Giveaways, raffles, and contests are a great way to gain exposure and find new readers. BUT, as with everything in the publishing world you'll want to make sure to it the right way. It's tempting to add five bucks to a pot towards an Amazon gift card with fifty other authors and collect those email addresses but at the end of the day, this is a really bad idea. I know how tempting it can be when you're new and desperate to build your list but it's not worth the cost. Trust me, I know.
I'm in an author group on Facebook and despite a bad feeling in my gut, I signed up for just such an event. Several other authors (who were experiencing a lot more success at the time than I was) had done it and they loved it. So it couldn't be that bad right? Wrong. After the contest I had about 1k new subscribers and since the authors participating were in all genres I figured I'd send out an email introducing myself and my work and reminding them how I got their email and if they weren't interested to simply unsubscribe. At this point I have made no less than three mistakes. I signed up for a promo that I had a really bad feeling about, I told the people to unsubscribe instead of offering a subscribe link, and the giveaway was not reader or genre specific. The result? I grew my email list by about 600 people who don't interact with me at all or buy my books and I got my account suspended because of the high unsubscribe rate. Ouch. This post hurts to write. And that was about a year ago. So, here are my tips for a successful giveaway and lessons learned from my biggest mistake as an author.
Marissa Frosch is the head of marketing at Amphibian Press and all writes under the pseudonym Cameron J Quinn. She is the author of The Starsboro Chronicles. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, blog and her website.
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