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message 1: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Hi folks!
I was obsessively stalking my books this evening and happened to notice the little 'list a giveaway!' link pop up. What was odd to me was that this was on one of my books that is only in ebook format. So, after clicking on the giveaway faq page, I learned that yes, Amazon is now allowing us to run giveaways on kindle books. I'm not sure how long they've been doing this or if they announced it (since I've not glanced at their updates recently), but I found the idea intriguing and said 'what they hey?' and set one up.

So, have any of you utilized this tool for an ebook? How about for a physical book or even an item not related to your books? Did you require entrants to follow your Twitter account or Amazon page? How did this work out? Inquiring minds want to know!


message 2: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Schwimley (victoriaschwimley) | 161 comments Christina wrote: "Hi folks!
I was obsessively stalking my books this evening and happened to notice the little 'list a giveaway!' link pop up. What was odd to me was that this was on one of my books that is only in..."


That's fabulous. I haven't had any luck with giveaways on Goodreads, so it will be interesting to see if it makes a difference for Kindle.


message 3: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) This is a cool new feature. I hadn't seen this before. I'm signing up to do a giveaway on Amazon now.

The weird thing is, they make you define the odds of winning up front. You have to indicate the odds, for example, the odds of winning are "1 out of 50" which I guess means that every time 50 people sign up, the system will randomly choose one of them as a winner. I don't understand why we have to determine the odds of winning up front. Why can we just tell Amazon to randomly select "x" number of winners once the giveaway campaign ends?

I chose to give away ten e-books, so my final cost will be $29.90 plus applicable tax. But how can I determine the odds up front? I have no idea how many people will enter the giveaway. Can anyone explain this to me?

Thanks!


message 4: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) A few more things I noticed during the process.

1. It looks like you have to pay for the number of books you're offering in the giveaway upfront.

2. There's an option that lets you remove the "Share" button to prevent customers from "sharing" the giveaway with others. I'm not sure what this means. Does it mean sharing the existence of the giveaway? Or sharing the prize e-book? This is unclear.

Can anyone shed light on this?


message 5: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Hi April. I did two books and decided the odds would be one in 300, so basically, at any point between the first and 600th click, two people will win. So if you do twn copies at one in fifty, you'll have 500 people clicking and ten random winners. Hope that helped.

So far, I'm shocked at how many people entered. Lots of sweepers (people who enter every gibeaway ever), so keep that in mind. Im thinking I might have set my odds too low or my duration too short!


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) April wrote: "A few more things I noticed during the process.

1. It looks like you have to pay for the number of books you're offering in the giveaway upfront.

2. There's an option that lets you remove the "Sh..."


I took it to mean sharing the giveaway since ebook sharing would be governed by if you enabled lending.


message 7: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) I signed up for a giveaway, but I decreased the number of books I'm giving away to three copies instead of ten. I was just too unsure how this process works. It's kind of a strange process for a giveaway. But I went ahead and did it -- it's pending approval. I think this could be a good thing. I'll be interested in seeing how it works out.


message 8: by B.S. (new)

B.S. Gibbs (bsgibbs) | 5 comments I have done the paperback giveaways. I alert people on my facebook and twitter. If the giveaway is for 3 books and the odds are 1 in 2 hundred, it tends to be over in a matter of hours. The sweeps people spread the word really fast. But then 1 in 500 seems like it is way out of line and I end up getting a refund on the books because not enough people entered for someone to win with those odds. Personally, I think 1 in 300 is pretty good. But it really depends on how many people you are able to reach, because you have to promote it yourself.

For the low cost of kindle books, I might consider doing some of those giveaways. My challenge is that I have a book targeted to 10+. Maybe a kindle giveaway may result in a adult reading and purchasing the paperback for a kid?

So, I will be trying. I have a new cover out too. So, the timing is good.


message 9: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) B.S. wrote: "I have done the paperback giveaways. I alert people on my facebook and twitter. If the giveaway is for 3 books and the odds are 1 in 2 hundred, it tends to be over in a matter of hours. The sweeps ..."

