So, I’ve been asked to share my giveaway creation and management process, with an emphasis on list-cleaning! For now, I’m sharing the list cleaning part, but I’ll have the rest of the guide up by the end of the month!

Cleaning your list(s): For SINGLE-Genre GIVEAWAYS

NOTE: This part of the guide is only for the giveaway organizers who are organizing a SINGLE-GENRE GIVEAWAY (i.e. strictly for ONE genre, like sci-fi/fantasy, or romance, or horror, etc).

For the cleaning process for a multi-genre giveaway, click HERE or scroll down to the next section.

After the giveaway is over, it’s a good idea to figure out a few things, including:

  1. Who submitted fake or “retired” emails (for the sake of cheating to win the prize),
  2. Which readers are unconfirmed vs. confirmed (the unconfirmed readers are the ones who did not do the “double opt-in” to confirm their mailing addresses), and,
  3. Who the “freebie-hunters” are, (those who only joined the giveaway to get the free prize, NOT because they are a true reader or book lover).

To kill all these birds with one stone, I recommend that you follow these steps.

Step #1: PICK an appropriate consolation prize for your GIVEAWAY CONTESTANTS


Not everyone can be a winner, but you can certainly make them feel like one! And you can do that by offering a tantalizing FREE consolation prize, just for joining your giveaway! The best choice usually is a free novel (preferably one of yours). Still, here’s a starter list of free consolation prizes you can offer:

  1. A free novel (in the genre of your giveaway, preferably yours)
  2. A free LOT of novels (all in the same genre, can be from multiple authors looking to expand their reach)
  3. A free audiobook
  4. A free short story or collection of short stories
  5. A free audiobook

BIG no-nos:

  1. Never make contestants PAY for a consolation prize, or offer consolation prizes that are NOT free. That’s bogus and isn’t consoling to contestants at all.
  2. Try to offer prizes that have no strings attached, wherein contestants don’t have to opt-in AGAIN to get them. (I’ll show you how to track your subscribers in your email client so that you know who is downloading the book, and thus keep them on your list).

Step #2: Upload your consolation prize where it’s easy (and free!) to access


Choose either a retailer page (Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Nook, Pronoun, D2D Universal Link, etc), choose a storage client, or create a “host” page of your own to host your FREE consolation prize.

TIP: It’s really important to have your prize available on an NSA site, i.e. a place where they can get their prize with NO-STRINGS-ATTACHED. I.e. they don’t have to buy it or submit their email address to get it.




I admit, this process is very client specific, and as I use ConvertKit, I can only give you my ConvertKit process. So here it is. This is what I’d do if I’m trying to automatically put all the people who downloaded my book on a list.

  1. Let’s define what an automation is first. It’s basically a really cool function that allows you to create an “if/then” actions in your email client. (EXAMPLE: IF a subscriber does something, THEN something else will happen.) In our case as giveaway organizers, we want an “if/then” action that automatically puts all the contestants who downloaded our book on a specific list.
  2. To create an automation, you need both an origin point (the “if”) and a destination (the “then”). Our origin point is the LINK to our downloadable book. So make sure you have that ready and available. Now we’re going to create the destination, which is super easy.
  3. The book I often offer as a consolation prize is in the DYSTOPIAN genre. So I want everyone who clicks on my book or downloads my book to be automatically put on a “dystopian readers” list.
  4. To do this, we’re going to create a TAG that is both specific to the giveaway AND to the genre of the book my contestant downloaded. For example: [SUMMER GIVEAWAY] – Dystopian Readers. In ConvertKit, this is called a TAG, and for the purposes of our if/then automation, our TAG is the destination.
  5. Now we create an AUTOMATION in ConvertKit using our origin (“if”) and destination (“then”). This is easy to do in ConvertKit, so watch the video. The automation I just created in the video basically says: “If contestants click on my book link, then they will be placed on my [SUMMER GIVEAWAY] – Dystopian Readers list.”
  6. You’ve created an automation! But you’re not done yet, so go to step #4.

STEP #4: draft and send a “Culling” Email



Soo, we’ve got our automations set up. Now it’s time to contact our giveaway contestants! Send them a welcome email with the following components:

  1. A hello and SHORT introduction
  2. Let them know why they are getting this email and how they got onto your list
  4. Let them know that the main prize winners of the giveaway have been chosen, but that they get a prize too!
  5. Give them the link to the prize.
  6. MAKE SURE the automation is ACTIVATED on the prize link!! (See the video for how to do this in ConvertKit.)
  7. Send out your email and watch subscribers self-select into your permanent email lists.


  1. Once you send out your culling email, you will find that many subscribers will drop off your list, either because they unsubscribe, OR because they are fake emails.
  2. Some subscribers on your list will be “unconfirmed”. This does NOT automatically mean that they are fake subscribers. It merely means that their original double opt-in email either never made it to them, they overlooked it, they forgot to opt-in, they didn’t know how to opt-in, OR they just didn’t want to. So don’t just delete the unconfirmed emails off the list automatically.
  3. If the unconfirmed (or other) subscribers are fake emails and bounce, ConvertKit will automatically slot these emails into the “BOUNCED” category and eliminate them from your list.