Zee Book Marketing Blog

Introducing The BookSweeps Book Giveaway Calendar

Jan 5, 2018 | 88 comments

By most measures, 2017 was a good year for Team Zee… but it didn’t really feel that way.

Revenue increased. Our team grew in size (from 2 – 6). Our BookSweeps promotions generated more subscribers on average for authors than they have before.

But personally, it felt kind of disappointing.

There were too many projects that didn’t go anywhere, or never got off the ground.

Maybe I’ll go into what happened at some point, but here’s the big takeaway for you:

In 2018, all of that is changing.

We’re going to produce more content. More projects. More promotions. More good stuff to help authors get ahead in the wacky world that is publishing today. 

We’re going to deliver more value than we have before – and that starts with what I’m excited to share with you today.

The BookSweeps Book Giveaway Calendar

To kick off the year, we are working hard to introduce the world’s first all-inclusive hub of online book giveaways for readers on the web.

Whether your giveaway is geared toward list-building, comments, or general reader engagement, whether it’s hosted on your own website, a group blog, or Facebook, BookFunnel, InstaFreebie…

It doesn’t matter!

You can add it to the calendar for readers to discover and enjoy, wherever they may live.

Readers will be able to filter and search for events by genre, date, type of prize, type of giveaway, organizer, host site, international eligibility, and more.

Best of all, basic submissions will be free, and the calendar will be shared with BookSweeps’ 150,000+ reader base. We also plan to send traffic to the calendar via continuous ad campaigns.

To start, here’s how we envision the Book Giveaway Calendar will work:

1) Authors, publishers, and other giveaway organizers submit their events.

2) Our team reviews the listing to ensure the promotion complies with our basic terms. (Giveaway organizers will be able to skip the review process for a fee.)

3) Once approved, the listing will be added for readers to find from across the web.

4) Each promotional listing will have its own event page on BookSweeps with additional details.

5) Giveaway organizers will be able to edit their submissions at any time from their BookSweeps dashboard to modify details as needed.

6) We send ads and subscriber traffic to the calendar, helping you generate reader eyeballs for your online book giveaways and events!

7) We will also have select advertising options to start, including the ability to highlight your promotion as one of our “Featured Giveaways” of the week.

Excited about this? Me too!

You can see a demo of a central listing page here:

The BookSweeps Book Giveaway Calendar

 

What's Coming Next

The BookSweeps Book Giveaway Calendar will begin accepting submissions this winter (Jan / Feb 2018).

We will be opening it up to our existing BookSweeps' customers first, and then to the author and publishing community at large shortly thereafter.

We have a lot more planned, and I'm excited to share upcoming features and additional functionality as we move forward in 2018!

Questions & Answers

What is the BookSweeps Giveaway Calendar?

Simply put, we are creating the ultimate database for readers to find book giveaways and other reader-centered events on the web.

That's right: not just our own BookSweeps giveaways – any giveaway hosted anywhere (as long as they meet certain minimum requirements).

What kind of giveaways will you feature?

Just about anything: group list-building giveaways, individual author giveaways, Facebook Parties, Amazon & BookBub follower promos, quizzes, etc.

This includes giveaways hosted on author websites, blogs, as well as InstaFreebie, BookFunnel, Goodreads, and other popular sites for readers.

What restrictions will there be?

All promotions must include book-related prizes. Promotions with cash only prizes will not be included. We also reserve the right to reject any submission that does not comply with relevant laws.

How will this help me?

Readers love book giveaways - and authors love when readers engage with their promotions. (Duh!)

To help authors and publishers generate reader eyeballs, email sign-ups, follows, likes, and more, we plan to run ads to the Calendar continuously, using custom advertising audiences we have cultivated over the past 24 months via our own BookSweeps promotions.

In sum, we're excited to provide a new way for authors, publishers, and other giveaway organizers to promote their online events.

How much will this cost?

Since we want as many authors and publishers to use the database as possible, basic submissions will be free. We will have information on pricing options for other submission types in advance of the launch.

How can I become involved?

We plan to open calendar submissions to existing BookSweeps' customers in Jan / Feb 2018, before opening it widely to all authors shortly afterwards.

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What do you think? Have any suggestions, questions, ideas?

88 Comments

  1. Elisabeth Storrs

    Fantastic initiative! Thanks for your constant quest to help authors connect with readers. Look forward to being involved!

