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Marketing Tactics > Amazon Giveaways?

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message 1: by Lauryn (new)

Lauryn April (laurynapril) | 10 comments I've noticed that Amazon now has an option on my book's page to do a giveaway on Amazon. I've used Rafflecopter, Goodreads and Library Thing in the past to do giveaways, but this Amazon giveaway is new to me. Has anyone done one? It looks like you just pay the cost of the book and can gain followers like with Rafflecopter.


message 2: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I did once but if you check the giveaway yourself you'll understand what I am about to say. There is no way to filter the giveaway, meaning you have to plow through all the giveaway to see what's offered. It can be camera, boots, toys, baby clothes, books, ebooks and anything in between. So you don't even have the luxury to have your book shown to people who actually read. They give you a link to it to post on media such as Facebook and Twitter, but that's all. So forget the visibility.


message 3: by Lauryn (new)

Lauryn April (laurynapril) | 10 comments G.G. wrote: "I did once but if you check the giveaway yourself you'll understand what I am about to say. There is no way to filter the giveaway, meaning you have to plow through all the giveaway to see what's o..."

That's disappointing and seems like it'd be more work than it's worth. I was hoping maybe I'd reach a new group readers, but if that's how its set up I doubt it. Thank you! I think I'll stick to the Goodreads giveaways for now.


message 4: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 606 comments I've done a few of these giveaways (with no additional requirement for my ebook) and get about 300 entries each time.


Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (sammydogs) | 968 comments Marie Silk wrote: "I've done a few of these giveaways (with no additional requirement for my ebook) and get about 300 entries each time."

That's fantastic, Marie, considering the exposure G.G. described. Do you advertise your Amazon giveaway in a newsletter or anything? Hugs


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) The exposure is to "sweepers", people who are in the habit of signing up for any and all sweepstakes they can find without regard to what it is they're looking for. This can be problematic, especially if you're trying to use the promotion to gain a following(a good number of these sweepers have dummy accounts set up specifically for these requirements).

There is a button when you sign up that will limit sharing, but that won't change much. There are both crawlers out there that scrape the info from Amazon, including the odds and how many people have already entered, which is then posted to a list site where other sweepers can find the information. I've yet had a giveaway where the winner appeared to be an actual reader.


message 7: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 606 comments Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) wrote: "That's fantastic, Marie, considering the exposure G.G. described. Do you advertise your Amazon giveaway in a newsletter or anything? Hugs
."


Hi Sam :) no I haven't advertised the giveaways elsewhere. I'm honestly not sure how effective these are. To compare, I get about 2000 entrants for Goodreads giveaways when I offer two paperback books.


Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (sammydogs) | 968 comments Marie Silk wrote: "Hi Sam :) no I haven't advertised the giveaways elsewhere. I'm honestly not sure how effective these are. To compare, I get about 2000 entrants for Goodreads giveaways when I offer two paperback books. .."

WOW! No wonder I never win your books! ;D
Hugs


message 9: by Luanne (new)

Luanne Turnage | 7 comments But what I need to know is if it is okay to ask for honest reviews on our goodreads blog once we have some followers? I just gave away 6 copies and I don't think they went to people who are even interested in my genre, if you know what I mean


message 10: by Luanne (new)

Luanne Turnage | 7 comments Luanne wrote: "Lauryn wrote: "G.G. wrote: "I did once but if you check the giveaway yourself you'll understand what I am about to say. There is no way to filter the giveaway, meaning you have to plow through all ..."

At least that's how the ebook portion of it works :)


message 11: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Luanne wrote: "But what I need to know is if it is okay to ask for honest reviews on our goodreads blog once we have some followers? I just gave away 6 copies and I don't think they went to people who are even in..."

If you're talking about making a general post that says 'if you've read my book,consider leaving a review," that's fine. If you mean specifically writing a post to ask people who won the book to review, well, you're likely shouting into the void since most of the Amazon giveaway entrants are sweepers, as I've mentioned above. It's highly unlikely that they're on Goodreads. If you mean asking people who won your book in a Goodreads giveaway,that is expressly a no-no per the rules of the giveaway.


message 12: by Luanne (new)

Luanne Turnage | 7 comments Christina wrote: "Luanne wrote: "But what I need to know is if it is okay to ask for honest reviews on our goodreads blog once we have some followers? I just gave away 6 copies and I don't think they went to people ..."

Actually, non of the above :) I'm wondering if we are allowed to ask our followers if they would like a free copy in exchange for an honest review? I'm not talking about the give away. I see others doing this, but I don't want to do anything that is not allowed.


message 13: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Luanne wrote: "Actually, non of the above :) I'm wondering if we are allowed to ask our followers if they would like a free copy in exchange for an honest review? I'm not talking about the give away. I see others doing this, but I don't want to do anything that is not allowed."

You can offer a free copy, but you can't ask for a review, exactly. You can give advanced reader copies, but you can't imply any conditions.

