I was working on a webinar recently, and while the webinar isn’t specifically about giveaways, the subject does come up.
Authors sometimes think of a giveaway as an opportunity to sell copies of their books. In reality, though, giveaways rarely result in sales. They generate name recognition, and depending on how it’s set up, a giveaway can give an author new subscribers to their newsletter, followers on social media, or other perks. When people, however, enter a giveaway with the hope of receiving something for free, they don’t generally turn around to spend their hard-earned money on that same item.
Authors have many reasons for giving their books away, but the reasons themselves aren’t what I want to talk about today. Instead, I want to talk about the act of giving away a book.
The way I see it, when an author gives away a book, she is giving away grace. She is sharing the story God placed on her heart and hoping that the heart of her reader will be as touched by it as she was. She is sharing whatever bit of wisdom God showed her as she penned the story. She is imparting on her reader the very grace that God poured out on her as she created characters and gave them life.
When it comes to Christian writing, whether the author intends it or not, a book giveaway is always about giving away grace. Whether it’s Christian romance (and you know I’m all about the romance!) or a book on Christian living, some aspect of who God is gets imparted through the written word. Every story written whose goal is to glorify God while also entertaining readers has to share some truth about God, and it’s in that truth that we find grace.
That got me to wondering, though. What about readers? How do you think about book giveaways? Have they become something that is automatically expected? Are they a nuisance? Do you look forward to giveaways, or are there just so many of them that it’s hard to get excited anymore?
I really would love to hear what you think, so please comment with your thoughts on book giveaways.
In keeping with the topic at hand, one commenter will be randomly selected to receive an e-book copy of Skye, Rainbow Falls book #1. :-)
Rainbow Falls…where life is lived in full color.
Skye Blue is tired. She’s worn out from days spent doing what’s expected of her while her heart longs for something else. It doesn’t help that the past has colored her every decision with guilt and fear. When Skye reaches her limit, she packs a bag and runs away from it all…and headlong into Sam.
Sam Madison is a battle-hardened former Marine who can face an enemy combatant without blinking. He is also a man dedicated to serving God by working with those military vets that society often rejects. Samaritan’s Reach, a place that houses and retrains homeless veterans, is the start of Sam’s dream — but an overreaching City Council threatens everything.
How can love develop between a woman who hides from her problems and a man who has never considered backing down?
I do like giveaways but its not why I go to a blog. When a hard copy is given away normally I can’t enter being an aussie and in this case I often wish there was either the chance of an ebook or a $5 gift voucher as I can then often buy the ebook or another book.
I really get annoyed when blogs forget that international readers read blogs and they offer a giveaway that doesn’t specify its only for certain places. It doesn’t happen here as the bloggers always state if its only for the USA. I have actually emailed or commented on a blog to see if it was worldwide or not. Often to be told Oh I hadn’t thought of that or no only America. I do it more to alert the blogger to the issue.
I often will say please don’t enter me if I either don’t want the book or have already bought the book etc.
Heather Gray says
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! You’re so right – the international reader often misses out when it comes to giveaways. I’ve even had problems with Amazon gift cards – if I buy the gift card at the US Amazon, my international readers who have their own version of Amazon can’t always redeem it. It’s important for us authors to be cognizant of the issues and to be respectful of all our readers, no matter where they live.
Thanks Heather. I am one of those who keeps my USA Amazon address. I haven’t gone to the Aussie site yet.
I know some people will send books via the bookdepository. as it offers free postage.
Also some will use book funnel.
Valerie I appreciate how this blog does think of international readers.
Oh there is another issue with ebooks from Amazon. For some books like LI we can’t get these books from Amazon USA because in Australia Mills and Boons have the rights.
Valerie Comer says
We make a big effort here at Inspy Romance to be clear and intentional about international giveaways! As you know, I’m Canadian, so the usual issues with giveaways apply to me, too.
Hi Heather, I love the idea that giving a book is about giving grace. I love books and I love to buy books for friends- to share the love of story, the message in the story; your connecting it with grace is beautiful.
Giveaways are nice, but mostly I just enjoy reading the posts and comments- any thing else is a bonus.
Heather Gray says
I love that you buy books for people! I don’t often buy books for people because we all have such individual tastes in what we do/don’t like. I will say, though, that whenever I’m mentoring someone, I find myself buying books for them on a fairly regular basis. Any book I come across that happens to address whatever issue they’re dealing with in their life – I like to get that book and pass it along to them. Books are precious, especially when they deliver a message about God that can inspire, encourage, and deliver hope to people.
I love Giveaways- entering and doing the giving. Both so fun!
The blurb for this book hooked me and I’m going to buy that book right now. :)
Heather Gray says
Yay! I’m glad the blurb grabbed you! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! :-)
Hi Heather! As a reader, I enjoy sharing books with others. I participate in giveaways to interact with authors and readers, to encourage independent authors, and to explore new authors. As a retiree, a gift card helps with my reading habit. Enjoy your weekend. Best wishes.
It was interesting to read about an author’s point of view regarding giveaways. I love the idea of giving books away to glorify God! I do enter giveaways if it’s not too difficult. I only enter them if it’s a book I want to read and I try to leave a review as a “thank you”.
I often skip giveaways, unless it’s a new author I want to try (I also look for free offers on Amazon). Once I know I like an author, I want to pay for their work because I know how hard it is.
Kathy Schnitz says
I like giveaways, because a lot of them are new to me authors so I can see if I like their books. But I also buy books sometimes (not as often as I’d like to, being on SS.) I enjoyed reading about your perspective as an author.
Linda Hogue says
The only reason I like giveaways or free booksor at the most 99 cents occasionally is to get acquainted with a new author before I start buying her books. That is how I have found many of my favorite authors of whom you are one of them.
Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds says
I enjoy book giveaways as it gives me the opportunity to find new authors to me and I always post reviews on multiple sites as a thank you.
Nicole Santana says
I appreciate giveaways, but they’re not why I go to an author’s site per se. I see them as an amazing bonus. 🙂
Margaret Nelson says
I like giveaways when there is at least a chance I might be the winner (and I’ve won a lot of books here in Inspy Romance! ) I’ve met some new favorite authors that way. I like the $5 Amazon card giveaways too.
Don’t enter me in your giveaway, because I’ve read Skye already (and liked it!)
I began reading ebooks because of free “give away” and agreed to receive a newsletter. from that I have learned which authors and genre of ebooks I look for and what to not get. I am a retired state worker, we helped people with disabilities got to work or keep the job they had. My husband is disabled with non related service and also disabled veteran, I am disabled also according testing that was done after retirement. Neither of us try to play the disability “card” unless we are having problems and need to use the parking up close. But back to books I have received a lot of books free as an Advanced reader to give reviews. Also to see if I like a new author