Rainer M. Domingo

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Fictional Book Giveaway Appeal


My Goodreads giveaway has been running for a week and I’m satisfied with the number of entries thus far. I find it fascinated that mostly women have entered to win. I wonder why?

Is it because…

  • The cover features two women?
  • The cover features three men?
  • The cover features men and women?
  • The book’s marketing copy?
  • Mostly women read medieval fantasy books?
  • Goodreads membership is mostly women?
  • Mostly women enter book giveaways?
  • Or is it something that I haven’t even considered?

I have no idea what demographic is drawn to my book. You would think it appeals to everyone that reads medieval fantasy novels with characters that have magical powers, but that’s probably being overly simplistic.

What I decided to do was go through the current list of giveaways with the intent of finding medieval fantasy books that I would be interested in reading.

The first thing that drew my attention was the theme and artistry of the cover. If it looked medieval, not too cheesy, not too basic, and gave me a hint about the characters or what the story was about, then it was worth investigating. The title of the book didn’t matter. Then I read the marketing copy to determine if the story would keep my attention. If there was some type of mystery to be solved or questions to be answered as a result of certain events AND the story generally appealed to me, then I would enter the giveaway. Giveaways by best-selling authors definitely influenced my decision to enter. A story intertwined with actual historical events didn’t appeal to me. I prefer documentaries. When I watch movies that fictionalize historical events, I throw out the actual history and watch the movie for its entertainment and cinematic value.

Did this little exercise help me figure out why more women than men entered to win my book? Not even close.

So what can we take away from all of this?

  • Your cover should strongly reflect your genre and provide a hint about the type of characters in your story or the story itself.
  • For me, the title of the book didn’t matter. It may matter to you and your audience, but it wasn’t important with regard to drawing my attention to a book.
  • Your marketing copy should include a question that is important for your character(s) to answer that will intrigue the reader.

If you have any additional thoughts about what makes a book giveaway appealing to readers, leave them in the comments below.

My book giveaway runs until July 19, 2015. Click here to enter for a chance to win!


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How to prepare a CreateSpace cover for your novel

cover_v2If you’re going to self-publish a print copy of your book on CreateSpace, you’ll need a cover image. You can either do-it-yourself or find someone that can do it for you. If you’re not graphically inclined, finding someone to do it is your best route, but I encourage you to learn the tools of the trade because it will allow you to create promotional and website graphics yourself.

If you’re going to prepare the cover image yourself, you’re going to need Adobe Photoshop or Adobe InDesign. If you don’t own either of these products, I recommend getting Photoshop. It’s only $9.99/month and a lot more versatile for creating other graphics you’ll need as an author. InDesign is the right choice if you’re going to use it for your interior as well. I used Microsoft Word for my interior and it turned out just fine.

Step one: Before you commission artwork, search for a stock photo or start drawing the art yourself, head on over to CreateSpace and determine the dimensions of your book (width and length of the front cover) a.k.a. trim size and how many pages your book will contain.

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Amazon Giveaway Lessons Learned and Tips for Authors – Part 2


My Amazon giveaway ended on Tuesday at midnight and while I didn’t give away as many books as I intended, I did learn some lessons for the next giveaway.

A total of 517 people entered to win – a lot less than I had hoped would enter. The winning interval was set to 400, so I only gave away one book. I tweeted for three days and then stopped, because I didn’t believe that I could convince another 400 people to enter. Why? Because I relied primarily on tweets and people who followed the #amazongiveway hash tag.  What I should have done, if I had known better, was to leverage someone else’s online community.

Tip #5: Make sure you have a surefire way to get the word out about your giveaway. Your best bet is if you already have a community of followers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or your blog – or you can leverage someone else’s social media following, either through your established relationships with online social butterflies or by paying someone. Keep in mind that only a certain percentage of someone else’s followers may be into your genre.

Tip #6: If you’re a new author and don’t have a huge social media following, and don’t plan on leveraging someone else’s following, calculate your giveaway interval by dividing 400 to 500 by the number of books you want to give away. If I would have done this, the giveaway interval would have been set to 80 or 100, I would have gotten decent exposure over the week of my giveaway (versus it ending prematurely) and given away all five copies.

Tip #7: If you just want to giveaway lots of copies of your book, set your giveaway interval between 15-20. Keep in mind that Amazon will charge you full price for your book plus tax and shipping. It could get expensive, but more readers will have your book in their hands.

Amazon credited my credit card account for the books that were not given away the day after my giveaway ended. My total out of pocket expenses for this giveaway was $15.72.

While I didn’t meet my goals with this giveaway, a lot of people were exposed to my book and 517 of those people were actually interested in winning it. That’s a good thing.