Monday, October 23, 2023

Top Book Giveaway Platforms and Tips to Leverage Them for Book Promotion Success

By Damyanti Biswas

As an author, whether you are trad or self-published, the bulk of book promotion now falls on your shoulders.

One aspect of book promotion is a giveaway. A giveaway tends to be popular because it lets readers have a shot at snagging a book for free, or even win some additional swag. Not necessarily because most readers cannot buy books or depend on free books for their reading: a giveaway usually turns into a community event, bringing readers together while a book is given away.

The more entertaining a giveaway, higher its chances of being successful. Yes, giving away a kindle or expensive customized swag like tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, candles etc can be the ticket to drawing a larger audience. Big publishers give away such items for their lead titles.

I have found though that it is possible to get readers excited about far lesser priced items that suit a typical author’s budget.

 The ad copy you write in order to announce a giveaway or the video you use, can often pique a reader’s interest. Giveaways also tend to be platform-specific and what works for one platform may not necessarily work for another.

With the information below, I have tried to collate giveaway ideas on various platforms, and what you can do to promote them better. Here are a few platforms on which to do giveaways:


Goodreads isn’t the world’s best-run site, but it IS a behemoth. Readers still flock there, and entering your book for a giveaway will attract a lot of readers. You can give away kindle or paperbacks, and the fees are steep.

My publisher invests in the giveaway, and every time someone enters, it puts the book on the Want to read list of the entrant. Their followers are notified, and if those followers trust the entrant’s opinion, they might add your book to their Want-to-Reads. This happened with my book The Blue Bar, and I did see a direct correlation between pre-order numbers and want-to-reads.


If the Goodreads giveaways look like too big an investment, try . It is a smaller but better run site and more readers are flocking to it each day. The giveaways are cheaper, but they also draw a smaller audience. I plan to experiment with this platform  soon but have heard good results from author friends who have tried it.


On Instagram, I've had the best results with book giveaways when a bookstagrammer hosts it instead of me. The hosts have a minimal investment in terms of just creating a graphic and making a post, and the giveaway usually asks for a Follow for them. I take care of the shipping costs and the ARC. It doesn’t directly lead to higher sales but it increases the visibility of the book cover. I also use it to thank the authors who have been kind enough to blurb my book. In that case I ask for a Follow for the host , for me, and the wonderful author who has blurbed my book.

This is simpler for me because my publisher puts my ARC on Netgalley, and also sends out physical ARCs. If you have your book on a site like Book Funnel, it is possible to give away an E-copy and thus reduce the investment.

Bookstagrammers who like your work can be a very supportive community: all you have to do is interact with them professionally over a longer period and genuinely engage with their posts. So many from my bookstagram family have helped me with cover reveals and reviews for the Blue Mumbai books. They know that their relationship with me will remain unaffected whether their review is positive or not.


On Facebook, giveaways work best in readers’ groups. Not many  such groups allow giveaways by authors but the few that do are very supportive and helpful. I've had many of the readers in these groups become super fans who have followed me all across my social media and reviewed all my books. Depending on your genre, here are a few groups that you can explore: Tattered Page Book Club, Psychological Thriller readers, Psychological Thriller Authors and Readers Unite, The Booklounge for Readers and Authors. If you develop relationships with the admins of these groups and interact throughout, you will receive amazing support.


A newsletter outlasts all social media. If the growth of your newsletter is organic (like mine has been) even a small engaged audience can do wonders in terms of reviews and spreading the word. I try and do giveaways as often as possible on my newsletter in order to keep my audience more engaged and invested than ever.


I don't run giveaways on my blog but some of the big reader blogs can be very effective in putting your book in front of a larger audience. Most of these blogs work with large publishers but if you make good relationships with other bloggers they might let you do a giveaway in conjunction with a guest posts. Research who the big readers in your genre are, and if they have established blogs. Some of them also tend to run very successful book clubs.

Twitter (X):

This platform is down but not yet out. Giveaways by book reviewers often gain hundreds of entries and put the book cover in front of a large audience. I'm giving away a few copies of my ARC's via book bloggers and the response has been tremendous.


