Click on the topics below to expand and view the answers to frequently asked questions.  Below that you will find a VERY helpful breakdown of how to turn your new subscribers into raving fans & buyers!

The Giveaway Process

Why Your Perpetual Giveaway Is Awesome

Platform building is an ongoing, daily activity needed to grow a healthy publishing business.  Perpetual giveaways solve this problem because they are ongoing.  They run 24/7/365 which means they will be constantly feeding you new leads every day to help you continuously build your mailing list while you're busy writing your books! Readers sign-up for the contest with their email address and then when they confirm they are pushed directly into your autoresponder.  This means they are double option and verified.  On top of that, once you are set up you, as the author don't need to touch a thing save for sending out your prizes 4x per year (every 90 days) to the winners.  What that means is that once your program is set up and you have put some messages into your sequence this is 100% hands free for you.

What is the Ultimate Program?

For those authors who are looking for individualized, dedicated platform building programs this is the goldmine.  We run your own personal giveaway along with ads in your own personal account.  You set the budget and we bring you the people!  Not only does it grow your email list but it also grows your Amazon followers, BookBub followers, Social Media followers and more! 

Can I cancel the giveaways after they start?

The short answer is yes. There is no contract. Your giveaway can be ended early if necessary. But we do not recommend cancelling a giveaway in the middle of a cycle.

The long answer is there's a lot of moving parts and expectations involved with those who have entered the contest. So we handle each cancellation case by case. When you cancel will drive when the giveaway ends, but so will your budget and administrative coordination. Also, we're interested in helping authors who have long-term goals of building their mailing list and who understand that even though our methods are faster and easier than what authors can do on their own, it is still a gradual process that takes time. Nothing happens overnight. Keep in mind, you're building your business, not executing a get-rich-quick scheme. So what you're paying for is not just our time and efforts to throw up a giveaway and let it run. We provide training, support and lots of information to help you succeed as well as freeing up your time to write more.

If you have been charged your monthly subscription, you will receive services and support through to the end of your subscription (30 days). Ending a giveaway early is not our recommendation, so even though you end your subscriptions, the giveaway should go for the full 90 days it was originally posted for. Here are your cancellation options once a 90-day cycle has begun:

  1. You may cancel your subscriptions early and keep the giveaway going until the end of the 90-day cycle.  However, keep in mind that all Facebook advertising will stop after your subscription runs out and those leads will drop pretty low, if next to nothing. Any advertising will need to be done through your own efforts.
  2. You may keep your subscriptions and your giveaway running until the end of the cycle, receiving full ad support during the duration of your 90-day cycle.

Also, if you're canceling at the end of the 90-day cycle, we need AT LEAST 7 DAYS PRIOR TO THE END OF THE CYCLE. This will allow us to put a stop on all our efforts in time to prevent the giveaway from being reset and running another cycle.

How do you promote the giveaways?

Through your own FaceBook ads business manager.  (If you don't have a business account it takes about 1 minute to set up and it's free)  What we do is host and advertise your giveaway to your ideal targets, who are ravenous readers. We focus on Cost Per Lead.  This is better than Cost Per Click (CPC) because a lead is someone actually signing up for your giveaway. A click doesn't necessarily mean they're actually signing up. Our focus is getting you leads, not clicks. This means we are maximizing your advertising dollars doing what we do best – building your complete audience! 

Remember, this is targeting people who love your type of fiction, so the audience we're helping you build is VERY responsive! Every day new subscribers will flow directly into your autoresponder. Every 90 days, the giveaway is reset…rinse and repeat! It's one of the fastest and easiest ways to build your fan base. Our authors are collecting thousands of emails in a year through our methods. AND the best part about the Perpetual Giveaways is you can literally set them and forget them (outside of sending out your prizes 4x per year/90 days). Be sure to take advantage of the FREE webinar recordings we're hosting to help you maximize your giveaways and sell your books to your mailing list!

What happens from start to finish on a Giveaway?

Here is a step-by-step layout of what happens from start to finish for a Perpetual giveaway:

  1. Submit the intake form with all your information.
  2. Our system generates an email notification to us and we coordinate your date with you and schedule the start date of your giveaway, which is typically one month from the day you submitted your request. During this time, we're going through the process of setting up the giveaway…
  3. Your giveaway then goes into our project management queue where it goes through various stages of development
    • Tracking the giveaway
    • Coordinating the final list of prizes with you
    • Creating the promo graphics
    • Creating the giveaway
    • Sending you a final confirmation with the promo graphics for proofing to be sure they are free of errors
    • Giveaway is queued to go live on the start date
  4. Several things happen the day & the week your giveaway goes live…
    • Our team starts the Facebooks ads to drive people to the giveaway
    • You should also push the giveaway to your existing platform (if you like, it's a great way to blow it up faster)
  5. Every so often during one of your resets we may boost participation through our Sunday newsletter, which reminds all our subscribers we have giveaways going on.
  6. Soon after the ads begin you'll start seeing new subscribers enter your autoresponder.  Keep in mind we base the CPL off the total leads generated not just the ones who confirm. 
  7. When your giveaway has reached the first 90-day cycle, the system will pick the winners, notify you and reset the giveaway for another 90 days. You will then notify the winners and send out your prizes. 
    • Note: If for some reason one of the random winners is outside of where you will send a prize, simply pick a new one from the subscribers you received during that cycle. 
  8. Steps 6-8 are repeated and every 90 days you're giving out prizes. All the while, we are feeding you your new leads each day.

During the entire process, we're available if you have questions.

What is the service?

