How to run competitions and giveaways
One of the ways I see a lot of authors boosting either sales or reviews is by running competitions. There's a couple of things here that come together to help do this.
The first thing is to use the competition to get people's email address so you can later keep them up to date with your releases via a news later. I'll start a new post about building a list of subscribers and leveraging that. But it's essential that part of the competition requirement is to subscribe to your mailing list.
What you ask them to do next depends on what you are trying to achieve. Let's say you have a new book out and you want to ensure you get a bunch of reviews on it quickly. So you could set your competition requirements something like this. Subscribe to mailing list, email proof of purchase/review. Just be clear it is an honest review you are asking for. Amazon may cause you trouble if you are found to be soliciting bogus reviews.
You then put the names in a hat by a certain date and announce the winners via your newsletter. This last part is important because it enables all subscribers to see there are winners and will encourage them to take part in future competitions.
Prizes - you have to pick something that will entice people enough and the trade off is worth it for you. No point offering something that costs you more than what you will get. This will be hard in the early days of running competitions because if you can only get a few people onboard then what you get out of it will be relatively small compared to if you have 100+ people taking part. And, you will have to market your competition - it alone won't draw attention to itself.
The sorts of prizes I've seen most are Amazon vouchers and Kindles, probably because that's what readers want.
And, you will have to market your competition - it alone won't draw attention to itself. Social media is, of course, a great place to do this. Look for groups specifically related to these sorts of competitions. Here on UrbanFiction.org we have a forum specifically for this too.
If you have any other ideas or suggestions for marketing books with competitions and giveaways, then please add a comment below.
I have created quizzes using google docs to test my readers knowledge of my books. I have posted them on my website and I plan to do a prize drawing with all the readers that score a 80% or higher. If there is multiple people who reach that score, then I plan to put those names in a hat and draw a winner. I haven't tested this competition out yet, but I'll let you guys know when I do, and how it turned out. I want to make reading fun, and I thought this would be a fun way to engage my readers. I'm thinking of putting together a box for Christmas filled with goodies, and that will be the prize.