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Bray-Weber

    You’ve had my support from the beginning, Ryan. I’m excited for 2018!

    Reply
  3. Jean Jacobsen

    Great idea, Ryan. Many thanks for the 2017 boost your giveaways gave to my mailing list. I have recommended you to several of my author friends who are looking to build their mailing lists.
    Here’s to a happy and successful 2018 for all.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Appreciate it, Jean! Happy New Year!

      Reply
  4. Lyn

    Very smart now that Goodreads is charging for giveaways!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      😉

      Reply
  5. May McGoldrick

    Awesome idea. You are always attuned to the market.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, May!

      Reply
  6. Rita Selle-Grider

    SWEET!! Thanks for this opportunity, Ryan & Team!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Glad you’re excited, Rita!

      Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      😀

      Reply
  7. Alanna Lucas

    Can’t wait! I always recommend you to fellow authors!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Alanna! Glad you’re interested 🙂

      Reply
  8. Jill Haymaker

    Sounds great. I can’t wait to be a part of your calendar. I love your promotions

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Jill! Appreciate it.

      Reply
  9. Janith Hooper

    It’s about time I do another giveaway, so this should spur me on! Yeehaw! Great idea!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Haha 🙂

      Reply
  10. Naomi Bellina

    Sounds like a great way to start off a great year! Thanks for all you do, and I look forward to working with you in 2018.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Naomi! Hope your new year is off to a great start, too.

      Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Molly!

      Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Glad you’re excited about it, Sherri!

      Reply
  11. Vijaya Schartz

    This sounds like a wonderful idea for authors and readers. And the fact that it’s free for authors is even better.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Vijaya!

      Reply
  12. Lyz Kelley

    How exciting! Thanks for pulling all this together, Ryan.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      😀

      Reply
  13. Barbara

    This sounds almost too good to be true, Ryan, but being totally satisfied with how you helped me build my email list, I’m excited to see how this comes off. Having Amazon giveaways works for me!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Barbara! Glad to hear it.

      Reply
  14. Diane Stortz

    This sounds like a fabulous service to authors. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      😀

      Reply
  15. Jason

    How will this effect your regular promotions? Will I still be able to build my email list through you?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Absolutely! This is just an add-on service we’re excited to offer this year. It won’t impact our regular promotions.

      Reply
  16. Linda Broday

    I am setting up a Goodreads giveaway right now for my Feb. 6 book. Will the calendar be available in time?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      I hope so! It depends on how quickly our development team finishes up the project. But we are pushing to get this live asap.

      Reply
  17. Ane Mulligan

    I love this idea, Ryan. It provides a great promotion central for readers to know about. Once it’s live, can we help promote it to our own fans?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Definitely! We’ll have materials available that authors, publishers, and other giveaway organizers can use to share it with readers.

      Reply
  18. Laurisa Reyes

    Love all of this, Ryan! You guys are awesome.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Laurisa! 🙂

      Reply
  19. Susan Clayton-Goldner

    This sounds great. I would definitely be interested in participating.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Awesome, glad to hear it, Susan!

      Reply
  20. Lindsay McKenna

    I like the idea of a hub with spokes on a wheel. I believe readers will LOVE this idea that more than 1 or 2 people can ‘win’ the prize. I believe this will increase reader participation for all of us, as a result. I’m excited!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Lindsay! We think readers will be excited about it too 🙂

      Reply
  21. Zahra

    Looks fantastic! Can’t wait for the launch ! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Zahra!

      Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      😀

      Reply
  22. Elizabeth Bailey

    Terrific, Ryan, thanks. On the rules for submission, is a gift voucher an acceptable prize for a winner? Lots of cross promos add something like $50 Amazon voucher. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Yes, as long as books are also being offered, that is perfectly fine!

      Reply
  23. Melanie Jayne

    I am so excited for this new service. I am impressed with your company and its responsiveness to my author needs.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Melanie! 🙂

      Reply
  24. Tawdra Kandle

    Fabulous idea~can’t wait to get started! Happy 2018. May it be a good one for all of us.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Tawdra! Happy New Year!

      Reply
  25. Russ

    This sounds like an incredibly generous service. A wonderful idea.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Russ!

      Reply
  26. Scott

    You mentioned group giveaways. So one author could submit an entry for a group giveaway?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Yes, correct! Thanks for asking.

