Reader offers at a reduced price, particularly ebooks at around £/$1.99, or £/$0.99, are important in genre fiction, less so in other areas. It's an area we've been recently developing – last year we submitted 250 and had 200 promotions.
What we do
Your publicist is in touch with key media contacts in your genre, and they will be aware of opportunities for both print and online opportunities. This may involve a single copy of a book or a bundle of books. The choice of book(s) is dependent on either the subject matter, theme or the readership of the magazine.
Example: Publicist Maria Barry (Mind Body Spirit Titles) offered a bundle of titles as a giveaway to a leading popular spiritual magazine, Soul & Spirit. This magazine offers regular giveaways from key players in the genre. In this instance she offered a mix of fiction and nonfiction titles for a reasonably young hip readership all with popular MBS themes of divination, self-help and MBS fiction.
The giveaway also acts as an advert for our books/imprints/clusters.
Some media contacts have robust and popular online social network. They may utilise hashtags such as #FreebieFriday. These kind of promotions get a lot of hits. In these instances, we offer a copy or copies of a book to be used. This often goes hand in hand with a review or article that appears on the site or in a magazine.
Teddy Rose Book Reviews regularly offer Giveaways on fiction books from Roundfire and Top Hat Books that have been featured onsite. http://theteddyrosebookreviewsplusmore.com/2016/06/escape-to-redemption-by-peter-m-parr-giveaway.html#.V3Tj6Pl96M8
UK spirituality magazine Kindred Spirit uses Facebook to offer a #FreebieFriday. We regularly offer them a single copy or multiple copies of any book that is featured either Online or in the Print version of the magazine.
Giveaways to support Newsletter sign-up. We are trying to build up our Newsletter signups, as these are dedicated email lists of people interested in specific genres of books. They should then form a loyal following of our titles. We typically send newsletters every month, but is dependent on the Cluster/Imprint publishing schedule. More on this in Chapter 10:AI/TIPSHEET/NEWSLETTER.
We use Facebook to highlight the newsletter, offering free books for new sign-ups. This is done at regular intervals during the year to encourage social media followers to sign-up with an email address.
Events/Conferences: A giveaway can be run at the end of a conference or event when it isn't worth returning unsold books to the warehouse. We can send flyers to add to each giveaway book inviting the winner to post a review or pass on to another reader.
You can also apply for a special discount code from the regional distributor of where the conference/event is being held. There is more information on this in CHAPTER 16: ORDERING – How to run a promotion to your network at extra discount.
Example: This is how Joe at The Work & Play conference in Manchester ran the Zero Books giveaway. "We decided that a good way to run the giveaway would be to involve the delegates and have a contest where they could win a couple of books if they submit work (any creative piece) on the theme of “Work and Play”. We’ll show the work on the day and have a vote on the best piece, open to all delegates to vote. Should it get to the end of the day and there are two copies of a book left then we can use the voting cards as a raffle and pick a winner out at random from that. We’ll make sure that there are flyers asking for reviews in each of them (and we’ll make sure this point is made in person on the day too)."
Other sites and what you can do
Amazon.com (only, not available worldwide) has also introduced a Giveaway. If you have an Amazon account then you can set this up for yourselves, see here for more detailed information. We have not used this Amazon feature as yet.
Ebook Promotion companies offer giveaways; as a rule we do not offer any books free. It just doesn’t make commercial sense.
For ebook promotions; we review progress three months after publication. We will pay to price-promote your title through one or more social media book retailing sites to subscribers in relevant categories, if your book has met the criteria for those sites. We routinely submit titles to BookBub the largest and most influential ebook promotion site (although their criteria are strict, and acceptance is limited). See Chapter 14: Online Sales – Paid Services for full information on the criteria for BookBub and others. If there are not enough good reviews to approach a paid-for site, we cannot do it (it's why we leave it for three months, to give the book a chance to pick up Amazon reviews). Whether to do it, and with which site, is at the discretion of the publicist. If more reviews come through later, and you feel your book could have more of a chance, please raise it on Help Forum; Marketing & Publicity.
There are many sites, and the criteria vary, generally getting more demanding (and the price more expensive) with the number of subscribers to the site. More information and a list of sites that you can try or have been tried by ourselves can be found in Chapter 14: PAID SERVICES.
Goodreads offer giveaways, this is covered in Chapter 15: Goodreads From our experience, this activity is for the author to do.
We record all these activities on your Marketing page in “Marketing Activities” as “Reader Offer/Giveaway”.
If you are working with an offer that involves physical copies of your book and you need to send copies to a third party, then you need to add these as a "Review Copy" "Date Requested". Put the number of copies required in the "Notes" section of the activity.
Sometimes the third party may ask that we send to the competition winners directly. The winners do not need to be entered as contacts. Instead add the names and addresses of the winners to the "Notes" section of the activity.
The promotion is coordinated with our US distributor NBN. They need a week's notice of a reduction request. NBN then inform all participating ebook platform sellers, which include Google, Amazon, Apple, Overdrive (for Waterstones) and Barnes and Noble.
We will create a meme to highlight your promotion. See Chapter 15: Social Media – Memes for more information on what these are and how they are used in social media promotion. We will then post that meme to the imprint/cluster Facebook page. We will include live links to the Amazons on the first day of the promotion to ensure immediate purchase can be made. The meme will then be uploaded to Articles in Publicity on your Marketing page. You can then use this for your own purposes if you wish to. We advise posting this promotion to your own networks regularly throughout the period of the promotions. Memes work on several social media platforms.
If the title has a strong genre, we will boost the meme posting on facebook to target a specific audience and increase the reach of the post. We will spend around $10 - $20.
In addition to this, we include the promotion in the monthly neswsletter which goes out to genre specific fan lists captured through the websites. See Chapter 16: AI/Tipsheets/Newsletter. Newsletters are timed to go out very soon after the eBook promotion is live to encourage immediate purchase.
Recent example of Meme used on social media. The live buying links are posted in the Status.
If you undertake a giveaway yourself, then please enter it as an activity in the same way. Please let us know so that we too can highlight the offer on our social media in return. Use the Author Help Forum under Marketing and Publicity/Reader Offer.