What Makes a Good Bonus Gift for an Online Book Launch?

By on December 29th, 2010

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When authors have a book launch, they very often gather together a group of network partners to support the launch by offering a bonus gift. Offering a bonus gift for someone else’s launch can be a great way to find new targeted subscribers for your mailing list (see more information about why you might wish to join a campaign at the end of this article).

I manage many book launches every year, and every time I do it’s necessary for me to give some guidance to network partners about what makes a good, appropriate and effective bonus gift. If you are going to be offering a bonus gift for a book launch, it is essential you choose the right kind of bonus gift AND present it properly. Otherwise, you are likely to be very disappointed with the results of all your efforts.

I thought I’d share this information with my blog readers because it is not only relevant to bonus gifts for book launches, but pretty much to any kind of special offer you might use for leads generation. These guidelines are based upon years of experience in what works and doesn’t work in YOUR best interest, and hopefully increase the probability of opt ins for you.

What IS a good bonus gift?

  1. It must be 100% FREE
  2. It must be DOWNLOADABLE
  3. It should be something special that is NOT routinely and easily accessible via your website (especially your home page!).
  4. It must be in a format accessible to most (PDF, MP3, MP4 are all recommended formats).
  5. Suggested gifts include eBook, special report, audio course, eCourse, templates, video series, etc.

What is NOT a good bonus gift?

  1. An offer of a discount for something they must buy.
  2. An offer of free coaching or consulting (see more below).
  3. An offer of a free place on a live course on a specific date.
  4. Something you would have to send to people via snail mail.
  5. Something which would cost YOU money to give (such as a printed book).
  6. Something in a non-universal format (e.g., an eBook in MS Word doc format would not be acceptable).
  7. Something anyone could easily find by visting your website.

What is an “opt in page” and why do I need it?

Your opt in page is the place where people will come to REQUEST (not receive) your bonus gift. It should include a sign up form where they are required to enter their name and email (I suggest you do NOT ask for any other information).

How do I get a sign up form?

Any email delivery or autoresponder system such as AWeber, GetResponse, Constant Contact or Mail Chimp will allow you to create a sign up form. If you don’t have any of these services, I recommend you get one. Mail Chimp is free for the first few hundred subscribers.

What should my “opt in page” look like?

It should be VERY basic with no distractions, such as outbound links, adverts, etc. It should ONLY show your bonus gift and the opt in form. It should be on a special stand-alone page that is NOT on the home page of your website.

What happens after people sign up?

The opt in form will have a function where you can tell it where to send people after they sign up. They should be taken DIRECTLY to a download page. THEN, you should also set up an automated follow up message that says something like, “Thanks for downloading my bonus gift (Title of Gift). Just in case you didn’t get the chance to download it, here’s the link to the download page again: (link to the page).

But I’m looking to get clients. Why can’t I offer free coaching (or whatever it is you do)?

Frankly, because you never will be able to fulfill the requests you will receive.What if you receive 100 requests? Are you prepared to give away 100 precious hours of your time? You shouldn’t be. If people are asking for free coaching and have no intention of hiring you, you are simply wasting both their time and yours.

Instead, give people a free downloadable gift (eBook, MP3, etc) that costs you no time to deliver, and then, if you want, put a message at the end of the eBook that you will offer a free consultation to the first 10 requests, or something along those lines.

But I want people to visit my website so they can check out my products and services. Why can’t the opt in page have info about these?

Please remember, on these launches people will be clicking to receive DOZENS of free gifts. They are not interested in checking out anyone’s site while they are doing this. It’s overwhelming enough for them (yes, it’s actually overwhelming for people to have so much choice). If you overwhelm them further with “information overload”, or it looks like you are trying to sell them something, they will CLICK AWAY from your page. Trust me, I have had many a JVP not follow my advice, and not receive but a handful of opt ins during a campaign.

Personally, I typically get hundreds of opt ins on my bonus gifts BECAUSE I make simple, not distracting pages that do not attempt to “sell” people anything. Remember: once people are on your list, you can send follow up messages with information on how to take the content further. You can also put this information IN the product itself (in fact, you should).


If you want to see an example of a bonus page that receives LOTS of downloads every week,
so you can try to model your page after it, have a look at this one:


If you would like to be a partner on a book launch, check out the latest campaign I am running HERE:

Find out 7 reasons why you would want to partner on someone else’s book launch NOW in an article I wrote:

I hope you have found this information helpful! And do check out my upcoming book launches, and come join us if you like.

Until next time, I send you warm wishes,

Lynn Serafinn

About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self.

Her upcoming book, The 7 Graces of Marketing, is coming in June 2011.

She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced a long list of top-10 book campaigns, including many #1-sellers. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at

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