Bookfunnel is one of the most common platforms for authors to giveaway free ebooks to their readers. Often used to collect a reader’s email address in exchange for the free ebook. BookFunnel prides itself on their customer support and their ability to send the ebook directly to the reader’s preferred reading device.
Step 1: Create a BookFunnel account
Head over to BookFunnel and create an account if you don’t have one yet.
Step 2: Create a download page
In order to create an Bookfunnel giveaway, you’ll first need to perform the following steps:
- Add a pen name (you’ll only have to do this once).
- Add a book that you’d like to giveaway to readers.
- Create a new download page (you can get here again by clicking “my books” at the top, then clicking “add new” – the dropdown will allow you to create a download page).
Don’t set an expiration date or download limit for this giveaway. Otherwise, you’ll have to remember to create a new download page for readers to use to sign-up.
For the method we’re going to be using, you should be directing readers to the download page AFTER they double opt-in with your mailing list provider. That means that you already have their email address, so you should not ask for it again on your Bookfunnel download page.
f you plan on directing readers to your Bookfunnel download page BEFORE they subscribe to your mailing list (not recommended) then you’re going to want to force them to enter their email address AND have Bookfunnel confirm it for you. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bunch of email addresses that don’t exist and your newsletter’s spam rating will suffer (sending emails to addresses that don’t exist will signal to email services like gmail that you’re sending spam, even if it’s unintentional).
Step 3: Direct readers to your download page
Now all you need to do is direct readers to your download page! But, where is it?
To get your download page, head to “my books” then click on your book’s title. It will direct you to a page with all the download pages and campaigns for that book. Find the download page you just finished setting up and copy the “link for readers.” That’s where you’ll want to direct readers.
The best place to share this link is in an automated email that gets sent to readers AFTER they verify their email address with your mailing list provider. The steps to do this will vary between providers. That means you’ve already collected their email address and the user has double opted-in.
An important note: whatever you do, DO NOT link to your Bookfunnel download page in the back of your books! If you ever want to change what book you’re giving away or stop offering a free book, you’ll have to update all of your books on all platforms that it’s published on. This is another reason that we recommend sharing this link in an automated email after readers sign up, because it’s easy to change there.
If you do want to use a direct link to your Bookfunnel giveaway in the back of your book, make sure you do it in a more permanent way. For example, if you have a website you may want to setup a page that automatically redirects users to your current Bookfunnel giveaway (technical users only). Another method is to signup for bit.ly premium and use that to shorten your Bookfunnel giveaway link. Bit.ly premium allows you to change the destination URL of any link you have, so you could have the same link but use it to direct to a new giveaway instead. Basically, you just want to avoid putting any link in your book that could potentially become dead.
Now whenever you direct a reader to your book’s download page they’ll be able to download your book!
A few notes on this method
- For readers, there’s quite a few steps they need to take before they can access the book. If you plan to use Bookfunnel to collect email addresses (not recommended), there’s even more steps. It’s good practice to minimize the work needed for readers, because every additional step they need to take will result in fewer readers taking those steps – which is bad for your bottom line.
- There’s no single landing page for you as an author. Each download page you create for a book will have its own unique URL. Should you ever change what book you want to give away or disable the download page, you’ll need to remember where you shared that link so that you can update it. This is obviously quite error prone and will inevitably result in readers being directed to a page that no longer exists, meaning lost conversions for you.
- Mailing list integration is a premium feature for Bookfunnel. If you want to use it, you’ll either need to get on their most expensive plan or pay extra per month. If you don’t use it, you’ll need to manually export email addresses from them and import them into your mailing list provider which is a pain in the ass. (Note: this is only applicable if you’re using Bookfunnel to collect email addresses – something which I don’t recommend)
Because of the above, I personally wouldn’t recommend this method for delivering free books to users in exchange for signing up to your mailing list. Most readers these days know how to download an ebook file and get it onto their reading device, which is the only reason I’d go with Bookfunnel because they do that pretty well. There are similar methods you can use that are free, which have been outlined earlier.