Yep, I noticed the sweepers found it before I'd even sent my first tweet. I had a huge bunch if them all at once and then they dropped off to a trickle after an hour or two, so hopefully entries will level out a bit now.


message 10: by Owen (last edited Mar 05, 2016 10:52PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Wonderful news! I just signed up for a giveaway.

One thing that we'll have to see about: I signed up for a giveaway for a book this is on a countdown deal right now for 99 cents. I elected to give away 5 books, and got charged $4/95, even tho the giveaway runs past the end of the countdown deal.

I wonder if Amazon will balk at this?

Edit: Amazon didn't. I just got confirmation that my giveaway was approved, of $4.95 for 5 books. We have another countdown deal coming up., so I think I'll try this again with that book.

Thanks Christina!


message 11: by Christina (last edited Mar 05, 2016 10:52PM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Owen wrote: "Wonderful news! I just signed up for a giveaway.

One thing that we'll have to see about: I signed up for a giveaway for a book this is on a countdown deal right now for 99 cents. I elected to giv..."


Interesting! Let us know what happens, especially if you end up with leftover books. I would assume the price should not change as you purchase them first and they are not refundable.


message 12: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Christina wrote: "Owen wrote: "Interesting! Let us know what happens, especially if you end up with leftover books. I would assume the price should not change as you purchase them first and they are not refundable...."

I will do that. Makes me wonder what happens if you start a giveaway on a free day. I conclude the same re: the price as Amazon says this:
"Ebook giveaway prizes are not eligible for refunds. If the giveaway ends with some prizes unclaimed, you will have an option to create a new giveaway with the unclaimed prizes without additional payment, or download Kindle gift codes to distribute them as gifts."


message 13: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) this is great. i'll try this with my first book next month.


message 14: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Capes | 90 comments Looks ace - not for all internationals though, it seems:

This account may not purchase licenses for this product due country or region restrictions. Please check your country settings and try again.

Will investigate!


message 15: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Ashley wrote: "Looks ace - not for all internationals though, it seems:

This account may not purchase licenses for this product due country or region restrictions. Please check your country settings and try agai..."


When I signed up, it said it was limited to the US.


message 16: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Siegrist (amandasiegrist) | 190 comments B.S. wrote: "I have done the paperback giveaways. I alert people on my facebook and twitter. If the giveaway is for 3 books and the odds are 1 in 2 hundred, it tends to be over in a matter of hours. The sweeps ..."

I did one with a paperback giveway, very unsure of what I was doing because it seemed sort of complicated with determining the odds and whatnot. And I can't remember what odds I did, but it was over in a few hours. I had a winner very quickly.

Not really sure I would do an Amazon giveaway again. Maybe for an ebook. They have it set up so funny and I'm not sure for mine that it really made a difference.


message 17: by April (last edited Mar 06, 2016 08:09AM) (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Christina wrote: "April wrote: "A few more things I noticed during the process.

1. It looks like you have to pay for the number of books you're offering in the giveaway upfront.

2. There's an option that lets you ..."


Are you sure it doesn't mean enabling the "share" on FB, Twitter, and e-mail buttons? It might mean that, which would be a good thing, as users would advertise the giveaway on their social media accounts?

I did my first giveaway (a tiny one) and it was over in moments. :) I'm running another now, with longer odds so it will run longer. I'll keep experimenting with this. It's fun, to say the least!! :)


message 18: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Owen wrote: "Wonderful news! I just signed up for a giveaway.

One thing that we'll have to see about: I signed up for a giveaway for a book this is on a countdown deal right now for 99 cents. I elected to giv..."


