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Giveaways explained and made easy

June 20, 2011

by Miranda Wyattmills

Giveaway: (noun: informal) something given away at no charge. Fairly self explanatory right? Well, if you have never hosted or even participated in one, maybe not. Never fear, that’s what I am here for. I am going to take you through step by step. 

Let me start with an explanation of what you, the author, should give away. After having done many giveaways on my own blog, I find free e-books are a huge hit. Anything you have signed will draw people in whether it is swag (i.e. bookmarks, trading cards, magnets, etc) or an actual print copy of your book.  People will want to enter for the chance to add it to their collection. Remember, you as the author have the final say in what is going to be given away. We as bloggers, are just super happy to host a giveaway on our blog for you. (Most of us that is, there are a few out there who can be crabby or picky, but remember you have the final say not them.) 

Now, you don’t have to limit giveaways to reviewer blogs. Have your own blog? Do your own giveaway, it will draw people in, get them reading and hopefully get a few new followers for you! There are a few things you want to decide first, before you post about your giveaway.

  1. What you are giving away. E-book, swag, paper book, ARC (advanced reader copy of a book that hasn’t made it to release date yet), etc.
  2. How long do you want to hold the giveaway? I suggest when starting, keep entries open for a week. This way it keeps interest high and keeps people excited to spread the word.
  3. Decide how people will enter. I suggest you keep it simple. Many of the giveaways I do, all they have to do is leave a comment. Now, a way to encourage comments is to ask the readers a question they have to answer in the comment, such as Your favorite book is being made into in a movie, who would you cast as the leading man/lady?  Make sure to remind the commenter’s to leave their email address in the comment so you can contact them if they win. 
  4. Decide if you want to give people opportunities to “earn” extra entries. Examples would be “become a blog follower and you will get 2 extra entries” or Tweet about this giveaway and earn an extra entry. I suggest taking a look at some of the giveaways going on out there to get ideas for the extra entries.
  5. All the requirements to enter and all extra entry opportunities need to be outlined clean and clear at the end of the post.  Make it easy for them to see how to enter. I even put mine in bold type at times.

Now you have almost everything ready to write up your giveaway post. One more thing to think about, is whether you will have the entries open to US, US/Canada, or International. Keep in mind shipping cost of anything physical you are giving away (books, swag, etc). I usually have my e-book giveaways international and all others US only if I have things to mail.

Now it’s time to write your post. Just have fun with it, be yourself and let your personality shine. 

If you are doing a giveaway on another blog, most of these will be decided by and taken care of by the blogger themselves. You can request to include certain things in the entry, such as following your blog, Twitter or Facebook accounts for extra entries.  Though leave the final decision to the blogger. Most of them will be glad to add those in for extra entries.

 So there you have it, seems like a lot, but take it step by step and you will be a giveaway pro in no time. 


Miranda Wyattmills is a Stay at Home Mom to two boys, military wife, blogger, avid reader, and aspiring writer. She lives in TN with her family, their dog, cat, 3 fish and her gardens. She runs the Your Need to Read blog for the Indie Book Collective and is proud to be a member. You can also follow her writing journey on her blog over at





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8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2011 9:12 am

    Thank you Miranda for the great post. I host giveaways on my blog and when authors come to me to host them I always say yes. It is a win win situation. I help promote their work and it helps bringing new followers to my blog.

  2. June 20, 2011 9:19 am

    Thanks for the advice! It’s been a steep learning curve as a new author and new blogger. Parajunkee was enormously helpful with her tutorial for making giveaway forms. Even a technotard like me succeeded!

  3. June 20, 2011 6:49 pm

    Miranda, I cannot thank you enough for this post. I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing a giveaways for a week now and couldn’t decide how to get started. This is very helpful!

  4. June 20, 2011 8:58 pm

    Thank you for stopping by Babs, I know it’s always a win win for me as well when I host a giveaway.
    Jennifer~ you are most welcome, PJ is a great wealth of information.

    Jackie, YAY! so glad you found it helpful! Good luck on your giveaway!

  5. June 20, 2011 9:06 pm

    Miranda, GREAT article. As an author, I’ve never really been sure– do I do the giveaway or do I team up w/ a reviewer or book blogger? It’s a fine line between self-promotion & being annoying, ya know? I love how you laid it all out with the options so clear. I feel like I have many choices and can really do it a number of different ways — the point being to get cool stuff out!

  6. July 8, 2011 8:59 am

    Thanks for these tips, Miranda. These are really enticing for us bloggers and authors wjho wanted to start our own giveaways.

  7. July 19, 2011 9:10 pm


  8. July 21, 2011 1:31 pm


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