First and foremost, you're paying for a VIP level done for you advertising service run by a team with over 15 years experience in online marketing & platform building.   We've already delivered well over 1.5 million subscribers to authors & that number is growing rapidly.  What this means is you're paying for experts to do what they are best at on your behalf.  We target your ads to the best readers and create audiences from those interactions so you never run out of readers.  Secondly, in that first month, you're paying for  the maintenance fee of the actually set-up and coordination of your giveaway:

  1. If you need an adjustment to your prizes, we coach you through the process of setting up your giveaway, ensuring your prizes attract readers, not treasure seekers, AND they aren’t too expensive (remember, you’re giving out the same prizes every 90 days during each reset cycle, so think of your budget). This also helps decrease the number of unsubscribes after your winner announcements.  Keep in mind the purpose of these giveaways is to be perpetual so there will be a $297 fee applied if an overhaul is requested. 

  2. We create a set of promotional graphics that we not only use in your ads, but we also give these to you for your own promotional purposes.

  3. The giveaway is setup on our website and maintained to ensure it is listed properly, starts at the right time, has all the proper images and information for the prizes and is working.  You may request embed code if you wish to also have a version of the giveaway run on your site. 

  4. The entire process is tracked in our project management system.  You may also look in and see the progress of the ads and leads in your own FaceBook ads dash.  Please DO NOT adjust the ads on your own. 

We also provide continued support for any questions you may have about your giveaway and the process.  With our updated system you will be receiving new subscribers directly into your autoresponder DAILY so you can start contacting your new subscribers right away.  Additionally, we are hosting several FREE webinars that show you what to do with those leads and turn them into die-hard book fans who will be lining up to buy your next release! CLICK HERE TO SEE YOUR VIDEO RECORDINGS

How Does My FaceBook Ads Budget Work?

Though we do occasionally present your giveaway to our mailing list audience to boost enrollments, we primarily draw new readers to your giveaway through targeted Facebook ads run through your FB Business account. This ensures a higher concentration of fresh eyes versus constantly recycling your giveaway. All money you put toward your Facebook Ads Budget goes toward the Facebook Ads and is directly billed to your card as everything is in your accounts.

We keep monitoring your cost per lead (CPL), which, incidentally, is a much better spend of your dollars than cost per click (CPC). You want people signing up for your giveaway (leads) not just people who click on your link and look at your giveaway.

Facebook ads are designed to drive readers toward your giveaway to build your mailing list – NOT toward your books to make sales. Please don’t expect to see any spikes or rise in your sales until after you’ve started sending follow-up emails to your new subscribers.

The point of the giveaways are to build your mailing list so you can then effectively market to a list of people who have shown an interest in your books, or at least the genre in which you write. Your follow-up messages that tease your readers with sneak peeks and short cliffhanger scenes AND a buy-link to your books is what will make you money! These giveaways are not meant to increase your sales directly. Your mailing list IS.

So the ads won’t start running until the giveaway is live. That’s why your confirmation says the first month of FB ads is at no charge. It does NOT mean you get a free month of Facebook ads.[/expand]

Why didn't you ask me for my newsletter sign-up link?

Many authors believe that since we're helping them build their mailing list, we'll be driving people to go to their newsletter signup page with their mailing list service.  This is not the case.  We are doing it better!  We are building your newsletter but doing it through a different, far more active & viral way which also grows all the other elements of your platform (Amazon Followers/BookBub followers/Social Media Followers).  What that means is we're taking your list building capabilities and adding A LOT of fuel.

Do I have to promote my own giveaway?

You can if you like!  That's a great way to kick it off.  However, since you're already paying us to drive people to your giveaway through Facebook Ads, it really isn't necessary, which is why we can “set them and forget them”. However, it certainly won't hurt if you'd like to do a little extra promoting yourself. However, keep the following in mind if you do this:

  1. Facebook is really cracking down on authors who are going around posting their giveaways and book ads on their timeline multiple times AND on various pages. Facebook wants you to post it once on your page, and then PAY them to promote the post, which is what you're paying us to do anyway. Because of this crack-down, many authors are having their FB accounts suspended, or more commonly known as being put in “Facebook Jail”. If you're going to promote your book, we recommend you do so very sparingly on Facebook and use other social media platforms instead.
  2. PLEASE DO NOT post your giveaway on GIVEAWAY forums or threads. These tend to attract contest junkies. The targeted Facebook Ads you're paying us to run specifically drive real readers to your giveaway. Granted, you'll get a few contest junkies here and there, but nowhere near as much as you would posting your giveaway at these treasure-seeking websites. Do yourself a favor and avoid them!
  3. You can inform your current mailing list subscribers about your giveaway if you choose to, but we recommend emphasizing the “share” aspect of the giveaway. Remember, they're already on your mailing list, so you don't need their email addresses. What you DO need is their support to spread the word about your giveaway. If they share their giveaway, they'll earn 3 extra entries for each friend who signs up. Stress to them that they should share their “lucky link” (which they get when they sign up), but you should also tell them what we said in Step 2 – don't share them on giveaway websites. It's best to stick to those sites or pages that are specifically focused on readers.

One final thing to remember about these giveaways – we've designed them so you don't have to run around on social media to promote you and your books in order to build your fan base. You CAN, but this should promote your books for you so you don't have to. Building your mailing list (aka audience and part of your author platform) is the most effective way to sell books. WHY? Because when you slowly introduce these new fans to your books, one book each week through drip campaigns (MailChimp calls it “automation”) or weekly emails, your new fans will start buying and reading your books…which is how they get to know you as an author. More on this later in our blog series. We'll notify you when we start publishing those articles.


Your New Leads: How To Turn Into Fans & Buyers

How many new leads/subscribers can I expect to gain through these giveaways?

