Yes and no. It really depends on how you target your reader base and through which social media platforms you do your giveaway.
Before I tackle the monster giveaway through Amazon’s KDP select program, let’s tackle a couple others.
- Personal giveaway program- This is where you set up contests and seek out people to read and review your book. This is greatly effective to start getting those much needed reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews do matter suffice it to say. I typically take the top rating and the lowest rating and discard them before making a sound decision in buying a book. I have done several contests on facebook and through blogging for book giveaways. This generates a buzz as people like to win things…who doesn’t, right? You need to market yourself and in marketing you need to give some books away. Don’t just hand them out like candy to anyone but try to be effective in your planning. Giveaway contests are good to build an audience on FB and on your blog. It is also nice to give books away on other bloggers sites if they are close to your genre (Don’t give a book away on an erotica site when you have an epic fantasy novel…wrong kind of fantasy group to reach, if you know what I mean). Seek out genre specific readers and ask for them to review your book. Your book needs to get traction within that specific genre audience so be selective. Some will say yes and others will say no. I reached out to over a hundred bloggers, emailing them all to get a book review and about ten got back to me, so that is a 10% return.
- Goodreads is another great spot for a book giveaway. This is for paperback books only. You can target the USA or several other countries. Most of the time, the winner is a US resident but if you have an out of country winner then expect to pay more for shipping to them. (You can set up an Amazon account in that country and have your book delivered via Amazon instead to save a few dollars on shipping and you get money back for the sale. Just don’t state that you will be sending an autographed copy if you do this option). To be safe, target USA only or your specific country you reside in. Do a single book giveaway as I have not seen the benefit of doing multiple copies at once. I have done 3 separate giveaways. My first go around was for 3 copies and I had it up for a month before the contest ended. This generated over a 1,000 people entering and placing my book on their to-read list. Not bad. My 2nd go around was for a single book for just five days. This generated over 1,200 entries and more people adding it to their to-read shelf. The 3rd time was also a single book for one week. I had over 1,400 people enter to win and another thousand placing it on their shelf. I am approaching almost 2,000 people having my book on their shelf to read and in turn people are inevitably viewing my book. Once someone keeps seeing the same image over and over they will eventually check it out. This is a great way to get your book into the public. I am looking forward to having a million people viewing and buying my books. It can and will happen for you to but you have to put your time and effort into it.
- Okay, let’s talk about Amazon’s KDP Select program and the five free days that come with this. You must be exclusive with Amazon so you can’t have your book on any other platform. I have personally not seen the benefit of having the free day usage for books. Some have used it to achieve great things but very few, so it begs the question, “Is this really effective for authors?” Some say yes (few) while others will say no. I have been very watchful of other authors and my take is this. There are a lot of people out there that just want free books and won’t spend a dime. I call these people “ebook hoarders”. They collect and download free books but never really read any of them. It is almost like a security blanket, a strange collection if you will. They feel better knowing they got it on their computer or kindle. I have downloaded some free books myself but they just sit there. I made no dollar investment so the perceived value is, “well, I will get to it someday but it is not a priority because I didn’t spend any of my money on it.” I think it can be effective if you strategize and plan on a reason to have a free giveaway of your book or maybe having a sale, but not completely free. My 2nd book, The Dragon God, will be out later this year and it is wise to get my first book out there more so it will drive sales for the sequel. I will strategize with my Orb Street Team and my PR Manager (Aileen Aroma) to make it the best it can be.
With everything that I have said there is one major thing that you must have in place even before you do this and that is having a professional book from top to bottom. Professional cover and professional editing. Your book needs to stand toe to toe with the greats out there. Your book needs to shine and rise to the top of the millions of mediocre novels being shoved into our faces and downloaded onto our kindles. Invest in yourself and do it right. Oh, and make sure you get feedback about your story. You might think it is good but others opinions do matter. IT IS TIME to step up and be that bright star within the book world. People are waiting for the next big thing. Are you it? Are you all in? I am.
Bio: Brae Wyckoff was born and raised in San Diego, CA and is working toward a Psychology degree. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Jill, for 20 years, and they have three children; Tommy, Michelle, and Brittany. He has a beautiful grandson named Avery.
Brae has been an avid gamer since 1985. His passion for mysterious realms and the supernatural inspired him to write The Orb of Truth, the first in a series of fantasy action adventures. Brae describes The Orb of Truth as a cross between the Lord of the Rings and the Wizard of OZ where you will be swept away into a magical land of Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings. Learn more at his website: http://www.braewyckoff.com/