When I am organizing a blog tour for an author I often get the question about what makes for a good giveaway prize or what are some possible options for giveaway prizes. While I usually give a short answer I wanted to do a post more in depth about all the possible prizes you can consider as a book author and for which audience they work best. Below I’ve listed some possible options along with some explanation and for which audience each prize works best.
Giveaway Prizes ideas for authors
- Ecopies of your own books. These can be advance copies of a book that isn’t released yet or copies of a book that’s released already. You can go for your newest book or for books from your backlist or even have the reader pick which book they want. You can also decide to giveaway away multiple different books to one winner for a bigger prize. Or go for multiple winners who all win one ecopy.
Why pick this prize: Ecopies of your books usually appeal to people who are already fans of your book as long as you’re giving away a book they don’t own yet. As well as readers who are interested in your books, but haven’t read any or many of your books so far. Another benefit of e-copies is that they’re cheap for the author and involve no shipping costs.
- Physical copies of your own books. A lot of readers love physical book copies and they make for great giveaway prizes. Another benefit is that even for readers who already read your books in eformat winning a physical copy is still appealing. You can also decide to giveaway signed physical copies.
Why pick this prize: physical copies of your books are a great reward for those who are already fans, but don’t have a physical copy yet. It’s also appealing to new to you readers. Winning a physical product appeals to a lot of readers. Keep in mind that shipping physical copies does cost money or limit the winner to someone who lives in the same country as you to make the cost more affordable.
- Audiobook copies of your own books. If you have an audio version of your book that would make for a good giveaway prize as well. Some readers like listening to a book they already read and for those new to you who like audiobooks it makes for a good prize as well.
Why pick this prize: if you want to appeal to listeners giving away audiobook copies of your books is a good idea. They can appeal to those who are already fans and want to experience your book in a different way or those new to your books who prefer audio format. Just like ecopies audiobook copies are usually free or cheap to gift.
- Copies of other author’s books. Instead of giving away your own books you can give away books by other authors. I usually would recommend giving away books by authors whose genre/ style or themes are comparable to yours, to make sure there’s a good chance these books appeal to your audience. Or give away copies of a book you enjoyed yourself. Readers like hearing which books an author enjoyed and getting the chance to win a book you enjoyed can make for a great prize.
Why pick this prize: This is a good prize for both people who like your books or those new to you as they might be interested in these other author’s books as well. The price depends on whether you go for physical copies or ecopies.
- Audible/ audiobook subscription. If you want to focus on audio, giving away an audiobook subscription to audilbe or other audiobook store if a good idea. You can also decide to go for a gift card to an audiobook store instead depending on the store.
Why pick this prize: This prize will appeal to those readers who like listening to audiobooks and can be a fun way to promote your own audiobook as well.
- Swag. Swag of your book can be a great giveaway prize. Think of things like pens, magnets, bookmarks, posters, signed book plates, mugs, measuring spoons, necklace, bracelets and more.
Why pick this prize: These can be great for both fans and new to you readers. Prizes like this usually only appeal to people who are at least mildly interested in your book as the swag will be branded for your book. The smaller items are also great as they often are cheaper to ship than shipping books, but it still costs money to design and create the swag.
- Gift Cards. Gift cards are one of the most common prizes for giveaways and they are pretty effective. You can pick a specific store like a book store or something like Starbucks or another store you like to shop at. Another option is to give away an Amazon gift card. Keep in mind that Amazon gift cards appeal to non book lovers as well, so you might get entries from people who aren’t interested in you or your books, but just want the shopping money. At the same time that is the strength of these prizes as they appeal to almost everyone. Another idea is to have the winner pick which store they want the gift card for.
Why pick this prize: Gift cards will appeal to readers and non-reader alike, so these will appeal to a broad audience. Which exact gift card you pick will affect who this appeals to. Gift cards don’t require shipping and thus only cost the prize of the gift card.
- Ereader. This is a bit of a pricey option, but one that likely will do well with all types of readers, except those who don’t read ebooks at all. You can pick a specific ereader to give away to give the winner a choice from multiple ereaders. If your books are only available on Amazon you can go with one of Amazon’s kindle ereaders as those likely will appeal to your readers. While if your books are available on all ebook stores you can also pick a different brand of ereader.
Why pick this prize: If you want to go for a big prize giving away an ereader is a good idea. They appeal to all readers and won’t be as interesting for non-readers.
- General bookish products. Think of bookmarks, bookends, stationary etc. Things that many book lovers love. While not specific to your books, this can be a great prize as it attracts all types of book lovers.
Why pick this prize: these appeal to all readers and also are a great prize for people who already read your books as well as those who aren’t familiar with your books yet.
- Products related to theme of your book. Instead of giving away bookish prizes you can tie the prize in with the theme of your book, like cookware if your book has a cook or baker character. Or mermaid related products for a book with a mermaid theme. Dragon products for a book with dragons and so forth.
Why pick this prize: These prizes appeal to both lovers of your books and those of the theme/ product. They make for unique prizes and can make your giveaway stand out from the rest.
- Non-physical prizes. Instead of giving away physical prizes you can give away things that aren’t physical or material. Like have the winner name a character in your book, use the winner’s name in your book, let the winner decide the race of a pet in your next book or a skype/ phone call with the author.
Why pick this prize: This can be an unique prize that appeals to most readers and fans of the author. These prizes are often cheap for the author, but very valuable to the readers. It does mean you have to be willing to put in the time or use the winner’s input for your book depending on the prize.
- Prize package. Create a prize package with a variety of products, you can combine any options list before. I’ve seen some prize packs that includes books, as well as a gift card and some other related bookish or book theme products. These make for great pictures and a great prize to win. They also will appeal to current fans and new to your readers and even non-readers depending on the actual products includes due to the variety of products
Why pick this prize: prize packages will appeal to a wide variety of people both booklovers/ readers as well as non-readers. It all depends on the actual products you pick for this. Prize packages can make for great pictures and I would recommend to make a picture and use that to promote the prize package giveaway.
These are some possible ideas on what to give away when running a giveaway as a book author. I hope this is helpful. If you have any ideas that I didn’t list, let me know and I’ll gladly add them to this list.