Authors: Why Book Giveaway Promotions May Hurt Your Sales

One of the things many authors do when launching their book is to run a “giveaway” promotion on their blog, social media or on other blogs, etc.

But that strategy could actually HURT your sales and here’s why…

In most cases a book giveaway promotion requires people to register, comment or engage in some way to win.

Here comes the problem…

Almost everyone who registers to win is now NOT going to buy the book because they are WAITING to see if they won.

And if they don’t win, they might buy the book but then again… they might not because their excitement waned.

Do you see the issue?

Now, I’m definitely not saying you should never give away copies of your book. Getting copies into people’s hands is extremely important. What I am saying is that the timing of these giveaways matters.

Giveaways pre-release are great. They build buzz, help with early adopters getting content, etc.

I’d just reconsider doing a giveaway at launch / public release. That’s when they can hurt.

You might be wondering… “Well, how do I handle the bloggers and friends who want to do giveaways of my book on their site? They might not promote my book without doing a giveaway.” Good question. I’d encourage creating something else that the blogger, etc. can give away as an incentive to go along WITH purchasing the book. Maybe it’s an e-book accompaniment, an invite to a special webinar or teleseminar, or some other value add.

The trick is that you really want to be careful, at launch, to do anything that might cause a potential buyer to stall. Most buying decisions on books and smaller ticket items are a bit of an impulse buy. If you delay that action, the chances of them returning decrease… a lot.

Something to consider when you launch your next book.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Great thoughts Daniel. I’ve had similar thoughts on book giveaways as well.

    They make people wait to see if they’ve won. By the time the winner is announced, the big push is over for the release.

    The smarter move would be, like you said, to do a pre-release giveaway. This way the winner is known and those who want to purchase, can.

  • Chuck Tate 

    Wow. This is really good stuff!