The number of leads you get is based on total gross contest entries not just the ones that confirm.  Your cost per lead will vary depending on a great many factors such as daily budget, age of the campaign, genre, targeting, audiences, what you're giving away and more.  Our goal is to get authors outside of romance gross leads below $.65 and those in romance below $.55.  We've seen as low as $.02 but that's something of a unicorn.   The other factor is the genre in which you write and the platform. Though we have catered to a romance audience, and originally grew our ecosystems from the paranormal romance readers, we are opening up to new genres and building those fan bases as well.

My leads went down from last month...are readers getting tired of the giveaways?

For those of you who know the reader population well, this might be a very laughable question, but it does come up. Readers getting tired of free stuff? Ahahaha! However, for many authors new to this whole process, there’s been an assumption going around that readers will get a little tired of the giveaways and the activity will start to peter out. As we've explained, this perception might be based on an assumption that the pool of readers is a small bowl of limited people. The reality is there are tens of millions of people out there we can target. Because we're working with such limited budgets ($3/day per day is actually not a lot of money to spend on ads, though it might sound a bit pricey), we have to be a little more frugal with your money to make it stretch. To accomplish this, we explore small groups of potential readers at a time.

With the Perpetual giveaways, the numbers in the periodic leads tends to pick up as the ads begin to optimize.  For everyone this will happen at different times (and is why we recommend committing for at least 4 months of the running program).

To put things into perspective, out of pool of 10 million potential active targets, your giveaway is only seen by approximately 10,000-15,000 people in any given 90 day cycle depending on your budget. Your ads haven’t even started to scratch the surface of the available fans, so the pool isn’t running out, nor are they getting fatigued. We’re just needing to fish in different ponds. This is why we talk about an average monthly lead flow based on your daily ad spend. Sometimes the leads we grab per period will be MUCH higher and sometimes they will be lower. Advertising is very dynamic. Everything changes all the time and we simply change with it. Look at the total average over a 90-day period and you'll have a much better idea of how things are going. Also, Facebook has changed the name of the game in advertising in the past and they will continue to do so. But we are on top of it, doing his best to keep ahead of the changes and being ready for them when they strike…so you don't have to!


What do I do with my new subscribers/leads?

If you don't have a mailing list service already, PLEASE get one! You CANNOT send thousands of emails from your personal email account – whether its on your own server or through the free email clients like Yahoo! or Gmail. Some of the more popular services with authors are MailChimp and MadMimi. However, here's a link which might help you choose a service. As mentioned above, we connect your giveaway directly to your mailing list service so everyone flows, in real time, into your list.  With your message automation set up you can now separate them out using what we teach in the free training webinar recordings. 

These new subscribers are NOT your fans…yet.

These people have shown an interest in your books by signing up for the contest, but…as you know…some of those people just signed up for the goodies. You certainly don't want to those contest junkies to be tainting your list of devote fans you may have already started building. So creating a new list for this contest (perhaps “giveaway subscribers” or something similar) will allow you to interact with them with the intention of seeing how they behave. Like ANY first-time, non-tested mailing list, you can expect up to 10-15% of the subscribers will drop immediately from your list. Don't be afraid to invite these people to unsubscribe. In fact, we encourage you to use that method! The last thing you want is for people to report your message for abuse. And know that because of the nature of these new subscribers, they will never perform as good as your organic list, so comparing your open rates to your current mailing list is not realistic. However, we've had many authors report open and click rates that are very close to their own organic lists.

WARNING: Mailing list services are bit sensitive about high unsubscribes, especially MailChimp, because they are not interested in their clients maintaining a healthy list. They are only interested in maintaining their reputation with free email clients like Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.. It's sad, but true. As such, we highly encourage you to take it slow.  Visit your mailing list service help documents for more information on using segments. If you're using automation, which sends a message as soon as the list is imported, then import your new subscribers in small batches. CLICK HERE to watch a video that shows you how to reduce the chance of unsubscribes AND ensure the people who join your list are genuine readers! (This is a recording of a live webinar Arial did for a group of authors outside of APR, but the principles still apply.)

You won't be able to prevent everyone from flagging something as spam, not matter what you do. CLICK HERE to read some interesting stats about how many people flippantly mark messages as spam and why. Once you see a response from this crowd (via open rates and click-through rates) along with the unsubscribes, you'll get a good idea as to how many of these new subscribers will eventually become fans. As mentioned above, we highly recommend you create a drip campaign to help that mailing list make you money! If you don't know what that is or how to create one, then CLICK HERE to watch the FREE webinars Arial did, which are part of your monthly subscription for running your giveaways. If you know how to create a drip campaign, then you can dive in and use the guidelines below.

Use “drip campaigns” or “autoresponders” (MailChimp and some other services call it “automation”) to automatically send out an email message based on when you import a list or when someone joins a list. We recommend you keep at least two separates lists at first – 1) Your current subscribers if you have them; 2) your new subscribers from your giveaways. And then migrate your giveaways list every 90 days, about a week after each cycle ends. Here are suggested messages to send to your giveaway subscribers:

  • Message #1 should thank your new subscribers for entering your giveaway and give them a link to the EW gift (everybody wins prize). You're keeping your promise to deliver that free book, but also engaging them for the first time, so we HIGHLY recommend you CLEARLY state “Joining My Giveaway = Joining My Mailing list” so there are NO misunderstandings about why you are contacting them. This should prevent most people from marking your messages as SPAM.
  • Message #2 – We recommend 3-4 days later you send a follow-up email, reminding them where they can download their free eBook. Then give them a teaser about your free eBook. Examples: a short but exciting scene with a cliffhanger, followed up with “CLICK HERE” (<– buy link) to find out what happens next; a tantalizing quote from your characters; amazing quotes from reviews, with links to those reviews. These entice them to READ the free book you're giving them instead of just downloading it and letting it sit in their eReader.
  • Message #3 – One week after message #2, we recommend you send them a note about your reader club and the benefits of staying subscribed to your newsletter – freebies, exclusive members-only sneak peeks and excerpts, etc. Also let them know that when the giveaway is over, they'll automatically be added to your reader club, so they won't need to do a thing! (Make it sound easy for them to be members, well…cuz it is!) Then give them the permalink to your giveaway. Something like this: “CLICK HERE” to see when the giveaway ends and your exciting reader club benefits begin!” That way they can view the current giveaway and know when it will end, but not permanently date your message and it will be evergreen for all future new subscribers.
  • Winner Announcement – Your new subscriber list should get a manual message you send out to your giveaway list, announcing the winners (e.g., jane_doe***@*****.*** – Signed paperback of My Amazing Novel) and reminding them in one week, they'll be moved over to your reader club. Thank them again for participating and showing an interest in your books. Remind them of how often you'll be sending out messages (see reader club below).

