Around this time last year Amazon launched a service groups, companies, and creators could hold a contest and give away swag as prizes.
Amazon Giveaway was easy to use, and with Amazon handling the logistics it was terribly convenient, but the service also had one key shortcoming: you couldn't give away an ebook or other digital content.
That changed on Tuesday. Amazon has posted the following announcement on the KDP Support forums:
We’re excited to announce that anyone can now create a giveaway using Kindle books on Amazon.com. When they create the giveaway, they pay the current price for the book and the author will earn their standard royalty, no different than a normal sale.
Authors can also use Amazon Giveaway (available on amazon.com only) to reach new readers by promoting their giveaways on social media, and encouraging readers to follow them on Amazon to enter their giveaway.
While the person running the giveaway will need to buy the Kindle books, the winners receive their books free of charge, so reviews they write will not feature the Amazon Verified Purchase badge. For giveaways you run, we encourage you to remind winners to note in their reviews that they received the Kindle book as part of an Amazon Giveaway.
According to the FAQ, ebooks are the only type of digital content that can be given away, and you are limited to giving away only 50 copies in each contest. Songs, movies, and apps are not eligible.
In addition to letting you give away ebooks, Amazon also added other features. Authors now have more timing options, and can run a contest for up to 30 days. Also, the entrants that don't win the ebook prize will be offered a free sample of the ebook being given away.
image by Andrew Gustar