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Indie Authors: 50 Ways To Reach Your Reader # 9: Online Contests

Indie Authors: 50 Ways To Reach Your Reader # 9: Online Contests

self published books competition

Indie authors: promote your book with an online contest

There are many ways an indie author can reach readers. Sometimes it just requires a slow and steady slog, sometimes it takes a bit of thinking out of the box.

One way to generate excitement and buzz around your book is with an online contest. Offer to send a free copy of your last book to the first 50 people who tweet about your new one.

Or create a short e-book on some aspect of your subject matter, and offer it for free to the first 50 people who “Like” your new book on Facebook.

You can also use one of the the apps – or have one created, to run a Fan of the Week competition on your Fanpage.

Simply put – a fan of the week is chosen on a ‘weekly’ basis, that has contributed the most conversation on your Facebook page. These fans are key players in your community and should be appreciated. It also inspires some friendly competition between fans, as you give them some exposure if they win.

Facebook has very strict rules on running competitions and promos on its platform. You may not run these promos using a Facebook-made app, for example. Check out the Facebook competition rules first)

Other ideas for contest prizes and giveaways include:

  • Signed books
  • Signed bookplates
  • Webinar or virtual workshop
  • Access to an in-person workshop you are offering
  • One-one-one Skype call
  • Additional worksheets or other bonus material
  • Announce your contest on your website or blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Or you can offer other bloggers extra (or signed) copies of your book to use in their own contests.

Here's a good checklist and timeline if you're running a contest.

And a fine example from ALLi member, Natalie Buske Thomas.

Creating buzz about a new book is hard work and can be time consuming but if you work smart it can be part of a sustainable marketing campaign. Have you run a successful contest? Let us know about it in the comments below.

  • Pros: Create buzz; attract visitors to your website or blog; good excuse for sending out newsletters to your mailing list

  • Cons: Time-consuming to organize a contest and then select and communicate with the winners.

  • Cost: Depends on the cost of the prize(s).

  • Overall rating: 4/5



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