Reader Club – A week after your giveaway is over, we recommend you move over your giveaway list to your current subscriber list. And we recommend you set up a drip campaign to send out message to your subscribers once a week. YES…we said ONCE A WEEK. If your readers forget who you are because you're only sending messages once a month, they'll start marking your messages as SPAM and you'll get your mailing list service blocked or canceled. Keep your list healthy by staying in touch. Here are some ideas of what you can include in weekly messages.

  • Idea: Share the Creative Process – Talk about what motivated you to write your characters and do character interviews. This should be good for at least 2-3 messages.
  • Idea: Use that Research – Notoriously, 80% of the research and interesting facts we learn when writing a book never make it into the book. Don't let it go to waste. Use it! Share some of the research you may have had to do for the WIP. Perhaps you had to travel to a location to scout it out. You could share those pictures. Did you read books about subject matter to help you define your characters? Talk about those books and give them affiliate links to view or buy the books.
  • Idea: Share Past Writing Projects – Do you have flash fiction or short stories you never published? Pull those out, dust them off and polish them up. This is not only great free material to share with your subscribers, but it's a great way for them to fall in love with your writing (See Arial's Ray Bradbury Challenge for ideas – keep it under 1000 words). If you create a blog post on your website with that short piece of fiction, you can create a ClickToTweet link to the post. Then include that link at the end of the piece with something like, “Did you enjoy this story? CLICK HERE to share it on Twitter!” If they don't use Facebook, you could encourage them to visit the blog post link and tell them to click the share buttons for their favorite social media. NOTE: You'll get a greater response with a ClickToTweet link.
  • Idea: Share Deals – Do you have author friends who have permafree or 99¢ books? Use affiliate links to share those with your subscribers. This is a great way to cross promote and make a few extra pennies on the side. Be sure to have a note of full disclosure, letting people know the links are affiliates. Some people get a little testy about that if you don't say anything. Just be sure to let your author friends know you're sharing their permafree or 99¢ book and ask them to let you know if they change the pricing. Good books to choose to be sure this message stays evergreen are the first book in a series, which are usually free or 99¢, known as the “loss leader”. But check them periodically just to be sure. Change them out on the autoresponder/drip message as needed.
  • Idea: Teasers – Each week you can a teaser with a cliffhanger cut-off of a scene (350 words or less is recommended – KISS: Keep It Short & Simple) and buy links to the book. ONLY DO ONE BOOK A WEEK. You do not want to overwhelm them with your entire backlist, so no thumbnails to all the books you've ever written. Feed them one book at a time to hook them.
  • Idea: Several Teasers – If you don't have enough books to last several weeks, then consider spending three or four weeks on one book with a very short teaser scene each week. Entice your subscribers into diving into your books THEN after a month, ask them to leave a review for that book. This is why it is important to keep writing! The more books you have on your backlist, the more messages you can send.
  • Tip: Use a strong Call to Action – Be sure to always follow up with a clear Call To Action (CTA) that isn't in their face, but effective. Like this…Discuss what you love about your main characters and what motivated you to write about them. CTA: CLICK HERE to meet [name of character]! Use your buy  link for the CLICK HERE and link them to the book that features that character OR a page on your website where there's a full character interview and buy links to the book on that page.
  • Idea: Social Media Engagement – Invite your readers to visit your Pinterest page where you've created boards that inspired you to write your stories AND those boards should have buy links to your books! CTA: What HUNKY fitness model do you think I used as inspiration to write [character name]? CLICK HERE to find out!” This message promises hunky guy pictures and encourages engagement. OR if you love to share drink or food recipes, invite readers to visit your Facebook page where you publish a new recipe every week. You can even invite readers to share theirs.
  • Idea: Inexpensive Freebie Images – Create freebies centered around your books. Examples: desktop wallpapers and smart phone background with scenes that remind you of your books; scenes with quotes from your books (CLICK HERE to access Arial's Photoshop templates for creating freebies – you can also try Canva to create images for free).

Why do you recommend I have a series?


If you don't have a series, it doesn't mean you can't participate in the giveaways. We can help you with suggestions, but KEEP WRITING! If you only have one book, you can't really make money from just one book. Readers are going to want that next book…and the next. What's the point of falling in love with an author if they only have one book on their list? You can't open a store with a single product, right? HOWEVER, we do have some tips on how you can still stay in touch with your new subscribers and keep them engaged until your next book is out.

These giveaways are extremely effective for promoting a series, especially if you use the first book in your series for the “everybody wins” (EW) gift. This not only gets your first book into the hands of readers, but you also grabbed their email address in exchange for that free book! MUCH more effective than having your book up for permafree! Here's why…

If your book is permafree, you have no way of knowing who downloaded your first book. Our research has shown that most permafree books remain unread either for long periods of time or are never read. Permafree books are just not as effective as they used to be!

