Let’s say you’re participating in a launch event or another promo and you’re giving away an ebook copy of your book to a random winner. Can you gift that book to your winner through Amazon?
Yes, you can—and I know a lot of authors who do, including myself. It’s easy, but it’s not free. I’ll walk you through gifting your ebook via Amazon and then suggest some alternatives.
How to Gift an Ebook Through Amazon
One of the easiest and fastest ways to send your book to the winner is to gift it to them through Amazon. Your winner gets an email from Amazon with a link to download the book straight to their Kindle app or device. The cost? The current price of your ebook.
Here’s how you do it:
- Log into your Amazon account. This can be your personal account or the one you’ve created as an author.
- Navigate to the page for the book you want to give your winner.
- Scroll down until you see the Buy for others box in Amazon’s right sidebar.
- Set the quantity for 1 and click the Buy for others button.
- The Delivery via email form displays.
- Complete the form by putting your winner’s email in the To field; your name in the From field; and add a short message. (I usually say, “Thanks for participating in the XYZ giveaway. Hope you enjoy the book.” Then add my website URL.)
- Select the delivery date.
- And that’s it!
Amazon will send your recipient an email on the date of your choice.
They click the link in the email and follow the directions to send it to their registered Kindle, tablet, or phone — wherever they read Amazon ebooks.
- Both sender and receiver must have an Amazon.com account.
- Receiver must also have some type of Amazon e-reader device—either a Kindle, or the Kindle app installed on their phone, tablet or computer.
- You have to pay the retail price to send your ebook but you still get a royalty.
- You can’t gift a book that is free or on pre-order.
- Recipient can exchange for a gift card if they have already read or don’t want the book.
Other Ways to Gift Your Book
There are other programs that allow you to give ebooks to readers. These programs are often geared toward sending out ARCs to reviewers, or in conjunction with a promo through their site. But all of them allow you send a link to readers and let them download the ebook in various formats (epub, mobi, etc) they prefer.
All require you to set up an account and they all offer promotional options you can join. Some of these promo options have a fee and others are free.
These are my favorites:
I’ve used Book Cave multiple times for sending out ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies for reviewers) and to provide as a prize for a giveaway. I’ve used their paid promos and gotten great response. I’ve also joined some of their free Reader Magnet promos.
Book Cave is easy to use, with good instructions on their website for how to set up a promo or magnet. It also has a book rating system which really helps connect readers with their personal sensitivity levels. Love it!
BookFunnel is used by a lot of established authors and publishers. It’s probably the most professional looking of all the ebook delivery sites. I really like that the Basic option allows 500 downloads and 5 titles at a time.
BookSprout is an up and coming ebook delivery service. There is a free version that allows 3 pen names, but only 20 downloads. If you’re just starting to build a review team, this might be one to try and see if you like it.
One thing I really like about them is they have a system to track and block freeloaders (those who download but never review) and pirates (who give away your book free on their website).
Another ebook delivery services is Instafreebie. It, too, has a free version that gives you unlimited download and titles, but only one pen name. However, their paid plans are more than twice the price of BookSprout, but I don’t see that they have twice the features.
There are two really cool things about StoryOrigin. First, they have all their options currently in beta version and they’re all FREE. You jump right in at the premium offer and test out everything. Eventually, they will charge for their service, but they promise to give advance notice.
The other really cool thing is their Universal Link. This is great if you’re wide with your books. Your readers one Buy link, and it takes them to a page that lets them pick their preferred store—with your built in affiliate link.
How do their features compare?
What Do I Recommend?
If you’re just starting out, I’d go with Book Cave which is easy to use and free, unless you choose to do a paid promo. Or you might try StoryOrigin which is completely free right now and offers Universal links.
If you’re have an established readership and review team, and you have several pen names and lots of books, I’d try BookSprout. It’s reasonably priced and increases to Unlimited faster than the others.