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I’ve covered a lot of different places around the web where independent authors can promote their books through free giveaways and I’ve also shared several resources for getting free publicity for authors as well.
Some of my favorite such places are GoodReads, LibraryThing, PRWeb, Radio Guest List and a long list of others.
Today I want to revisit a resource that I have mentioned in the past but not in as much detail as I’d like.
There is a neat site called Freado.com which offers authors a wide variety of ways they can promote their books. This site is fairly unique in its offerings and they have lots of fun and interactive types of promotions like hangman games and quizzes.
Their Author Lite account is free and includes many useful tools to help you promote your books. However, I recommend upgrading to the DIY Pro account which is less than five bucks per month and is well worth the money, in my opinion.
It’s important to understand that you have to make this upgrade for each book you want to enable more features for on Freado. It’s per book, not per account.
That being said, I still find it incredibly useful and I’m using it for one of my books right now. I listed the others on their site using the free features only, which are still worth setting up if you have multiple books.
Adding Your Books to fReado
Whether you decide to upgrade your account or not, the first thing you should do after you sign up is fill out your author profile and add your books.
Doing this will give each one a very nice looking page of its own and one of the things I really like about fReado is that they let you add lots of important information in your book details.
For example, they have fields for:
- Cover image
- Up to 3 categories
- Custom buy links (Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Anywhere!)
- Media mentions of your book
- Reviews and praise
- Author interview links
- Book trailer link
BUT – by far the coolest is that they also have fields for ISBN OR your GoodReads book ID and your ASIN, because if you add these then they will use them to pull your reviews from all of those sites and display them right there on your profile for each book.
They show up in a tabbed interface that makes it easy for people to see what kind of reviews your book is getting on Amazon and beyond, which is really neat.
Types of Book Promotion Tools
Since Freado has so many features for promoting your books, we won’t have time to go too in-depth about all of them in a single post.
So for now we’re just going to list the most important ones, which include:
- Read my Book on Facebook (a free book sample for those who “like” your Facebook page)
- A slick and stylish Book Widget that features your cover and a sample with flipping pages, which you can embed on your website or blog
- A Mini Book Widget that is similar to the larger one mentioned above (good for sidebars on blogs)
- A cool Email Signature for authors which includes a flipping book preview and other links
- A cool AuthorPage Widget for Facebook which can be hidden until someone “likes” your Page (Freado provides a visual editor to set this up)
- Landing Page Creator for your books
- Amazon Alerts to track your sales rank
- Book Tweeter that helps you promote your books on Twitter by setting up auto-tweets and that sort of thing
- Access to forums for Review Exchange and Facebook Likes
Whew, are you overwhelmed yet? Just looking at that list makes me a little dizzy.
Using Giveaways to Get Book Reviews
But I’ve left my favorite one off this list because it is the one we will be focusing on in this post. That feature is the Book Giveaway program, which does require the $4.99 monthly subscription for each book you want to enable it for.
Step 1: To setup a book giveaway, log into your DIY Pro account on fReado and then click on the book giveaway option in your “Book Marketing Home” section.
Step 2: Choose which of your books will be the prize for your giveaway, as shown below.
Step 3: Next, click on the big yellow button that says “Click here to setup another giveaway” or something like that, as shown below.
Step 4: This will take you to the form where you’ll be asked to enter all the details about your book and your giveaway. Pretty standard stuff, but there are a couple things to pay attention to.
If you want to do a print book giveaway similar to how GoodReads works, that’s fine and you can ship the books to the winners when the giveaway ends.
However, if you only want to give away eBook copies like LibraryThing allows, then you will want to select the “One Click Win” option for the Giveaway Method.
For eBook giveaways, be sure to select either eBook or Kindle Edition as the book format. Decide how many you want to giveaway then finish the form and move on to the next step.
That should do it for setting up your giveaway. You should now be hooked up with a nice looking giveaway page that looks like the example shown below from one of my own books.
Sending Your Book to the Winners
So the one click win option is kind of like cheating, in my mind. It basically just allows people to request a free copy, they don’t actually have to enter in a drawing like most other sites do their book giveaways.
I personally think this is pretty cool and useful for authors who are doing eBook giveaways, since the idea with those is to give away as many copies as people request to increase your likelihood of snagging some reviews from your new readers.
This should take you to a list of all your one click winners and should list their names in a column alongside one that has a “message” link, as shown here on the left.
Click on the message link next to the winner’s name and a popup window will appear that looks like the image shown below.
Even if you did an eBook giveaway, check the box that says you’ve shipped the books. What you need to do instead is shoot the winner an email (their address is included in the popup window, as you can see) and either attach a copy of the book to your email or include a link where they can download their free copy.
I just include a message in the screen above which tells them that I have just emailed them their free book and —this step is important — I tell them I’m looking forward to their feedback and would appreciate if they would share their thoughts by posting a review on Amazon or fReado.
If you don’t ask, they won’t do it. Trust me.