You pay for the books when you set up the giveaway, so I imagine you'll pay at the rate the book is currently going for, even if it's on sale.


message 19: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Oh, this is fantastic.


message 20: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (whatmatters) | 124 comments Anyone know how it contributes to sales or rankings. If you offered 100 ebooks at $0.99 it would appear as manipulation.


message 21: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) April wrote: "Are you sure it doesn't mean enabling the "share" on FB, Twitter, and e-mail buttons? It might mean that, which would be a good thing, as users would advertise the giveaway on their social media accounts?"


Yes, that's exactly what I meant. If you disable that, then your entrants would not have the ability to share the giveaway with others. I might consider disabling shares because I'd like the giveaways to reach readers and not just sweepers. Granted, starting the giveaway late on a Saturday probably didn't help much. But the great thing is we make back our royalty, so this is a really affordable option.


message 22: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Andrew wrote: "Anyone know how it contributes to sales or rankings. If you offered 100 ebooks at $0.99 it would appear as manipulation."

Since it would be your $99, and nonrefundable, no, it isn't manipulation. I haven't seen if my rank changed from the purchase, but typically, when I gift a book, the rank doesn't change until it's claimed and that might be a week after I've paid.


message 23: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Lentz (kalentz) | 57 comments I don't think the new giveaway button works with free days. I saw this new feature earlier in the week, but I already had a free day scheduled with KDP select so I dismissed it for the moment. When checking my page during my sale (I like checking my ranking there instead of my account page, feels more real somehow) I noticed the button for the giveaway missing. It returned the following day. I have since checked out the setup process, yet did not enable the giveaway. Be curious to see how it works for everyone.


message 24: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Sweet!

I did an Amazon paperback giveaway a couple weeks ago. The Kindle option wasn't there, so this is great. The paperback giveaway is so dang expensive since you have to pay the full price and shipping. I'm going to head over right now and set this up.

Thanks for the notice, Christina!


message 25: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) K.A. wrote: "I don't think the new giveaway button works with free days. I saw this new feature earlier in the week, but I already had a free day scheduled with KDP select so I dismissed it for the moment. When..."

Yes, I've got a freebie today and the button is gone. Given that paid and free rankings are separate, this makes sense. Also, why enter a contest when you can just one click and buy a free item? ;)


message 26: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Seems to be US Authors only!

Can't see any link UK or US.

Feel like I'm missing the party.

:. (


message 27: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Anthony wrote: "Seems to be US Authors only!

Can't see any link UK or US.

Feel like I'm missing the party.

:. ("


Still, it may be 'rolled out,' if successful (i.e. makes Amazon money).

I would be interested to hear how the dollar spent in the giveaway converts to dollar(s) in the royalties


message 28: by Christina (last edited Mar 06, 2016 11:45AM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Anthony wrote: "Still, it may be 'rolled out,' if successful (i.e. makes Amazon money).

I would be interested to hear how the dollar spent in the giveaway converts to dollar(s) in the royalties "


My guess is that this will not be a direct correlation. Giveaways will boost rank a bit, sure, but for the most part, it will be the authors gaining visibility and possibly word of mouth. Using the automatically generated tweet seems the best way as it has the #Amazongiveaway hashtag. I'm definitely going to play around with it and see what happens. I've got a year of giveaways to schedule and as of right now, Rafflecopter isn't doing much for me. This could be useful.


message 29: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Christina wrote: "My guess is that this will not be a direct correlation. Giveaways will boost rank a bit, sure, but for the most part, it will be the authors gaining visibility and possibly word of mouth... This could be useful. ."

I would also think so. I am generally happy to undertake advertising that generally returns the cost, but shifts some copies and puts my work before the reader. In the short term it is a bit of a zero sum game, but word of mouth and to a lesser extent, reader reviews, sell books. It is another tool in the indie authors arsenal.

We are so hungry for attention.


message 30: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (whatmatters) | 124 comments Christina & Anthony

Agreed - seems like good inexpensive advertising.


message 31: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Capes | 90 comments Owen wrote: "When I signed up, it said it was limited to the US. "

Sounds about right - I'll just wait and see if they open it up one day :)


message 32: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments I started one on the first day they had it available (March 1). I had it set to build Twitter followers. So far, entries have been coming in, but most of the Twitter followers are either eggs or people who just tweet random giveaways.

