by Gillian Nicol
Nothing says reader appreciation like a good old-fashioned giveaway. Pairing a book giveaway offer with a holiday like Valentine’s Day is a sure way to attract attention and assure your readers that you care about them. Giveaways are a great way to engage readers while expanding your fan base to those who may not have picked up your book at first glance. Not sure where to start? There are many tools that authors can utilize to connect with their current and future readers.
1. I <3 Goodreads.
Creating your Goodreads author profile takes only a few minutes and is a great way to fuel a buzz around your book. This feature allows you to completely customize your giveaway; you decide the length of the contest as well as how many books you wish to give away. Potential entrants are able to sort through listings by popularity, most requested, recently listed and by giveaways that are ending soon. Goodreads takes in all of the information and will select the winners. Their algorithm uses data to match interested members with each book. Those selected are encouraged to write a review, so everyone comes out a winner. Unfortunately at this time e-books cannot be featured; we are hopeful that Goodreads will provide this option in the future.
2. Love me, love my kindle.
For authors that have released their book electronically, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is for you. This library is a collection of books that Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle can borrow once a month with no due dates. If you publish your books with Kindle Direct, your books will still be available for anyone to buy in the Kindle Store, and you’ll continue to earn royalties from those sales. By giving your book away for free, you allow your book to climb the ranks of Amazon’s “Free on Kindle” book list, a massive perk for indie authors. This type of extra exposure is sure to get you noticed, which in turn may find you a new, larger and loyal following of readers.
3. Be mine, Freebooksy?
Need help getting the word out about your giveaway? Look no further than Freebooksy. Not only does this website promote book giveaways but they also advertise free e-books and audiobooks. They post a free e-book at least once a day and cover multiple genres so that there is something for everyone. Publishers and authors alike seek out their services that extend beyond giveaways: e-book conversion, author websites and book cover design are among them. With a Facebook following of more than 70,000, your book could easily be in the hands of thousands.
4. “Likes” light up my life.
If your Facebook and Twitter fan base is already going strong, feel free to host your own giveaway through these social media channels. Retweets and shares are powerful tools to spread the word about your book. Request that your fans comment on a specific Facebook post on your fanpage or tweet #yourbooktitlehere as their formal entry into the contest. Tracking the entries can be tedious but a random number generator such as random.org will select your winner once you have assigned a number to each entry. Your established followers and newcomers will keep coming back for more.
5. Wild about widgets.
A widget by definition is a small gadget or application, also known as your author website’s best friend. These little features come in all shapes and sizes and yes, there are widgets for giveaways! Contest Machine and Rafflecopter are only two among the many out there. Contest Machine is great and handles everything from collecting entries to contacting winners. It also gives you the option of building an opt-in mailing list so you can stay connected with your readers and notify them of upcoming events regarding your novel or series.
Rafflecopter works in the same vein as Contest Machine but has monthly plans (for a price) as well as free features. They boast real-time analytics, 1-click Facebook applications and the ability to increase Pinterest followers through their widget. You can even enter their contest and be picked to win a free month of service. We encourage authors to test out the free version of both contest generators first to find which will work best for you.
Book lovers will agree that the next best thing to spending Valentine’s with your sweetheart is curling up for some quiet, quality time with a new book. It doesn’t have to be all about chocolates and flowers, does it? Regardless of the path you take, hosting your first book giveaway shouldn’t be a stressful time. Between e-books and print copies, there are plenty of options and tools to explore as you begin planning. Best of all, your readers will love you for it!
Gillian Nicol is a publishing assistant and aspiring writer. She launched her publishing career at Pressque Publishing and currently works with PubSmart. She was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Connecticut and Florida. She holds a Bachelors degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. The beach is her favorite place to crack open a book and enjoy a good read.
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Day 2: Send out a Tweet on Twitter.
Yesterday we introduced you to Twitter and if that was your first visit, you set-up your account and followed us @InfinityBooks. Bravo for joining us in the social media challenge!
Today we’re going to send out what is called a “Tweet” on Twitter. A Tweet is a short message that is limited to140 characters. When you send out a Tweet it goes out to all of the people that are following you on Twitter and it will be posted on your Twitter page. To see the history of your tweets you can click the word tweets at the top of your Twitter page.
How do you send out a tweet?
Log into your Twitter account. www.twitter.com
Write your Tweet. Once you’re logged into your account you’ll see a box at the top of the page that says “Compose new Tweet”. Type in what you want to say. You are limited to 140 characters. There is a counter in the lower right hand corner of the box and that will be visible once you start typing. It will count the characters for you. If you go over the 140 limit, it will give you a negative number. You will need to revise your tweet to fit into that limit. You can also add an image to your Tweet, click on the camera image just under the box where you write in your Tweet.
Send out your Tweet. When you’re happy with your Tweet, hit send and your Tweet will be sent out to your list of followers and be posted on your main Twitter page.
What should you tweet about?