BUT if you price your first book for 99¢, you at least increase your chances of your book being read. Our research shows people who buy a book tend to read it because they have a vested interest in something they've purchased AND those who read a book they've paid for have a higher sell-through rate (i.e., go on to the next book in the series). Not only are you at least paid for your book, but your success rate increases.

Now imagine giving your 99¢ first book in your series as the EW gift. The people joining your giveaway see your book as valuable (because everyone else who didn't join the giveaway has to pay for it) AND you now have their email address for giving away that high-value free book. Though the book is free, you still have the ability to remind them about the book with follow-up messages that encourage friendly engagement and material, which entices them to read your book. Your book is now not forgotten AND the more you engage with your new subscribers, the more likely they are to get to know you as an author. If they enjoy the teasers, they'll be tempted to try your books…which leads them to want to buy more…provided then enjoy what they've read. The people who don't like your books will most likely drop off your list. And that's exactly what you want. The people who stay on your list will be the ones who will line up to buy your next book. And THAT'S what you want!

See the questions below for more information on the “Everybody Wins” prize.

I heard you have FREE Webinars to teach authors how to sell books with their mailing list. Is this true?


Absolutely! CLICK HERE to see the recorded sessions.


The Prizes for the Giveaways

What kind of prizes are other authors giving away?

We always recommend you giveaway signed copies of your books or eBooks. Remember, the main reason you're doing these giveaways is to attract READERS…and your books are the first contact a reader has with you! Enhancers (aka prizes) that have been most effective for higher sign-ups are Kindles (we recommend the new Kindle reader with eInk for $70) and/or Amazon Gift Cards (as low at $5). A few authors are also throwing in SWAG packs. These are all great enhancers to “sweeten the pot” and encourage readers who have never heard of you to take a chance on a new author. It's important there is a combination of both prizes. You want to attract NEW readers, so books alone aren't enough, but you don't want to leave out the books, or you'll get treasure seekers. So here are some combinations that have had great results:

Example 1

  • Everybody who enters gets an eBook copy of My Amazing Novel (My Amazing Series, Book 1)
  • TWO (2) winners get a signed paperback of My Amazing Novel (My Amazing Series, Book 1)
  • TWO (2) winners get an eBook copy of My Amazing Second Book (My Amazing Series, Book 2)
  • ONE (1) winner gets a $10 Amazon Gift Card

Example 2

  • Everybody who enters gets an eBook copy of My Amazing Novella (My Amazing Series, a novella)
  • ONE (1) winner gets an eBook copy of the complete collection My Amazing Series (Books 1-5 boxed set)
  • TWO (2) winners get a $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • ONE (1) winner gets a $5 Amazon Gift Card

Example 3

  • Everybody who enters gets an eBook copy of My Amazing Short Story (My Amazing Series, a short story
  • ONE (1) winner get a paperback copy of My Amazing Novel (My Amazing Series, Book 1) and a signed book plate with personal inscription (mailed separately)
  • ONE (1) winner gets a Kindle Reader, eInk display
  • ONE (1) winner gets a SWAG pack

There are a number of ways to create combinations of the above prizes, but be sure you're giving away a copy of your books (eBook or paperback or both) AND at least one enhancer like a gift card, Kindle or SWAG pack. We do NOT recommend giving over $25 in gift cards. TIP: If you're worried about international shipping, we can always put a disclaimer with an alternative gift you're willing to offer to long-distance winners. Suggestions include eBook copies and a gift card equal to the amount of the paperback; if you're book is listed on Book Depository, they have free shipping internationally, so you could offer to mail a personalized book plate (i.e., sticker) with a special inscription and your autograph, which is much less of a postage expense and you can include a personalize card. Then just drip-ship the book and they can put the sticker inside the cover. Some authors also use the free service to digitally sign their eBooks, so that's an added feature for readers to enjoy and for you to make that extra personal contact with them.

To read more about the “Everybody Wins” prize, see the questions below.

I don't want to giveaway anything but my books. Why do you suggest we giveaway Kindles and Gift Cards?

The singular goal of these giveaways is to attract readers who don't know you. Keep that in mind – THEY DON'T KNOW YOU. So, put yourself in their shoes. If you were encouraged to sign up for a giveaway for an author whose books you have never read, what are the chances you're going to sign up for that giveaway? Our experience shows that giveaways with ONLY books as prizes have a lower amount of  sign-ups. Granted, those entries are DEFINITELY interested in your signed copies…but those might actually be fans who already know you and might even be on your current mailing list. We're focused on attracting NEW readers to your books. Will you attract some treasure seekers? Sure! But those people usually unsubscribe and the VAST MAJORITY of the people who sign up stick around to get to know you…much more so than if you didn't offer those gift cards or Kindles.

The Kindles or gift cards tend to make a new reader take a chance on a new author. “Ooo! I could get a chance to win a Kindle or a gift card! Okay! I'll try out this new author. What the heck?Once you get those new leads on your list, you have your foot in the door. And you really don't have to spend a lot of money. The Kindle HD 7″ tablet is only $50. If you're concerned about people wanting a free tablet, try the Kindle 6” Glare-Free Touchscreen, which is only $60. This is strictly an eReader and will definitely only interest people who are serious about reading. Remember that you can buy ANYTHING on Amazon these days, so we don't recommend you giveaway gift cards higher than $25 each. You could, for example, give away a $25, $10 and $5 gift card if you wanted to giveaway more than just $25. All of those are great amounts to spend on books. If you go over $25, it tends to attract those treasure seekers.

What is the 'Everybody Wins' prize and why should I give one?

Who doesn't love a free eBook? Our reader fan base definitely does and they love discovering new authors through them. Offering a free eBook to everyone who enters the contest is a win-win for everyone involved: Your books get into the hands of more readers and it definitely encourages more readers to sign up…so you get more people on your mailing list who are genuinely interested in the fiction you write.