These are just a few of the platforms you can explore in order to spread the word about your book.

To make a book giveaway successful:

1.     Having a professionally made and striking book cover is absolutely crucial to the success of these giveaways. Readers do indeed judge a book by its cover.

2.     Don’t make the ask too big for the reader to enter the giveaway: usually a few likes, shares and follows do the trick. Make sure to ask an interaction question which will lead to more comments, or to tag/ post in stories to increase reach.

3.     The giveaways may not always lead to reviews—sometimes they do, at others they don’t, but having your book cover seen by a lot of readers is very worthwhile.

4.     Interaction with readers is key. A giveaway is not a make-it, shut-it, forget-it deal—readers are there as much for the interaction and engagement as they are for the freebie.

5.     Don’t lose sight of your voice as a writer—the more the reader sense your presence behind your giveaway posts, the more engaged they’re likely to be.

When a reader interacts with your book on one social media they are shown more advertisements of your book by Amazon and Facebook. If your publisher is placing ads, then doing these giveaways will reinforce these book covers in the minds of the reader.

Marketing wisdom says that a consumer needs to see a product at least seven times before making the decision to purchase it. Book giveaways help in providing that visibility and repetition to your book and your author brand.  All reviews are a bonus.

You can get quite creative about doing book giveaways on a smaller budget: all you'll need is to build your author platform: stable relationships with readers and book reviewers will create willingness to champion your book.

Have you participated in book giveaways on other platforms? What has experience with book giveaways been like?



Damyanti is currently based in Singapore. Her short fiction has been published at Smokelong, Ambit, Litro, Puerto del Sol, among others, and she's the coeditor of The Forge literary magazine

 She's the author of You Beneath Your Skin, an Amazon-bestselling crime novel, which has been optioned for screens by Endemol Shine. Her next crime novel, The Blue Bar was published by Thomas & Mercer USA. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and Goodreads named it one of 2023's Most Anticipated Mysteries & Thrillers. The sequel, The Blue Monsoon, is out on 24th Oct, 2023.

Her popular blog Daily (w)rite, where she speaks about the writing life and interviews publishing professionals turned 15 this year. Find out all about her and her books here.




Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the tips on book giveaways, Damyanti. I agree with you that giveaways are a good way to generate excitement for a book and author. I get a much better response to an author interview I host on my blog when there's a giveaway, which is why I do so many of them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for sharing, Damy! A couple of those I didn't know about.

PT Dilloway said...

I liked Goodreads when it was cheaper but then after Amazon took it over they basically doubled the price and it just wasn't worth it. I tried LibraryThing but the problem as I recall was it doesn't really provide you a link to your giveaway, making it hard to tell people about it. When Amazon had the option I tried it through them but they foolishly geared their giveaway system so it never made much sense for books, unless maybe you were a big publisher with a ton to give away.

I tried it once on my newsletter but then the problem with giving away a physical book was getting a winner to actually provide an address to send the book to; I think I had to go through 3 "winners" before I could actually give away the book. Facebook or X would probably have the same problem.

Damyanti Biswas said...

Natalie, yes, book giveaways bring a much bigger response.

Damyanti Biswas said...

You're welcome, Alex--I'm glad it was helpful.

Damyanti Biswas said...

PT, I'm sorry you faced so many issues.

Being trad published, my publisher does the Goodreads, so it's easier.

For other platforms, I make it clear in the giveaway that a physical address to receive the book is a necessity. FB giveaways have been great so far, so have the ones on Instagram.

cleemckenzie said...

Perfect timing for me! Thanks so much for the helpful and concise information.

debi o'neille said...

Great article, Damyanti, but it's scary, too. With all the expectations for self marketing, when does one write?
I guess having a set schedule of writing time, marketing time, and family time is the only way to make it work.
Thanks for the info!


Insightful great article.

Feel free to take a look at my latest fashion post.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend

Rajani Rehana said...

Beautiful blog

Rajani Rehana said...

Please read my post

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Damyanti - what a thorough overview of 'giveaways' ... and so interesting who stays clear of most things - not being an author. Congratulations on your new release ... I will be sitting down and reading it very soon ... cheers Hilary