And before anyone tells me that this isn't true because other people do it, this is all laid out in Amazon's terms of service. Here on Goodreads, it's a little more gray area, but the point is, just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it legal. Remember the old adage that you can run a red light 100 times without being caught, but when you get caught in the 101st time, you're still getting a ticket.


message 14: by Luanne (new)

Luanne Turnage | 7 comments Thanks for the advice. I know that amazon allows reviewers post reviews as long as they state that they received a copy for free within the review itself. I thought that would be allowed here too since this is owned by amazon. This is how its been done for years through traditional publishing. However, Amazon does not allow for paid reviews (which I think is wrong anyway.) And Amazon does not allow author swapped reviews. And Amazon has been cutting out non book products from being allowed to do this. I think that I need to dig further. I'm still confused. there should be no rule against asking for reviews as long as you ensure to say that you received a free copy. What i am trying to say is this: Something is missing here: traditional publishers do this all the time. What are indie publishers doing to get their reviews legally and ethically. You know what I mean? I'm not trying to game the system, I'm trying to follow the same rules that the traditional publishers follow. If you know who to ask, please let me know. Thank you a bunch for all your help. I so appreciate it.


message 15: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Luanne, that was the old rules. I have an email directly from Amazon that I received last week, an answer about reviews. It states that a review cannot be paid for and that includes a free book in exchange for that review. In other words, nothing stops you from giving free books but you cannot ask a review in return for that book.


message 16: by Luanne (last edited Nov 01, 2017 03:42PM) (new)

Luanne Turnage | 7 comments G.G. wrote: "Luanne, that was the old rules. I have an email directly from Amazon that I received last week, an answer about reviews. It states that a review cannot be paid for and that includes a free book in ..."

Thank you! I appreciate all the time you spent trying to help me wade through it all. I'll call Amazon this week and get the exact rules and allowances explained (and in writing) so that I make sure I don't make any accidental boo boos Because I think that even so, people still have to say they received a free copy (FCC RULE)
if they decide on their own to review it. (newbie here, obviously) And thanks again-Your the best! I hope your week is great!


message 17: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Luanne wrote: "Thank you! I appreciate all the time you spent trying to help me wade through it all. I'll call Amazon this week and get the exact rules and allowances explained (and in writing) so that I make sure I don't make any accidental boo boos Because I think that even so, people still have to say they received a free copy (FCC RULE)
if they decide on their own to review it. (newbie here, obviously) And thanks again-Your the best! I hope your week is great!"


The FTC rule applies to bloggers and editorial reviews of any product. It specifies the difference between a paid endorsement and a product given for the purposes of a review. The difference with Amazon is that customer reviews are supposed to be exactly what it says on the tin: by customers. Amazon allows people to review products that they didn't specifically purchase from Amazon with the implication that they purchased the product elsewhere.

The gray area with books is because for as long as there has been publishing,there have been critics. Reviews/criticism are almost interchangeable when you get down to the fact that what is being reviewed is a subjective matter.

Still,Amazon never intended for customer reviews to be filled with compensated endorsements. They instead have a place for editorial reviews, which is where one can post a review/criticism of their book that originally published elsewhere (such as Kirkus or Reader's Favorite or Bob's Big Blog o'Books).

As to how authors get reviews, well, the easiest thing to do is put a little note at the end of your book asking that people review if inclined. Since there is no law against a seller asking for feedback from a legit customer, this is your best bet for getting product reviews.

You still can give away review copies for book bloggers. A good number of them also post their reviews here on Goodreads and some post to Amazon as well. Whether or not Amazon allows those reviews to stand is between the book blogger and Amazon. Or, if you've got a book blogger you think is a credible source and would carry some weight, you can quote their review (with their permission, of course) as an editorial review.


message 18: by Luanne (last edited Nov 02, 2017 08:59AM) (new)

Luanne Turnage | 7 comments Thanks so much! I really appreciate all your help. It's such a mushy line when you consider that the big publishing houses do give copies away for this very purpose (although I'm sure they dont "require' it). I did put what you suggested at the end of my book, as well as a note about when to expect my next book release. As for reviews, I did read that amazon states specifically that other authors can review books as long as they are strangers, but not for the purpose of review swaps...And no friends and family (which I get would be highly biased) In other words, we can and are allowed to review books as authors for other authors, but then we shouldn't allow them to review our books as a favor: (Only strangers and no swapping) We are still allowed according to Amazon to give away a book in exchange for honest feedback, but it must be stated in the review: Maybe you could read this, and tell me if I did not understand it right? I'll do a couple more giveaways here and there and see if that helps too. Again, I know I sound a little thick headed, but I really only want to do this ethically, legally, and fake reviews are sniffed out anyway. I'm just trying to navigate how to approach asking for reviews the right way. All I've done up to this point was to post a giveaway. I know there's more I can do, but scared to break a rule accidently. This is why you have been so very helpful. Thank you so so much!


message 19: by Christina (last edited Nov 02, 2017 08:54AM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) You'll need to remove the link since we don't allow them to be posted, but yes, we did link to those rules in an official post and yes, you can provide a copy of your book, but you can't request a review. If someone who received your book free writes a review, they are required to state the terms. For example, I don't read for review, but I've beta read for several authors whose previous works I've enjoyed. If the copy I read ends up being close to the final product, I'll leave a review with a note stating that I read an early copy for the purpose of critical feedback and that my decision to review was my own. Amazon has allowed all of my reviews to stand.


message 20: by Leona (new)

Leona (mnleona) | 4 comments I win books from goodreads and other sites. I feel it is a courtesy to write a review. "Reviews are appreciated" or something like that would seem to be fine. So many rules.


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