If you do not have a free eBook of some kind (e.g., 1st book in a series, short story, novella, sample chapters, etc.), your following messages tend to be “buy my book” ads or senseless communication. However, the EW gift gives you a great opportunity to engage with your new subscribers right away.  If you give them the EW gift, you have a genuine opportunity to engage about the story you with teasers to entice them to read their free gift, and later with questions about how they might have enjoyed it. And it's a fast track to winning them over: Who doesn't love a free gift? The bottom line is people don't just sign up for mailing lists because they have nothing better to do. They want to know what they're going to get out of it…like anyone else does. Because you're giving away a book, you're attracting people who are genuinely interested in your kind of novels.

What do I give away as the 'Everybody Wins' (EW) prize?

The idea behind the EW prize is the added value they receive for signing up for your mailing list. You write the kind of fiction they like, so that's something valuable to them…enough to give up their e-mail address. So what's valuable to these readers? Ideally, you want the first book in your series as the freebie, even if it is a permafree book. Remember, you're trying to attract new people and if someone already has your first book, then they already  know about you. The ones who DO have your first book may already be fans and can help spread the word, so everyone who enters is a benefit. Here are some other options:

  • A novella or short story from the series you're promoting
  • A novella or short story in the same genre, not necessarily related to the book/series you're promoting
  • Deleted chapters or scenes that aren't available to the public – readers love exclusive content!

If you don't have any of the above, perhaps you can write something in time for the giveaway's end date. Remember, you don't have to giveaway the free eBook until the giveaway is over, so that gives you at least 90 days or more to write something that is 10,000 words or less. This is an especially great option for those authors promoting a book or series that is not self-published OR if you don't have any self-published books/titles you can giveaway without violating a contract (i.e., KDP Select titles).

When do I give away the 'Everybody Wins' (EW) prize?

It is your responsibility to get the EW prize to all your new subscribers. They will NOT be getting the eBook as soon as they enter the giveaway through our website, but instead through the method you will distribute the prize, which is up to you (see next question below). We will give you the export of your leads either at the end of your 30-day giveaway OR each month on your perpetual giveaway. Then you will provide the link for your new subscribers to download your free eBook.

How do I give all the winners my 'Everybody Wins' (EW) prize?

There are a ton of ways you can distribute your free eBook for your new subscribers, so there's no way we can cover them all here with instructions. However, there are two methods we find very effective that we can share!


InstaFreebie is, by far, the easiest way to distribute free eBooks to your new subscribers. CLICK HERE to visit the InstaFreebie website and sign up for your free account.

Basically, you upload your ePub book file, input the information on your book (title, cover, etc.) and they convert the ePub into Mobi and PDF formats. Once the conversion is done, they'll give you a link, which you can pass on to your new subscribers, who click on the link and can choose the file format they wish to download. AND you'll see how many people have downloaded the file. InstaFreebie also allows you to put an expiration date on the link and limit the number of copies to be distributed. Not only is it easy for you to set up, it's easy for your readers to use!

If you elect to sign up for the paid account, you can also use InstaFreebie giveaways for future efforts of giving away free eBooks at blog hops and other marketing opportunities to harvest more e-mail addresses for your mailing list since every time someone downloads the book, they have to provide their e-mail address. The paid account allows you to download those e-mail addresses and then you can import them into your mailing list service. Whether you use the free or paid account for InstaFreebie, you can set up as many giveaways as you want, which gives you a different link for each giveaway. This is a great tool for keeping track of which marketing campaigns are working by tracking the downloads!


BookFunnel is another easy way to distribute free eBooks to your new subscribers. CLICK HERE to visit the BookFunnel website and sign up for your free account.

This service is very similar to InstaFreebie in that you upload your ePub book file, input the information on your book (title, cover, etc.) and they convert the ePub into Mobi and PDF formats. Once the conversion is done, they'll give you a link, which you can pass on to your new subscribers, who click on the link and can choose the file format they wish to download. AND you'll see how many people have downloaded the file.

Additionally, they have also added the feature of allowing MailChimp or mailing list integration if you elect to sign up for the paid account. Check their PRICING page for details.

Smashwords Coupons

If you have published your book through Smashwords, you can create a coupon and set the price for that coupon to anything you wish – $0.00 in this case of distributing a free eBook. Then just pass that coupon code to your new subscribers, along with the link to the product page for the book on Smashwords. Your new subscribers will then visit that page, add the book to their cart, then use the coupon code you provide so they can get the book for free.

Since you readers have to go through the whole checkout process, there's a little more involved for them using Smashwords, but using coupon codes to distribute a free book is only the beginning. You could leverage coupons to provide benefits for your subscribers. For example: If you publish all your books through Smashwords, you could create a 25% discount on all your books, then make that coupon code available ONLY to your subscriber base! Just like InstaFreebie, you can set up multiple campaigns using various codes to keep track of your marketing efforts. Unfortunately, Smashwords doesn't let you know who downloaded your books or used the codes, unlike the paid version of InstaFreebie, where you'd have access to their email addresses.

ATTENTION: Authors Under Contract & KDP Select Authors

For authors who are contracted with a publisher: Please be advised that using the two recommended methods we list above may put you in violation of your contract with your publisher. Please check with them if they're okay with you distributing thousands of free eBook copies of your book to the people who join your mailing list. If they are NOT okay with this, then you will have to pick another title to use for the EW gift. See above suggestions for alternatives of what you can giveaway for the EW gift.

