The Great List Builder for Authors

What is Instafreebie

Instafreebie is a newsletter for distributing free books. Most author use this as a way to build their own lists by distributing their lead magnets or partial manuscripts to generate interest. For the most part I think they have a monopoly on the market, but the principles apply to all giveaways.


How Much To Give Away?

When uploading a manuscript to Instafreebie you have to decide how you much you’re going to give away. This comes down to three things: are you list building, review building, or interest building?


List building can be done with full or partial manuscripts, but full manuscripts are more effective.


If you need more reviews for your book then you’ll to be giving away the full manuscript. This can be done in one of two ways. A full giveaway on the site, or you can put a link in your email to them that will give them access to the full book.


Interest building is all about giving away partials and trying to generate interest in you book.


My book is currently on Amazon and I’m enrolled in KDP so I can only giveaway 10% of novel, or a partial. I can however giveaway ARCs. Those are full versions of the novel given in exchange for honest reviews and I make this offer to anyone who signs up for my email list.


May 25th EU Email Changes

As far as this is concerned all those changes will only impact Instafreebie. They are a third party provider that turns those emails over to you. They must deal with compliance on the issue not you.


As for you lead magnet on your website. You do need to deal with compliance there, but I’m not going into that here. Several other big names in the writing community have addressed this with lawyers in tow.


Social Media Distribution

If you put up a giveaway and no one knows about it will you get and ROI. NO. No you won’t.


The issue here is that your social media probably already knows you're a writer and you wrote a book. So to reach new people you need to tape new social networks. This is done through giveaway groups.


Many authors writing in the same genre join a group and all promote it on their social media.


My own results. I pick up 20 to 50 subscribers a day in a giveaway group.

Basic Principles of Book Marketing Still Apply

The basic principles still apply. Need a good cover. Need a good blurb. Need to communicate your genre effectively with them.


A giveaway group is focused on a genre. If you don’t look like you fit in with them you won’t get a lot of subscribers from it.


Social Media Half Life

When posting on social media it’s good know how often you should post to read the most people.


Half life is a term the means amount of time it takes for half depletion. In social media terms it means 50% of all engagement will be reached in that amount of time. Double the half-life duration and you get 75% engagement. That’s the magic number we want to look at. That’s when it’s time to repost or post something new with the same links.


    1. Twitter: 24min

      1. 48min is 75% of total engagement

    2. Facebook: 90 min

      1. 3 hours

    3. Instagram: 2 hours

      1. 4 hours

    4. Pinterest 3.5 months


Because of the half lives of so much of social media being so short it’s important to post multiple times, even in the same day to reach everyone.


Peak posting times

Your social media should provide you with engagement stats based on your current audience and tell you times of day best for posting. This is generally the same Monday through Friday, and different on weekends.


You’ll want to post around these peak times. So, if my peak time is 6:00pm for Twitter then I’ll put my first post at 5pm and one at 6pm and another at 7pm. This allows to deal with the 75% engagement cycle of Twitter while still circling my peak time.


Image Value and Development

Images get 5x more attention and clicks on social media so you should use them whenever possible


There are sites like Canva that can help you develop images for social media, meeting their specific needs. Or you can use something more open ended like Google Slides.


Canva and those like it supply both free and paid images, usually for $1 an image. Other sites like Unsplash have free image you can download and then upload other places for use. If find I get better images from Unsplash, but like working in Canva.


Social Media Scheduler

Once you have you giveaway group and social media images developed you don’t want to spend a ton of time going back to repost or new post on social media sites. I recommend using a social media scheduler. This will allow to schedule post for the entire duration of the giveaway at one time.


I use Hootsuite but there are others.


Sharing Impacts

Sharing, Retweeting etc… can also help spread the word about your giveaway. If you have a system to communicate when an author has posted something on social media then the other members of the group can go there and share it to their own social media.


That allows you to continue to push the giveaway without being direct about it, and can help those posts reach more people.


On Twitter the RT means retweet and many organization that revolve around book discounts and book giveaway will ReTweet for you if you put that in there.


Facebook Promotions Groups

There are hundred of Facebook groups that are for promoting certain types of book. Be sure and list your giveaway in the those related to your genre.