You have a new release. Should you giveaway your new book? A gift card (and hope they will buy your book)? Swag? Or something else totally random?
While there is no real answer on what you should giveaway, I do have a few thoughts. When I first release a book, I don't do an actual giveaway of the book for awhile. Yes, my hopes are people will buy the book.
I do the gift card thing and usually in $5 increments and give the winner 3 options: Amazon, Nook, or Starbucks. All of these you can do online. I don't know what they will buy with it. But remember, you don't know they are going to read your book either when you give it to them. It could stay on their hard drive. At least with the gift card, they've won something they'll use and if it's a super awesome day, maybe they will pick up my book...maybe they won't.
Swag. I've been published since 2011 and I've never really done the swag thing before. I don't like spending money on things I'm not sure about. I see swag (paper products mainly) and I see my money literally being put into someones trash can. Now, with that said, it doesn't mean you shouldn't give away swag. I actually just did my first swag pack giveaways. I have a conference coming up, so I ordered a bunch of stuff to bring a long. These probably won't be my best giveaways. I'm trying it, so I can't say yet how successful this is.
And on another note. If you're a brand new author and you're wanting to find new readers, then I do suggest giving away your actual book. Like I mentioned earlier, just know, not everyone you send your book to will read it. Books are given away every day and books are bought every day. I must admit, I have books I've bought with ever intention on reading, but then something else came on my kindle and that book got pushed aside 6 months ago now. However, don't let that discourage you, because some are going to read it. They are going to love it and when you're next book releases, you might have found your first few fans. And really, that's what this is all about. Finding fans who love your work.
Giveaways are tricky, but there really is no wrong way. Readers love them. Many of them spend a lot of money on books, so getting something for free is always great.