For KDP Select authors: If the title you want to give away is enrolled in the KDP Select program, you will be in violation of your contract if you use one of the above two methods. Though you DO have the option of giving away an unlimited amount of free copies of your KDP Select titles IF you use your five free days you get every 90-day period of your exclusivity with Amazon, it is a bit of a headache to coordinate and there is no immediate gratification for people who are waiting for their free eBook. We do NOT recommending using a KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited (KU) title for the EW Gift. The only other option for KDP Select titles is to provide the first 10% of your KDP Select title as the EW gift. BUT anyone can get that on Amazon if they choose to “download a sample”. Again, see above suggestions for alternatives of what you can giveaway for the EW gift. We highly recommend you eventually publish a short story or novella and NOT put it on KU just for the purpose of marketing. Such short pieces are a great way to give readers a sample of your writing and entice them at the end of the story to get your other books by using buy links.


Can I use a KU title as one of the main prizes?

KU-give-as-giftAbsolutely! The main beef Amazon has with you giving away your KU titles is the deal you made with them, which says you are being exclusive through Amazon. If you distribute your book any other way other than Amazon, they won't like it – whether it's free or you're getting money for it. Especially if you're getting money for it. Exclusivity with them gives you those extra privileges – Kindle Countdown deals, 5 free days, etc. You are completely within your TOS if you GIFT your KU titles through Amazon to the winners.

When you go to the page of your book on Amazon, below the 1-Click button, you should see a button labeled “Give as a Gift”. Just use this to buy your own book and gift it to whomever the winner is. At least that's the method we recommend because it helps keep your eBook file secure. The eBook will be delivered to their Kindle and you won't have to worry about some stranger distributing your MOBI file if you sent the file to them directly. You can do that, of course, and still be in compliance with your TOS. Amazon calls those “review copies”. But we prefer you opt for file safety.


What can I use instead of a KU title for the EW Gift?

Though you can use your KU title as the EW Gift (see below for instructions), we're going to recommend other alternatives:

  1. Use a NON-KU title as the EW Gift instead
  2. Use a short story or a prequel that's not enrolled in KDP Select
  3. Use the Amazon “legal” first 10% of the KU book of your choice as the EW gift. 
  4. Compile the first 10% of your KU titles from several books so readers can sample all of the books in a series or select titles, which you feel best represent your work. Amazon WILL allow that, too.
  5. Use some deleted chapters or extra chapters exclusive to your new subscribers. Readers love exclusive content!
  6. Create a new short in 30 days. 10k words or less is all you need!

We also recommend you end the samples mentioned in items #3 & 4 on a cliffhanger and have a buy link to the book(s) with a strong call to action (CTA): “CLICK HERE to find out what happens next!” is a great CTA. It's a fabulous way to tempt readers to buy your books. 😀 

TIP: If the 10% does not end at a good cliffhanger, end it a little earlier on a place that is better for suspense. And we REALLY mean leave them hanging! 

“She grabbed his belt and…” CLICK HERE to find out what happens next!


PLEASE NOTE: We will NOT and will NEVER advise you to pull your book out of the KU program! We would never presume to tell you how to publish your books, especially if your book is contracted through a publisher! We are experienced enough in the publishing industry to know that this is an unreasonable and INSANE request. So please do not think we are giving you such advice. That is your decision to make and you can do that if you wish, but we won't tell you this is something you have to do.

How to Use Your KU Title as the EW Gift

You CAN use your KU title as the EW Gift IF you use your Amazon-allotted FREE days to distribute the title. As you may already know, you get 5 of these days every 90 days. However, we don't recommend you do this because it creates more work for YOU and makes it VERY inconvenient for your new subscribers to get their free eBook. Here's why…

In order to use your five Amazon-allotted FREE days, you could do one of two things:

  • Schedule all 5 free days at the end of a 90-day period, which must be at least one week AFTER your giveaway 90-day cycle ends (the end of the 90-day giveaway for readers, when you'll be awarding your prizes and we reset the giveaway for the next cycle). Hopefully, your 90-day KDP Select cycle either matches your giveaway 90-day reset cycle OR you haven't used your 5 free days yet.
  • Schedule 1-2 free days every month – and be sure to schedule those days at least a week AFTER you're scheduled to get your monthly exports. For example: If your giveaway starts on 7/5/16, then your first export is scheduled AROUND 8/5/16 and exports are done based on our workload and availability, so you might get your export a few days before or a few days after.

As mentioned in the second bullet point, we export your leads every 30 days after your giveaway goes live and give you spreadsheet (CSV file) with the email addresses of your new leads. When you reach out to your new subscribers, you will need to tell them they must wait until the giveaway is over at the end of the 90 days to get their free eBook, when you scheduled those five free days. OR you will be telling them they have ONE or TWO days to download their free eBook in the next week or so (or whenever you scheduled your monthly free days).

Can you see how that can limit people? AND can you see how that will create more work for you that must be done in a timely manner to coincide with those free days you scheduled along with your exports?

This is why we don't advise it.

We're looking out for YOU and your new subscribers. Readers love immediate gratification and by the time you get your leads, some of them will be waiting a month already, so now you would be telling them they have to wait longer AND they only have a small window in which to claim their prize.

TIP: How to Make a Buy Link Evergreen!

