Do Book Giveaways Work?

Have you wondered whether hosting a free book giveaway will really increase the sales for a book?

free books

The answer to the question of whether book giveaways work is a little more complicated than yes or no.

A new survey conducted by hybrid authors (those who have been published by a traditional publisher and have self-published), while small in size (3,000 readers), unearthed some interesting consumer book-buying information.

  • While a quarter of readers reported they would not pay more than $4.99 for a book, half said that if they really wanted a book, they didn’t care what it cost.
  • Two-thirds of readers don’t pay attention to who publishes a book; only 4% said that a publisher’s “seal of approval” matters.
  • A full 50% say reviews posted by other readers to retail sites are most important to them when selecting a book to read.
  • Some 80% buy books from Amazon and 23% from Barnes & Noble.
  • Free books enticed 35% of readers to sample a new author for the first time, with 21% finding a new author through free books more than 10 times. If readers liked what they read in the free book, the survey found 85% were extremely likely to buy another book from that author.
  • Sixty percent of those surveyed said they do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter, whereas 87% say they follow their favorite authors on Facebook.

I believe one of the important takeaways from this survey is the finding that over one-third of the respondents report that they were enticed to try a new author because of a free book giveaway.

Giveaways do work. However, since readers don’t pay much attention to the “publisher” of a book, I believe giveaways work best for authors with multiple books. The consumer who reads the free book is likely to read the other books by that same author if they liked the free book they read. Thus, book giveaways can help you acquiring a wider audience for an author’s existing and forthcoming books.

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