      Reply
  27. Luana Ehrlich

    Hi, Ryan. Would this also include Amazon Giveaways for a book? I often use Amazon Giveaways to give away a book in my newsletter. Thanks! Looking forward to seeing how all this plays out.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Yes, that would be included as a category in the database. Thanks!

      Reply
  28. Bonnie Engstrom

    I like the idea, Ryan, but will you have a basic promo that we can copy and paste in an email and a newsletter? Something that explains it to recipients who have no idea about your giveaways? Some email friends, even newsletter recipients, might be leery about how valid it is and how it works.

    What about Ebook giveaways? Can they be included, or must it be print books sent to winners by snail mail?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Hey Bonnie: Yes, ebook giveaways are absolutely included!

      We are currently in the process of completely redesigning and overhauling the BookSweeps site to provide information about our contests and how everything works — the changes will be done in advance of the launch. We’ll have sample contests available, as well.

      Thanks for your interest, and hope that answers your question!

      Reply
  29. Marian Lanouette

    Hi Ryan, what if the book isn’t free, but there’s a giveaway of a signed copy, enter requires a reader to sign up for the newsletter? Is this acceptable? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Yes, that’s perfectly fine!

      Reply
  30. Joanne Jaytanie

    Sounds like an amazing opportunity! I’d love to sign up.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Awesome, glad you’re interested!

      Reply
  31. Tessa Candle

    Wow, this sounds like a great idea! Excited to hear the details–especially about what a “basic submission” is as compared to a submission that would require a fee. But thanks for this, Ryan and Happy New Year! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Tessa! Happy New Year!

      Reply
  32. Kathryn J Bain

    Will you only accept full-length books or can I submit a novella or short suspense book?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Hey Kathryn, there will be no restrictions on length — in fact, we will include a filter so that readers who especially enjoy novellas and short fiction can find those kinds of books / promos more easily!

      Reply
  33. Glynnis Campbell

    Brilliant! Count me in! I have a monthly giveaway of autographed books, so I’m excited to see if this will ramp up entrants.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Awesome, perfect usage! 🙂

      Reply
  34. Ev Bishop

    NO questions yet–just wanted to say it sounds like an awesome opportunity for authors and readers. Thanks for dreaming it up–and happy New Year!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Ev! Happy New Year!

      Reply
  35. Jacquie Biggar

    Hi Ryan,
    Love this idea! Will you be accepting newsletter signup links in order to receive a free book?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Yep!

      Reply
  36. Gina

    This is great! When you note “as long as they meet certain minimum requirements,” do you mean the giveaway must have a certain number of books?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks! No, just that it follows the above: “All promotions must include book-related prizes. Promotions with cash only prizes will not be included. We also reserve the right to reject any submission that does not comply with relevant laws.”

      We just want to make sure it’s an environment FOR readers, not for *anyone* interested in winning a prize.

      Reply
  37. A

    Thanks. I’m already on your authors mailing list. Do I have to sign up again to get news alerts about this?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Nope, thanks!

      Reply
  38. Tara Lain

    Hey Ryan, will you list book sales as well as freebies, such as novels for 99 cents, etc?

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Not when it launches initially, but that is something we will definitely consider. Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  39. Eugenia Essenmacher

    Sounds great, Ryan! Can’t wait to hear more about your 2018 promo plans. And I think 2017 was pretty awesome too! 🙂 Eugenia Riley

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Eugenia! 🙂

      Reply
  40. Erin Wright

    Quick question: I’m running a preorder contest for my new release coming out on January 23rd. If you preorder “Flames of Love” on any storefront and fill out a Typeform form with the info, then you get entered to win (the prizes being a Nook, signed paperbacks, a gift card, some beauty products, etc). This is probably happening too quickly for me to be able to submit this particular contest to your database, but in the future, would this sort of contest be allowed? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Yes, that would be allowed! Thanks, Erin!

      Reply
  41. Amy Shojai, CABC

    Awesome idea! I use King Sumo for give aways on my blog, especially for my nonfiction, so this could open up things for me on that side of the writer-icity equation. Had great luck with fiction promos with y’all, so this has got to be good.

    Reply
    • Ryan Zee

      Thanks, Amy! This will be open to all genres, so that’s a great idea for how to use it 🙂

      Reply

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