IF you're going to put a buy link to your books OR a link to your mailing list, we recommend you use a permalink of some sort that you can change at a later date. For example:

  • PrettyLinks is a plugin you can install on your WordPress website (not available on the free WordPress blogs) where you can create a short link that includes your own website URL and use it as a redirect to whatever link you target. We use PrettyLinks for our perpetual giveaways, so they'll look something like this: – and we target the actual web address of your giveaway. If that address ever changes, we only need to go into the settings for the PrettyLink and change the target to the new web address.
  • Another possible option is and ShortURL. Google “short URL generator” for more information. Customizing those short URLs might mean getting a paid account, though, so be aware of that. However, the money is well spent if it saves you HOURS from having to redo all your books to provide a new link to your newsletter sign-up if you change services.
  • To use PrettyLinks for your newsletter, you might create a permalink; or the first book in your series could be and target the Amazon page for your Kindle Unlimited title. Whatever short URL service you use, make sure you have the option to change the target URL (where the link redirects your readers). So in this example of your KU title, what if you decided to expand your distribution? No problem! You just change the target of your permalink to the new landing page you've created with the links to all the different online retailers carrying your books. 
  • Another idea for using a short URL can be utilized with a series where you haven't written all the books yet. For example: Let's say you're writing a series and you know you're going to write six books total. You can do one of two things…
    • Create a landing page for the entire series and just add the books as you go along, with buy links to each one. This page could include blurbs to the future books, but have “COMING SOON”. Don't forget to include a link to your newsletter, encouraging people to sign up to be notified when the book is released. If you ever change to the Kindle Unlimited program, you could redirect the short link to your Amazon series page…or vice versa if you're switching off KU.
    • You could also create a short URL/PrettyLink for each book in your series and point the short URL to the buy page of each book. When you have a book that hasn't been written yet, still create a short URL for that book, but instead…link it to a page that says, “Ooops! You must be looking for a book that hasn't been written yet. No worries! CLICK HERE to join my mailing list and be updated on when the book is released.”

When Arial creates a PrettyLink for an unfinished story, she originally has the PrettyLink redirect readers to a single “coming soon” landing page and she's seen dozens of sign-ups for her newsletter with this method.  CLICK HERE to see the sexy humor on this landing page (stolen from the suggestion shared in Write. Publish. Repeat.). Once the book is published, she redirects the PrettyLink to the actual buy page for the new release.


Other Questions Authors Have About the Process

How come I'm not seeing any spike in my sales during the giveaway?

As mentioned above, these giveaways are designed to build your mailing list & platform. The Facebook ads we run to the giveaways will not generate sales…directly. WHAT you do with you mailing list IS the strategy that will increase your sales. Once you have this new list of subscribers, they are not your fans…yet. It's your job to follow up with them and build a relationship. How do you do that? They must read your books! Isn't that how you fell in love with YOUR favorite authors? When you read their stories, you fell in love with the authors. So you must get your new subscribers to do the same…and you do that by introducing them to the books on your backlist through automatic drip campaigns. (See the question above about what to do with your leads)

My giveaway has been running, but why has no one claimed their free eBook yet?

The distribution of your “everybody wins” or EW gift is NOT done by us. This is something YOU will do or more specifically it'll be done by your autoresponder. We begin exporting names as soon as 30 days after the giveaway starts, so you are welcome to start distributing it as soon as you get those leads. It might even be a good idea to start composing that welcome message now so you're ready to go. Not only is this more efficient on our end, as we do hundreds of these giveaways and cannot possibly coordinate all the files needed to support this, it is also more personal for you to deliver these free gifts to your new subscribers. As mentioned above, this is the PERFECT opportunity for you to engage with your potential fans. Read the question above (How do I give all the winners my ‘Everybody Wins' (EW) prize?) to learn how to get your free eBook to your new potential fans.

Where are my ads on Facebook? Why am I not seeing them?

Rest assured, we are definitely putting your money to work, but there’s one key factor about the type of advertising we’re doing for your giveaways: TARGETED. Facebook advertising is not like a billboard where you can drive by and see it. We put your ads in front of specific people with specific interests and the ads are shown to them slowly over time based on your budget and the audience size. The chances you will ever be served up one of your ads may be possible, as your activity on Facebook may indeed put you in the same demographics as your own fans, but it’s highly unlikely you will see those ads, especially if you don’t live in the United States, since that’s our primary target. Billboards are kind of like a shotgun approach. What we are doing is more like a sniper, zeroing in on the target audience with precision.

We can provide a permalink to the post we’re using for the Facebook ads and you can interact with the comments, though. If this is something you’re interested in, just let us know and we can get you that link. 😀



Miscellaneous Questions about Email Marketing

Do unsubscribed emails count against my monthly bill with MailChimp?

Though we do not work for MailChimp or get any affiliate funds from them, a LOT of our authors use MailChimp as their main mailing list service…and this question has come up enough for us to include it on our FAQs page. According to MailChimp, subscribers who have unsubscribed from your list DO NOT count against your monthly billing numbers. Visit THIS LINK to see their definition of “All Subscribers” and you'll see them state that this is the ONLY list that counts against your billing.

Why can't you guarantee open rates and click rates with your lists?

The simple answer to this is we cannot control how YOU communicate to your new subscribers. 

The long answer is there are sooooo many things that go into what motivates a person to open an email message. Simple things like the email subject line will make or break that initial connection. YOU'RE the person who is composing the message and sending it out. Though we give many recommendations on what may or may not work AND we provide FREE webinars for APR customers to show authors how to create enticing subject lines and engaging content, in the end the message is coming from you. How they respond to your messages is between you and your new subscribers and out of our control.

CLICK HERE to see some startling information about how subscribers handle email in their inbox.

I have this huge list and I'm not seeing any sales yet. What's up?

That's a really tough question to answer, but we'll try to explain how email marketing works as a whole. We have followed up with the authors who have asked us this question only to find out they hardy ever contact their subscribers and aren't sending out regular newsletters. The general misconception is once they build their mailing list and send out the first message or two, telling subscribers about their books, they're assuming subscribers will take the ball and run and start buying books. The truth is if you want to see sales from your mailing list, you have to stay in front of your subscribers regularly. We recommend sending them a message once a week.

If that sounds a little intimidating, check out our FREE webinar training for authors, which shows you how to sell books with your mailing list through automation.

If you have any questions about the above suggestions or tips, please contact us at Good luck!