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

Last Updated on September 25, 2020 by Stacey Corrin

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 publish day. But how do you get started? In this article, we’ll share our easy steps for running a giveaway for a new book.

Table of Contents

Click any of the steps below to jump to your preferred section:

  1. Define the goal
  2. Choose your target audience
  3. Select a great prize
  4. Choose a giveaway tool
  5. Put your contest together
  6. Publish the giveaway
  7. Promote your giveaway
  8. Pick a winner
  9. Measure your results

Ready to get started with the first step? Let’s get to it!

Step 1: Define the Goal for Your Book Giveaway

Define the goals for your book promotion giveaway

When putting together any giveaway it’s important you 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.
  • 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 the giveaway, 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 leads them to visit your website.

Here are some ideas for what you can include in a 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 or a 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 a good prize idea.

Step 3: Select a Great Prize

Giveaway prize

When it comes to choosing a prize for your free giveaway, you need to make sure it’s one that’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 book!

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

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

  • Free book 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’s 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 giveaway campaigns should have a powerful tool behind them. Having a tool 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 plenty of giveaway tools to choose from with varying benefits, RafflePress is the ONLY giveaway tool that’s designed primarily for WordPress websites.

Host a giveaway or contest promotion idea

RafflePress’s light-weight 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, then we can move on with creating your book giveaway. 

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

Step 5: Put Your Contest Together

So you know your goals, have pin-pointed your audience, have an awesome prize, and found the best tool for the job. Now it’s the fun part which is putting it all together to build a competition for the launch of 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 for creating an online contest to get yourself set 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 towards 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 carry out the action with 5 extra entries.

It gives them more opportunities to win.

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 automatically generate a set of rules. 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.

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

Publish your sweepstakes

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.

Step 7: Strategically Promote the Contest

In order to create a giveaway that’s super successful, 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 check 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 randomly draw a winner from all verified entrants.

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 so you can 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 from within the WordPress dashboard.

See actionable analytics with MonsterInsights

By looking at your website data, you can see which of your 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.

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, do subscribe to our YouTube Channel and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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