Book giveaways are free giveaways of books as the name implies. They can be an effective method of book promotion. Typically readers enter for a chance to win each book. A book giveaway is usually a recently released book such as a new hardcover or a book that is now available in paperback. Copies of ebooks are often given away as well in promotional efforts. Book giveaways can be great for both readers and authors. For readers, they get a chance to win a free book to read. For authors there is the promotional advantage. It boosts exposure of their new book and helps let readers know it is available.
Book promotion giveaways can also include promotional items like bookmarks, pens, posters, coasters, t-shirts and mugs. There are many sites today that will print a graphic (such as a book cover) onto an astounding amount of different products. You can even have your book cover printed on fidget spinner or an iPhone case. The bookmark is one of the most useful. It is not too costly for the author to print them and it is something a reader can actually use. They are also easy to hand out.
Author Cat Rambo has an article about using many different types of promotional items on the SFWA website. She writes, "The most traditional promotional item is the bookmark. Certainly they’re always useful, and I’ve always got a flotilla of them floating around the house. They’re relatively easy to do, and have plenty of space to put promotional text."
Authors can giveaway bookmarks alone or giveaway a book and a cool looking bookmark. Authors should not be overly concerned that a giving away a book will curb future sales or foster unrealistic expectations in readers that all books will be free. Jane Friendman explains that "when we get a free cheese cube at the grocery store, we don’t expect to carry away the whole cheese without paying." She also shares more practical advice in her article about the strategic use of book giveaways.
Here are few resources where you can find ongoing book giveaways:
Promotional Book Giveaways
- Goodreads: Goodreads is constantly running giveaways for prerelease books from publishers and authors on its giveaways section. They include both Kindle format and print giveaways.
- BookRiot: BookRiot also offers frequent giveaways on its giveaways section.
- Bookfetti is a site that runs book giveaways.
- Twitter: You can frequently find book giveaways on Twitter with a book giveaway search. Sometimes the giveaways are from the publisher.
- Read it Forward offers weekly giveaways on its giveaways page.
- BookishFirst offers giveaways of new books before they are published.
- Free Comic Book Day is held the first Saturday in May of each year. It is a great day because free comic books are given away at participating comic book specialty shops.
In addition to the book promotion giveaways that help generate publicity there are also free book giveaways to help the needy, help libraries and reading centers, and promote literacy. Reading Rockets has great page about these types of programs and charitable efforts here.