How to Market Your Book with Free Giveaways


Guest: Dan Petrovic

Marketing a book means being creative. After all, there are new book releases coming out every other day. Staying ahead of the competition means thinking about how you can make a title and its author memorable. This is where giveaways really come in handy. People like to receive free things. The usual promotional products such as buttons, t-shirts, keychains, and desk items are useful and popular, however, it is always better to think of book-related giveaways when marketing a book. This is a chance to show people exactly what they are getting from an author. The following are some of the benefits to marketing a book with free giveaways.

Why Use Giveaways?

The key to marketing a book is to make people remember a book’s title, author, and message. This is where free giveaways become so useful. The right giveaway is something useful: An item that can be read or used while reading. By printing a book title on a bookplate, a cover image on a postcard, or offering folks the chance to download the first chapter of a book, a publisher can pique buyers’ interest. This in turn can motivate a person to invest in the book either for themselves or to give as a gift.


Today, people do not want to spend their hard earned money on unproven products. This is why giveaways are effective: They give people a taste of what’s to come. By offering up book or reading accessories like reading lights or bookmarks, or even free chapters of a book, an author and his or her publisher give buyers a taste of what’s to come. This is a creative and effective way to spread the word about a new book release. Additionally, it ensures that people are satisfied once they invest in the book since they already have an idea of what it is about.

Book-Related Accessories

The great thing about bookmarks and bookplates is that people who like to read often collect them. Book buyers will not only gain something useful but will be more likely to invest in the title or author marketed on the book lights and postcards complete with the book’s cover art. Readers do not want yet another brochure that takes long to read or even skim. Instead, if free giveaways are book or reading related, people will be more likely to keep them and more likely to invest in the marketed book. Silicone wristbands are another great tool for marketing books, because a publisher can have the silicone accessories printed with fun quotations from the book. People will wear these bracelets around town, which in turn means that other people will see them and will be more likely to buy the book.

Free Chapters

Another giveaway and a great way to show buyers that an author and publisher are confident in a book is to offer free chapters. This can be done online with free downloads or can be done by emailing out the chapter or even printing it in brochure form. A free chapter shows readers what a book is like. This taste could wet the buyer’s appetite so that he or she invests in the book to find out what happens or what else is contained in it.

Giveaways are becoming increasingly popular as a tool for marketing books, since they are cheap, and people will keep them if they find them interesting and useful. People tend to buy books with titles and by authors they recognize. What better way to promote a book than putting the title of your book on a something that people will not throw away or walk by, but keep and look at often? Giveaways are a great, creative way to get noticed.

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5 thoughts on “How to Market Your Book with Free Giveaways

  1. Hey Dan Great article, I’m about to upload my first book to amazon kindle and I was thinking of doing one of these giveaways to get my name out. The only question I have though is how do you get the person who bought the ebook the free item? I know that when someone buys an ebook on kindle there is no personal information provided to the author so I’m not sure how to proceed with the giveaway. If you could help me figure this out I would really appreciate it. Thanks again…

  2. To get a free item to someone, you would have to get their mailing address. You would likely need a website or facebook page to do that. Or a link they could click and email you their contact information.

    BUT that will be quite a task for the author. And costs will be involved: envelopes or mailers, postage + the cost of the actual item and your time to address, stuff the mailer and get to the post office.

    Giveaways like bookmarks and other items would be better utilized in a tradeshow or “meet and greet” type setting where you have no mailing costs, just the cost of the item. If you have written a bridal guide and have paperback books to sell and are attending bridal shows: bookmarks, notepads, etc. could be a great way to get people into your booth.

    A free chapter would be the easiest to implement…that’s my nickels’ worth!

  3. Thank you for your comments. I agree with Vickie, focusing on electronic giveaways is a good idea if you want to avoid mailing costs. I never used Amazon Kindle as a platform for selling books, maybe you can contact them and ask if there is a way for you to get the person who bought the ebook the free item. Otherwise, you can add an url to a page on your blog where your readers can leave their email, and you can select a number of people who will receive the free giveaway.

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