a book giveaway on Facebook

Shaun Burgess ran a book giveaway from his Facebook page to promote his author profile. The winner could receive a free signed copy of a popular Stephen King book.

To enter, users had to follow Shaun’s author profile on BookBub and leave a screenshot confirming the follow in his Facebook comments.

How to Do a Book Giveaway FAQs

Can I do a book giveaway on Goodreads?

Yes, you can host a book giveaway on Goodreads. The platform offers a giveaway program that allows authors and publishers to offer physical or digital books to readers. The program is designed to generate buzz and encourage reviews for your book. However, we recommend running a giveaway from your website to drive traffic directly to your business.

Can I give away an eBook instead of a physical book?

Yes, you can choose to give away an eBook instead of a physical book. Many authors and publishers opt for eBook giveaways as they are more cost-effective and easier to distribute. When hosting an eBook giveaway, ensure you provide clear instructions on how the winner can claim and access their digital copy.

How do I handle shipping costs for physical book giveaways?

When hosting a physical book giveaway, you’ll need to factor in shipping costs. You can include shipping costs in your giveaway budget, use a print-on-demand service that handles shipping for you, limit the giveaway to specific regions to control shipping costs or offer a digital version of the book as an alternative to reduce shipping expenses.

And there you have it!

Today, you’ve learned how to do a book giveaway on launch day so you can get more book sales, grow your audience, and gather heaps of leads.

If you’d like even more leads, these lead-generation ideas are sure to explode the growth of your business.

And if you want to learn about other contest types, take a look at these tutorials:

To get even more great tips for running a giveaway, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

author avatar
Stacey Corrin Writer
Stacey has been writing about WordPress and digital marketing for over 10 years and on other topics for much longer. Alongside this, she's fascinated with web design, user experience, and SEO.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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  1. good day,
    my kindle book is $6, if i run a campaign with a reward in gift card of $10 for 10 winners, is that a good campaign?

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