Give it away

Continued from…

You need to give away a free copy of your book. It’s just good karma. And it works.

It may seem counterintuitive but it works. Large companies have been doing it for years.

Give away a free copy of your book.

I just felt a shudder from self-publishers around the world. You worked hard to finish that book. You managed to either figure out how to publish it, or how to hire someone to do it for you. It feels like you can’t afford to give away even a single copy.

Here is the magic of the giveaway. It gets attention. Everyone wants something (good) for free. And, and least some of the people who enter your giveaway contest, but don’t win, will buy your book.

One of the easiest ways to create a giveaway is via Goodreads.

I currently have a giveaway posted for Volume 1 of Underground at Springdale. I have a whole series of these books about Springdale in the pre-publishing phase, including one that is being fact-checked, and will likely publish a revised version of volume 1.

Writers need to write more than their books. A giveaway is another example. You want to convince readers to enter your giveaway. Keep in mind that many people are just looking for something free, and that’s okay. Most people who enter a giveaway have never read your book. That’s the point of a giveaway. You buy a copy of your book at cost, sign it, and send it to the winner. Hopefully, they will exercise good netiquette and post a review of your book. Everyone else buys a copy. You have just created a following for just a few dollars.

Goodreads says, “Be the first to read new books! Prerelease books are listed for giveaway by publishers and authors, and members can enter to win. Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway.”

But, browse through the giveaways and you’ll see that they are not all pre-releases. Releasing a published book prior to publishing your next book can also garner attention.

Let’s take a look at how to do it. If you want to learn how it works, go to

In fact, let’s go on a fieldtrip. I like digital fieldtrips and hope you do, too.

hack To create a Goodreads giveaway, you need to go to List a Giveaway on the Goodreads site. All giveaways are subject to review, so plan ahead. Your giveaway won’t happen the day you create the giveaway. You have to schedule a Goodread giveaway 7 days in advance.


You choose a date when you want your giveaway to begin, and a date when you want it to end. Your giveaway has to last at least one week but can last three months! You can also give away multiple copies.

This is one more instance where your book needs to have an ISBN. You will be asked to enter either the 10 or 13 digit ISBN.

You can select the country, or countries, you want to be eligible. If your book is about a specific country, you can select that. Authors can select countries where their language is spoken. Keep in mind that you will be shipping your book to one or more of the countries you select. You can give away multiple copies. Calculate the shipping costs before agreeing to ship overseas.

Now, use your writing skills to create enthusiasm. Convince readers they want to receive a free copy. Remember, many readers will not have heard of you. So, you get to introduce yourself or your work. You get 1,500 characters for a description.

Identify your book’s genre. You can even choose a secondary genre. Then provide your contact info.

You’ll receive an email letting you know when your giveaway has been approved, along with information about how to post the giveaway information with a live button to enter the contest.

I had difficulty posting the code. Here’s a top secret hack. My solution? I took a screen shot of the giveaway description and add a hyperlink.

At the end, you sign and send your book. Thank everyone for participating.


Then get back to work on your next book.



Ready for help? Contact me at

Tags       book description, writing, lulu

Categories          writing, publishing




Let me take you underground

Deadline is May 9!! Win a free signed copy of my book, “Underground At Springdale: Volume 1.” You’ve got some competition! 69 people have entered to win!

Underground@Springdale, Volume One, will keep you engaged with the true stories of 38 individuals buried in Historic Springdale Cemetery, in Peoria, Illinois.

Includes color photos and grave locations. Most of this collection originally appeared on the blog This publication contains expanded stories along with the previously unpublished “Leslie Don Puterbaugh: Springdale’s largest funeral.”


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