People love free stuff—just absolutely love it! So much so, that many will do almost anything for even the slightest chance of winning. Entice your readers and potentially gain new ones with social media contests!

Here’s how they work: to become eligible for the chance of winning, hopeful participants must engage in some way. You can require them to like or follow your page, comment on a photo, tag a friend, or post a photo using a hashtag you’ve created; you’ll then be able to search the created hashtag and sort through all the contest applicants. Their engagement is their entry into the competition.

So what’s the advantage of having people enter your contest?

When people are engaging with your content, your reach improves which means your content is getting in front of more people. This can directly translate to book sales.

The more creative the contest, the more fun it is for people to participate. We’ve come up with book contest ideas for authors that are fun, creative, and sure to generate social media engagement!

Book Contest Ideas for Social Media

Children’s Books

Photo of a Child Reading

Have contestants post a photo of their child with their favorite book (or your own book!). You can have them submit their entry either as a comment on your original post or using a hashtag you create. 

Video Contest

Contestants can post a video of their child/grandchild/niece/nephew explaining why they loved your book. Include a requirement for the video length and participants enter the contest by uploading their video in a post using a hashtag you create. Different social media platforms have varying video features. For instance, Instagram requires videos to be under a minute.

Fiction Books

Trivia Quiz

Create a questionnaire quiz and share it on social media to test how well your readers know your book. You can award the prize to the top score and encourage participants to share their results on their page. You can use to create the quiz.

Alternate Ending

Take advantage of the increasingly popular fan fiction craze and ask contestants to write an alternate ending to your book. Require participants to like or follow your page to enter the contest and email you their story endings. Choose your favorite as the winner.  

Let Your Fans Decide

Create a poll question that allows fans to decide upon something for your next book, such as a character development or plot details. Keep the results hidden so nothing is spoiled. Anybody who participates in the poll is entered to win the prize.


Post a Food Photo

Have contestants post a photo of their favorite finished dish from your cookbook. Create a hashtag for participants to use in order to enter the contest and create a deadline for submissions. Let your fans decide by voting on which dish looks best to choose the winner. Here’s a great example of a cooking contest involving a mother and her child:

Guess How Many

Put a bunch of your favorite candy in jar and post a photo for contestants to guess how many pieces there are. Whoever guesses closest to the actual amount wins. This is a classic!

Your Favorite Recipe

Post a photo of your favorite recipe and ask people to comment with their favorite recipe from your cookbook. Then choose a winner at random. Not only is this an engaging post, it’s also a fun way to get people interested in your book.

Comics/Picture Books

Caption Contest

Create a comical scene that’s left open ended and have contestants leave a caption in the comments to complete the scene. The winner can be chosen by which comment receives the most likes.  

Draw a Character

Spark your fan’s creativity and  ask them to create a character to be featured in your next book. Character drawings can be submitted in the comment section and voted on for the winner. Here’s an example of an art contest: 

Travel Books

Find the Author

Post a picture of yourself in different locations from your travels and have contestants guess where you are. The first person to guess correctly wins or everyone who guesses correctly can then enter a random drawing.

Traveling Readers

Ask contestants to post a photo of themselves in some of their favorite travel spots. Or maybe tell a crazy travel story! Create a hashtag for participants to submit their entry. Choose a winner randomly or whichever entry receives the most likes. Take a look at this traveling contest:

Ideas for Any Genre

  • Holiday-themed contests to win great gifts or special occasion offers.
  • A golden ticket for readers. If your book is in brick-and-mortar bookstores, go around and sign a few copies for readers to find.
  • Post a selfie with your book.
  • Do a Q&A “Ask the Author” post and choose your favorite question for a prize giveaway.
  • Tag a friend. Facebook doesn’t allow this in contests, but Instagram does and it helps your page reach more people.

Comment for $5 Off at eBooksgo!

Many of these ideas can be slightly modified to fit seamlessly into your genre. Have fun and be creative with your book contest ideas! Comment with your own contest ideas and all participants will receive a $5 promo code to our bookstore!