I am a writer, editor and book reviewer. This means people send me a lot of books, and A. I’d like to give some of those reviewer copies away to my patrons (who have shown interest) B. I’d also like to give away some books I myself have edited or written. But I’m not sure how best to go about it, especially situation A where each book is different, and I can’t give everyone the same object; and a lot of advice seems focused on other types of creators whose situation is more similar to B. So I thought I would post here and ask you for your opinions!
I have tried various options including giving books away on my website and just linking the post on Patreon - this seems the most flexible, but gave me invariably little interest that came through Patreon.
I have two main considerations:
- The giveaway should be allowed under the current Patreon rules and should be legal in my state (I have looked at applicable state laws)
- It should bring in backers and/or increase the happiness of current backers
So if I understand correctly, raffles are disallowed, but claiming books on a first come first serve basis should be okay, even if it is only for backers? I don’t want to do a raffle or any kind of random element, because the books are very different and I would like people to get something they actually want to read.
I don’t think I’m required to have a skill element as per my local law as long as there isn’t a random draw, though I can certainly do something like “What was your favorite book last year?”. But would that increase or decrease participation?
Has anyone tried giving physical objects (any kind, not just books) away in public entries? Are the people who participate still mostly your backers? I am wondering if that might bring in new backers.
I am not planning on giving away advance reviewer copies, because before launch date I usually give those away to other book reviewers if I don’t need them, and I know you’re not supposed to resell ARCs (giving them away to backers only would be a kind of indirect reselling?). So these are mostly newish books, but I have at least attempted to read them, so not brand new.
I think for my situation B it might be better to do a special offer (signed copies… decorated copies… I-put-random-cute-stickers-in-it copies?) but situation A doesn’t seem well-suited for that, because the books are all different, and also not strictly speaking new copies. Thoughts?