Dear Author, are you ready for some events and giveaways?
Most authors love Goodreads giveaways, because you book gets some views on a site that is for readers. Readers might add the book to their shelves when they enter giveaway, and pick it up later. If you’re not on Goodreads as an author you should be there.
Many of the helpful hints will come from : http://www.novelpublicity.com/2012/02/how-to-run-a-goodreads-giveaway-with-maximal-results-11-tips-we-know-youll-need/, Emlyn Chand, who mapped out different Goodreads Giveaway options.
3 months and 7 days. Timing should be 3 months in advance, and you can only list your giveaway 7 days out from today’s date and no sooner. I tried to do a giveaway a week in advance, but you can only list a giveaway 7 days from the date you sign up! So mine became June 2nd-9th,, as they have to last a week. The 4th was my release date. The ideal timeframe is 3 months ahead of time, because it’s an advance copy.
Autograph. Make sure you say it’s an autographed copy! Use AUTOGRAPHED COPY in all capital letters, says Chand.
Advertise. It’s free to do a Goodreads giveaway, but some authors say to take out an advertisement to maximize the benefit. I haven’t taken an advertisement, so I do not have too much to report.
A 1 book prize is okay. Giving away one book seems to work well. Authors report little difference on participation with a one book giveaway vs. multiples. If you have multiple books to giveaway, other authors encourage to spread them out instead of putting all books into one giveaway. Emlyn Chand, methodologist and author, encourages alternating long and short giveaways.
Shorter giveaways appear on multiple lists. There is no need to do a lengthy giveaway. You can appear in the newly listed giveaways as well as the “ending soon” giveaways. This is good for readers who are not clicking through the giveaway lists.
Giveaways on other websites:
Rafflecopter is a fun way to make a fair contest, and you can even use it free. Authors will often use rafflecopter to collect entries, and people can get more entries by tweeting a message you set or visiting a facebook page. There are other options that are paid. You can set the contest up way in advance, which I love.
Rule of Wrist: Spread the prizes to different websites. When I did my first giveaway in the pre-order stage of book 1, I was giving away 11 books through my Facebook page. For my next book, I plan to spread free copies throughout the internet to reach more people.
Physical Mail and sending out copies
Always mail your paperback as soon as possible. Some authors wait a good week, and you will surely stand out if you mail it sooner. In the USA, ask for “media mail” and tell your post office that you are sending a book. It’s about $4 cheaper. Postage can put a damper on any small business, and I wish there was a definitive guide to navigating it.
Author takeovers were an unfamiliar concept to me at first, but a lot of authors do them now and they are a lot of fun and completely online. Authors post games, giveaways, and contests on a facebook event wall for their designated hour. Usually this is a book launch, but sometimes is another book-related celebration. Think of the funny interactive posts that get shared often on facebook. One author at an event I did a takeover at said type “glamour shot” and your name, and some of the pictures were hilarious. Since Romarin is rosemary in French, this was my glamour shot:
You never know who you will meet during a takeover. Make sure you’re giving something away somewhere to really make an impression.
Rule of wrist: Author events are only as successful as you make them. If you agree to join one, please interact. It will help you and every other author there. Try and spread the word about your takeover before it happens to get traffic there when it does.
Events in Person:
Author events, community shows, and more.
When buying a booth space at an author event, be mindful that it might not be worth the price if you are only promoting one book. You might make meaningful relationships with others, grab newsletter signups, or meet other authors.
To date, I have only done conventions for the pre-release of my book (and it was so much fun that lost my voice after the weekend!) and will not attend events as an author only until I have more than 1 book out.
When I did an event for the pre-release of book 1, I met two local authors that have been helpful and supportive. They are J.L. Gribble and K.W Taylor . I am so happy to have met them. Sometimes author events are about meeting others and making connections.
How to find and choose author events:
Google “author signing event –your city and state- eventbrite” and see what comes up. Look for established signing events, and events in your niche only. Remember, the more specific you get, the BETTER. Really dial in on your genre and subgenre if possible. Also, some events put together by inexperienced or wishy-washy people can be cancelled. I always look for events with little risk, that are in at least their second year, though I prefer at least 5 years. I emailed an event about sending them my bookmarks this year, only to find out that the event was cancelled days before, and attending authors weren’t refunded. They didn’t respond and I did not send my book marks.
While you’re out looking for events, look for bloggers who sponsor book events as listed on the event page. Why? They’re serious, professional, and you should support the people who believe in you. Many of them will take review requests. Plus, if you end up at the event, go introduce yourself and thank the bloggers if they have featured one of your books!
Sending swag to events you cannot attend in person. I have no indication that my sending of 700 book marks to a Con in a nearby state found me any readers. I thought that cosplayers and creative people might like my series, so I sent book marks for their freebie bags. I did not see an increase in quiz takers for the powers and personality quiz that was on the book mark, and was no able to deduce that I gained any readers through sending the bookmarks. I sent tea time envelopes to the Cleveland Author Event that is to take place the day after I post this blog, and we will see if I can deduce any response. My best advice is to hand “swag” out in person so that you can make a connection. At many of the craft shows I did, I offered a bookmark for a newsletter sign up.
This post will be updated in the future, but the main point of events in person is to make connections!
If you enjoyed my Dear Author post, please add my book to your amazon wish list so it shows up in Amazon emails to current subscribers! It’s free to you, and a huge help to me! (and only takes 3 clicks!)