Are Book Giveaways Worth it?

The question of whether book giveaways are worth it has been coming up on a lot of forums lately and the answer changes by the day.

  • Are book giveaways worth it?
  • Are book giveaways still worth it? I can see they worked for authors in the past but…?
  • Should I give away my book for free?
  • Should I host a giveaway?
  • Do I have to giveaway my book in order to market it?

The main idea regarding book giveaways prevalent during the rise of self-publishing online was to give away books to get attention for your book. While this worked in the past, the market is so saturated with free that free books do not hold value with recipients.

Giving away books holds two purposes:

  1. To get reviews for your books by the readers most likely to review it positively. This means that you are giving away the book to readers who firmly fall into your target audience. One way to do this might be to give away the book to readers who are on your newsletter list, those most anticipating your next release. These readers are the ones who are likely to also purchase the book as well in order to support you.
  2. To get readers wanting more so that they purchase the next books in the series. By luring readers in with a first free read–that is of stellar quality–you can encourage them to want more. This strategy works if you have a series–and the next book is immediately available for purchase.

So when it comes to giving away books, what is your goal? What books to you have available? Are they in a related series? Is that series available?

In the end, giveaways are fine if you know what your plan is for them. When you give the book away, make sure that at the end of the book copy being given away, there is a clear call-to-action. If you want the reader to post a review, ask them to post a review and to which sites. If you want them to buy the next book, include a link to the next book available for purchase. The clearer your goal, the more direction you give your giveaway, the better the results will be.

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