Book Giveaways – Making a Case for Rafflecopter (Marketing Series #3)

Hey everyone! The holidays are officially behind us and we’re charging into 2016. As promised, I’m resuming my series of marketing blogs.

One powerful tool available for promotion is a book giveaway. It introduces you and your work to the audience in a positive way, puts your book in the hands of someone who wants it, and, frankly, it’s just nice to share.

Here at Women and Words, we do a lot of book giveaways, especially around the holidays. We go for the old school approach of simpler is better and ask folks to leave a comment. Then, like a fourth-grade raffle, we draw a name out of the hat.

It works well for what we do here, but it is limited. For example, it’s not very portable. If I share it to fifteen sites, I have to be very, very clear about the fact that folks need to come back here to enter the drawing.

That’s were Rafflecopter comes in handy. is a giveaway management website that comes with a lot of bells and whistles.

What it does:

  • Rafflecopter allows you to set up a giveaway with multiple prizes.
  • It allows you to set the parameters for entering the drawing. For example, you can require someone to join your newsletter, follow you on twitter, tweet out a message for you, or simply answer a silly question as we did during the Hootenanny this past December.
  • You can preset the duration of the giveaway, be it one day or one- hundred. Once the time period is closed, the drawing closes to new entries.
  • Rafflecopter giveaways can be shared on multiple platforms. With most sites, the rafflecopter widget is interactive and folks can enter wherever they happen across the giveaway.

How it does it:

  • When you create a giveaway in Rafflecopter, they provide a link to the drawing, as well as embed code to share over multiple platforms.
  • All entries are collected in a central location.
  • At the end of the giveaway, you select the winners with the push of one button. Rafflecopter uses a random number generator (like THIS ONE) to select the winners.randomnumbergenerator
  • With the push of a button, you can display the winners on the widget without updating any code.

The Benefits:

  • The big benefit of Rafflecopter is the that it can be shared over as many sites as you want, but all the entries are compiled in one place. There’s no chance that an entry
    will get lost.
  • Rafflecopter provides a spreadsheet, detailing all the entries. This is especially useful to give you an idea of who your readers are and where they are from.
  • You can set the value for different entries. For example, if you really want people to sign up for your newsletter, you can make that action worth 10 points (think of it as 10 raffle tickets in the hat) and make things you don’t care about as much, such as visiting your facebook page, worth only 1 point.

The negatives:

  • The code for the widget doesn’t work everywhere. For example, wordpress sites (like this one). For those folks, you have to click on a link to go to the Rafflecopter main page.
  • Entering the drawing requires the reader to login to the Rafflecopter system in some way. Some people don’t like that. But most giveaways require an exchange of information to some degree or another. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to notify the winner.

To set up your own Rafflecopter giveaway, you can do that at

So, what do you all think? I’d love to hear from authors and readers.




  1. I’ve gotten hooked on a few authors because I won a book. Sometimes the author hadn’t crossed my radar yet and other times I hadn’t been inspired because their work didn’t look like exactly my thing. It’s super fun, albeit expensive, when I find someone whose work I end up really liking and who has a bunch of books out :). As for the method, I do like the simplicity of “comment here to enter”, but I’ve entered the rafflecopter stuff, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love how many giveaways we’re able to do here. The authors who hang with us are so generous. It makes our role as admins an absolute pleasure. And it reinforces our core message of community.


    • Sally, we enjoy the way it works now as well. The comments, for the most part, make us smile. Andi and I discussed Rafflecopter quite a bit and agree that it’s not the best fit for us here at Women and Words. But it’s still a great tool that we sometimes use because it makes bigger concept giveaways possible. For example, during the Hootenanny, we were able to have our daily giveaways, along with a swag giveaway that included to Kindle tablets that ran all twelve days. Without Rafflecopter, that second giveaway would have been impossible to manage.


  2. Sounds good. I’m always entering your contests on here and I visited the rafflecopter too during the awesometastical hootenanny. I don’t think you mentioned or maybe I’m so exhausted after work I failed to see it, but is rafflecopter free or do they charge to use it? You guys always have great times. I love ’em. Please keep them coming 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rafflecopter is free. But they have some add on services that they charge for. I don’t know that it’s worth it unless you’re running a promotions company. The free version works for me. The reason we used it for the Hootenanny was we wanted to stretch that part of the giveaway out over the entire twelve days and that was the easiest way to track it. We didn’t require anything special for folks to win because that’s not really what we’re about here at Women and Words. But I wanted to list the options nonetheless. 🙂


  3. I have to admit that I am not a fan of rafflecopter. It is easy and straightforward to use but I feel like it is a black hole. You never hear who wins anything and it just feels impersonal to me. Just my opinion and maybe it will grow on me and I will love it one day.


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