Twitter is a great tool for building a network in your genre and for self-promotion and it takes about 30 seconds to make it happen. Use Twitter to send out messages about what you’re doing as a writer. Example tweet: “Working on my next book Midnight Rain, check out a free chapter on my site. Let me know what you think of Detective Smith.” http://www.yourwebsite.com
Be sure to include a link back to your website, this will help drive traffic back to your site and this is what you want. Keep your Tweets fun and use them to drive interest.
A great way to send out a Tweet in less than 5 seconds is to do what is called a retweet. You won’t have to write a thing. If you like what someone else is Tweeting you can resend that message out to your followers. You can do this directly from your Twitter account or go to another Twitter users account and find a Tweet you like. Another way to find content to retweet is while you’re surfing the web. You’ll notice that there are social media buttons virtually everywhere. If you see a Twitter button on a blog for example, you should click on it and a box will pop-up and it will automatically create the Tweet for you, so that you can send out a link to an article or that webpage, directly to your followers. It is that simple.
Why is Twitter such a valuable tool for authors?
It’s a quick way to send out reach other writers in your genre, connect with publishing professionals and readers. It’s a wonderful tool to drive visitors to your blog, website, articles that you’ve written on other websites or to other content that you think is interesting.
Let’s say you’ve written a blog and want to send out a tweet to announce it events, send out short blurbs about a book you’re working on, an article that you’re writing
Keep your tweets professional.
How often should you Tweet?
Tweet twice daily and if you don’t have anything to say, then sent out a retweet. Early morning and around 4pm in the afternoons are good times of the day, but Tweet at times that work for you.
Today’s social media challenge task of the day.
1. Write up a tweet to send it out to your followers. You must promote your book. Example tweet: Midnight Rain is a real page turner, check it out at my website www.yourwebsite.com.
2. Once you’ve sent out your Tweet, copy and paste your Tweet in the comments section of this blog post and be sure to list your Twitter name or a link to your Twitter page, it is up to you.
Infinity Publishing’s gift to you. We’ll retweet your message to our followers and you’ll have the added exposure on the site.
Click here for challenge #3 Facebook!
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Let’s get real about social media. It’s like exercise, right? We’ll be the first to admit that we have not been as focused on our own social media footprint as we would like. There, we said it. It’s a new year and we are ready to make some viral waves in the world of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and whatever other medium that makes sense for us to better build our brand, to support our authors.
So we’ve decided to challenge the entire Infinity Publishing team and all of our authors to join us for a Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge. 13 days of social media fun.
Are you ready to make your mark?
Here is the challenge, to increase your social media footprint and build your online platform via a variety of social media and online resources. Each day for 13 days we’ll post the “challenge” of the day on our blog and you can work along with us. If you don’t know how to use Twitter, Facebook, etc. we’ll walk you through the process.
Say, “YES!” to the Infinity Publishing Lucky 13 Day Social Media Challenge! We’ll work together to support each other in this simple and fun marketing experience. Great way to market your book and all you need is less than 15 minutes a day to make it happen.
Here is how the Infinity Publishing Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge works:
Register for the Infinity Publishing Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge here. Let this be your New Year’s gift to yourself! A great way to kick off book sales AND you’ll be positioning yourself for long-term online exposure.
Follow our blog each day, starting tomorrow, Friday, January 13, 2012 and stick with us for 13 days. We'll give you simple instructions on what your social media task is for that day. It’s going to be super easy and if you’re not social media savvy, don't worry. We’ll give you step by step instructions. Everything you need to bring in the New Year with a viral marketing edge and be better prepared to market your book. So what kinds of things will be doing? We may ask you to simply send out a Tweet on Twitter to promote your book, or post a message to Facebook to promote your book.
Enjoy your new found social media skills, exposure AND the cross-promotion that Infinity Publishing will be giving back to you!
Infinity Publishing’s gift to you for participating in the Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge…we will give you the same amount of exposure that you give out. If you follow-us on Twitter, we’ll follow you back. For every Tweet you send out, we’ll send out one to promote your book. For every post you put on Facebook, we’ll give you one post back. It’s all about exposure.
It's much more fun if we work together. Join us here on the Infinity Publishing Blog, tomorrow, Friday, January 13, 2012. Are you up for the challenge?
Photo courtesy of Alex Hinds.
by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Welcome to your first social media challenge! We're going to keep it simple for you on this first task. We want you to follow us on Twitter.
1. Go to www.twitter.com.
If you already have an account, great. If not create an accout.
2. Go to our Twitter page here:
3. Once you get to our Twitter page, just click on the big button that says "FOLLOW" and that is it!
Once you've followed us, we'll follow you.
Twitter is a wonderful social media tool to connect with other writers in your own genre. If you write historical fiction, for example. Find other writers in that genre and follow them. Twitter is a great way to keep up with what is going on in the publishing community.
Sending out messages on Twitter is called "tweeting" and it limits your messages to 140 characters, so they should be short and direct. We'll talk about "tweeting" tomorrow.
4. For extra exposure, post your Twitter name in the comments section of this blog post. Here is an example: @infinitybooks
Thanks for joining us!
CLICK HERE FOR CHALLENGE #2 "Tweeting on Twitter"
* Click on the link for general guidelines on Infinity Publishing’s Lucky 13 Social Media Challenge for Authors.