I guess it's like with any other giveaway: 99% freebie chasers and 1% actual readers.


message 33: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Ken wrote: "I started one on the first day they had it available (March 1). I had it set to build Twitter followers. So far, entries have been coming in, but most of the Twitter followers are either eggs or pe..."

Yes, the sweepers had managed to find my giveaway before I even opened up my confirmation email. I expect most of them will drop off as followers, but as the contest goes on, I'm seeing more accounts that have reading preferences and linked Goodreads content. My take so far is to make sure to set the odds high enough to take the sweepers into account.


message 34: by D.E. (last edited Mar 07, 2016 08:22AM) (new)

D.E. (demorris) I launched one last night.

Operating under the established marketing practice of "I have no idea what will work," I chose to give away 5 books with an odds level setting of 1 in 250.

I got about 50 tries in the first hour after going live, and as of this morning, it's up to 90 with 1 winner.

I asked for a twitter follow to enter, and as Ken said, most are egg accounts for contests, either follow and then immediately un-follow, or just a few stick around.

I used the winning/losing text to put in a plug for my eNewsletter and website, but no takers there so far.

So, the jury is still out on how well this works, but I had just recently lowered this particular book's price to $0.99. So, for a small cost of $5, I think the exposure has the potential to be good.

I think I might try another one that would launch on a Saturday morning, as opposed to late Sunday evening. I have another promo tweet scheduled for 9, so I'll see if that bumps it somewhat.

Still, not unhappy with this first one, so far.


message 35: by Ashlan (new)

Ashlan Thomas (ashlanthomas) | 8 comments Bandwagon...jumping on! Trying my first one today. Thanks for sharing the intel!!


message 36: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) D.E. wrote: "I launched one last night.

Operating under the established marketing practice of "I have no idea what will work," I chose to give away 5 books with an odds level setting of 1 in 250.

I got about ..."


You know, I didn't even think to add a link, since I was sending them to Twitter, I just used pinned posts to anmounce other events, giveaways, etc. If it allows the link, I might try adding info for the #SIAFBB event to my next giveaway...


message 37: by D.E. (new)

D.E. (demorris) Christina wrote: If it allows the link, I might try adding info for the #SIAFBB event to my next giveaway

I didn't technically include a fully coded link, I just said ... "Visit authordemorris.com and sign up for .... blah blah blah"

Just FYI. :)


message 38: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Still, could be a fun tool! >;D


message 39: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments You can include links (I had one to my author newsletter) but only amazon.com links are clickable.


message 40: by Georgia (new)

Georgia Payne | 6 comments Christina wrote: "Hi folks!
I was obsessively stalking my books this evening and happened to notice the little 'list a giveaway!' link pop up. What was odd to me was that this was on one of my books that is only in..."


So excited to see this! But the odds thing has confused me straight off, even after reading people's explanations. It sounds math-like. I'm gonna have to do some investigating.


message 41: by Yolanda (new)

Yolanda Ramos (yramosseventhsentinel) | 36 comments I looked at the giveaway and got very confused with the odds (maths is not my thing), but with everything said here, I think i'll give it a bash. Thanks for sharing guys.


message 42: by J. (new)

J. Lynne | 6 comments I stumbled on this very close to when they first started allowing giveaways with eBooks and did a giveaway that same day! I was so excited. I gave away 5 books but made a major mistake with the odds because I wasn't sure how many people would enter. I set the odds to 1 in 25. Boy, was that a bad idea! The sweepers had the giveaway over in less than two hours!!

I chose to have the requirements to follow me on twitter and they were either eggs or sweepers. Very few readers connected to goodreads.

