Giveaways and the Act of Gift Giving

Those who know me know that I love giving gifts. It’s something drilled into me by the generosity of my mother. Growing up, I have been taught that when meeting someone new one must bring a gift to commemorate the occasion. This is of course for when you know you’re meeting someone new and not when it’s accidental, like running into someone. Although, during times like that I secretly hope to see the person again so that I can bring him or her something.

One of the perks of being an author is that I can expand my gift giving into my circle of fans—many of which I am now honored to call friends. This translates to picking one Facebook follower a month to send a birthday present to. Every day, I make sure to greet everyone on my birthday notification list. Why? Because birthdays are awesome. Then on random days, the person who replies to my greeting gets a gift. Simple as that.

Giveaways are an extension of my penchant to give gifts. Not only are they an excellent way to spread the word about an upcoming release, make a blog tour more lively, or just a way for readers to discover you, authors have been using giveaways as part of promoting themselves and their work. I knew of an author who gave away one Kindle Fire every month.

Through social media there are a million ways to conduct giveaways. Having an RT & Follow giveaway on Twitter is popular. Conducting/attending a Facebook party is also a great way to promote your work. Instagram giveaways are quite fun and something I have yet to figure out properly.

Do you have a book on preorder? Have swag to giveaway? Why not have readers send you screenshots of their preorder confirmations in exchange for book related swag.

Like I said, tons of options out there.

If you don’t have time to set up a giveaway, be open-minded to sponsoring blogger giveaways. Sometimes all you have to do is send out the prize you and the blogger agreed upon and in exchange you and your work get exposure.

Giveaways don’t have to be big ticket items. Signed copies. Ebooks. Bookmarks. Whatever you can spare that helps promote your work.

The downside of giving gifts and doing giveaways is sometimes you get a deluge of messages from people asking for free books. Happened to me once. I sent a signed copy to someone and the next day I got ten emails from that person’s friends demanding free books. It was heartbreaking. And in many ways made me feel cheap. Like they were spitting on my generosity.

Of course, with anything that we do, there can be downsides. But do those downsides discourage me from giving? Not at all. In fact, it’s even furthered my commitment to give and share.

There’s already enough negativity to the world. If I can contribute to spreading more positive energy then why not?   

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