This year, Amazon.com has added a new giveaway feature. Here, you can sponsor a giveaway of virtually any product sold on Amazon.
Having done a couple of Goodreads giveaways for A Housefly in Autumn, I was interested in how this new feature could help me promote the book. After doing a little research on Amazon’s official giveaway site, I’m still unsure how this feature would help.
Amazon.com and it’s international incarnations reach hundreds of millions of customers. This makes any tool Amazon unveils worthy of consideration. But after reading up on this new giveaway service, I think it may be more useful to larger vendors with a wider social reach than myself.
The main problem with Amazon giveaways, from the perspective of the small, independent publisher, is that there appears to be no readily accessible site within the entire realm of Amazon where customers can go to peruse the available giveaways. (As far as I can tell, there is only a Twitter hashtag: #AmazonGiveaway.) Instead, the sponsor of the giveaway is issued a unique link to disseminate to interested parties in order to bring them to the specific giveaway.
By contrast, the biggest advantage to a Goodreads giveaway is that readers can browse the entire catalog of available giveaways and thereby find new books that may interest them. The giveaway is a tool to reach potential customers with whom you might not otherwise make contact.
In the case of Amazon, you are left to promote your promotion, which seems like an extra, unnecessary step to promoting your product. Everyone in my network has already received promotional information about my books. I want tools that reach beyond my already-establish network.
In the description of this service, Amazon says, “Run promotional giveaways to create buzz, reward your audience, and grow your followers and customers.” I could much more easily grow my followers and customers if all Amazon customers were allowed to discover my books by browsing the list of available giveaways.
I can imagine that this service could be valuable to individuals and corporations with large social followings. But for the little guy, it’s hard to spot the advantage. If I want to give a book to friend, I can do that on my own.
Amazon has done a lot of good things for independent authors and publishers, and maybe this new feature was intended for somebody else. Also, the feature is relatively new and perhaps still evolving.
If Amazon opened up a catalog where its customers could browse and enter any of the various giveaways, I believe I would begin sponsoring giveaways for my books in a heartbeat. In the meantime, I think I’ll hold off until somebody can explain the advantages of the system as it now stands.
Would you consider doing Amazon giveaways? Have you done any? How did they go? Whether you’ve tried them or not, can you spot an advantage to the small seller that I’ve missed?
6 thoughts on “Amazon giveaways: the best-kept secret from Amazon customers?”
I’m not familiar with Amazon giveaways at all! Would be interested too, if I weren’t still annoyed with them for charging what I think is an exhorbitant fee for their prime membership – £70! Membership was free at first, I knew they were going to charge eventually, but what really angers me is that they didn’t even bother to email and say (Oh by the way, we will now be charging you!). Sorry for the rant, btw. Keep forgetting to message you about your book. Was enjoying it a lot when guess what… The free version I got from Amazon wasn’t the whole book! So I have no idea what happened to Anders after his mother died 😦 All I know is that he went back to Uni, rescued a child from drowning. Then what?… Now you know why I’m still feeling really annoyed with Amazon 😉
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I’m not sure Amazon has rolled out their giveaways in the UK yet, so there may be a good reason you’ve not heard about it yet.
I’m so sorry about he mixup with A Housefly in Autumn. I don’t know what could have happened there. They do offer free “samples” all the time but if you clicked “buy” on one of the the designated free days, you should have received the entire book. Do you still have a Prime subscription? If so, you should be able to read the entire book for free with Kindle Unlimited. I think they have that in the UK. There should be a button to that effect on the product page. If that doesn’t work, send me your email address and I will see if I can buy you a copy that you can download. Send your address to firstname.lastname@example.org
I hate to be left hanging in the middle of a book.
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Hi Scott, my membership expires on the 28th. I did try to access it again through kindle unlimited, but apparently you have to pay a fee for that too. Feel a bit embarrassed now, not looking for a free copy, especially since I’m all for supporting self-published writers as yourself. Don’t mind paying for the ebook version. Just really annoyed with Amazon right now (will get over it eventually). At the moment though, is there any other site where I can buy an ebook copy of it? 😀
That’s crazy that they want an extra fee for Kindle unlimited. That’s what your prime membership is for. I’m sorry you feel embarrassed; I didn’t mean for that to happen. It’s just that since you downloaded it on a free day, you are entitled to a free copy. I think that’s fair. Unfortunately, since the book is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, I can’t have it available at any other sites. (This was so Prime members could borrow it for free, but if that isn’t happening, well . .. I’ll have to check into that with Amazon) Anyway, I have a free day left to use, so if you tell me when is convenient for you, I can make it free again for a day, and you can download it without having spend any money on Amazon. The price will be 0.00. Just click the buy button. (And this isn’t because I think you aren’t willing spend to support authors; it’s because you deserve what you were promised.)
Thank you for following The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, in 30 Days. I fell your frustration in your blogs. So many of your thoughts reflect my own. Keep up the good work.
Always willing to share my frustrations with anyone who wants a little piece of them. Thanks.