I searched for other eBook giveaways afterwards (wish I had done that first) and many had set the odds to 1 in 200 or greater. On the lose page I gave the link to my book on Amazon and said it was free to read on KU. I didn't see an increase in sales, reviews or KU reads from the giveaway.

I will do another in the future now that I understand the odds better. And I may disable shares so the sweepers can't share the giveaway on social media. That'll give ME time to promote to readers who may read it and review.


message 43: by David (new)

David M. | 7 comments This is a fascinating and timely discussion for me. Where on the Amazon site do I find how to try this? And what is meant by "eggs" and "sweepers"? Thanks.


message 44: by Christina (last edited Mar 16, 2016 06:07PM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Hi David. The "where" would be your Amazon product page. Scroll down to near the bottom and you'll see a link to run a giveaway. From there, you have a few options.

One would be to make it a requirement that entrants follow you on Twitter before they can enter. This is where you find the "eggs." Profiles without pictures have an egg icon, much like profiles here on Goodreads without a picture have a silhouette of a person reading. Egg profiles usually mean the account is not active or may even be a dummy account.

Many "sweepers" have multiple dummy accounts for the purpose of entering co tests several times. Sweeper is a name for someone whose hobby is entering ever and any sweepstakes they can. They tend not to translate into fans, so yes, setting a higher odds and disabling sharing is a good way to keep them out.


message 45: by Georgia (new)

Georgia Payne | 6 comments Christina wrote: "Hi David. The "where" would be your Amazon product page. Scroll down to near the bottom and you'll see a link to run a giveaway. From there, you have a few options.

One would be to make it a requ..."


Thanks for this info. So you should be able to run a giveaway from your amazon page? Is that right?


message 46: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments Georgia wrote: "Thanks for this info. So you should be able to run a giveaway from your amazon page? Is that right?
..."


The giveaway doesn't actually appear on your Amazon book page, but that's where you start setting it up. Amazon doesn't promote the giveaway, either. That's still up to you.


message 47: by David (new)

David M. | 7 comments I have looked at the #AmazonGiveaway hash tag, and most tweets without images look pretty much the same. Most of the ones with images seem to have a pic.twitter.com link that takes you to a better image, but not to the product. I only saw one tweet with both links to the giveaway and to the nice image.

My first impression was that Amazon has some kind of tweet generator, but after looking at its video and FAQ I'm less sure of that.

Those of you who have run successful giveaways, how do you prepare your tweets?


message 48: by David (new)

David M. | 7 comments I entered a giveaway just to see what would happen. I found out instantly that I didn't win, so there's no suspense. I noticed that at the bottom of this one, instead of the notice that prizes are given to 1 out of, say 500 entries, prizes were given to every 727th entry.

Does that seem like a good way to discourage sweepers?

Looking at Amazon's video, I saw where it's possible to set up requirements to follow on Twitter, follow on YouTube, or watch a short video. Some of the giveaways I looked at had the requirement to follow on Amazon, so maybe their video isn't up to date. What, if any, would be the advantage of having followers on Amazon?


message 49: by D.E. (new)

D.E. (demorris) My giveaway is almost over and it slowed down considerably since the first day.

The first day I got 90 entries and over the next two weeks got another 90 plus change. My twitter followers did increase, since that's what I asked for, but I don't think I got many quality new followers. I did get 1 sign up for my email newsletter. Whee.

I tried two types of tweets.

1) I included the link directly to the amazon page.
2) I directed them to a post on my website, which then went to the amazon page.

I got a bit of a bump after each tweet, but the momentum didn't last long, so promotion needs to be constant. At least for me.

I think the next one I'm going to try will be "harder" to enter. By that, I mean, I'll direct people to my website and require them to sign up for my newsletter before they get the link to the amazon page.

That might weed out the sweepers. It might tank the giveaway too, but using a $0.99 book makes the cost very affordable.


message 50: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 102 comments I'm surprised to say that I could not find that notice anywhere with my books. Am I a delinquent?


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