I was actually surprised when I discovered Amazon giveaways work rather well. You have to “buy” as many copies as you want to give away, but the good news is that it actually counts toward your ranking! If you lower the price before doing it, you can do so for relatively little cost. Some places charge your horrible fees to give away your book, which is ridiculous for us indie authors! Plus, they usually insist on print copies while Amazon lets you do a giveaway with your e-books.
This is one way to get Amazon to help promote your book. They do the distribution, which simplifies the process. I have found it to be one of the most cost-effective promotions available, especially if you lower your book price before setting it up.
I used to give away books via Goodreads, but the last time I went to that site to do so I discovered they were charging for it. I have to admit I had a fit at paying $119 or more to them, plus for books and postage. In previous giveaways, as far as I could tell I had gotten essentially nothing–no reviews or other evidence the winner did anything other than sell it on eBay. (Of course that’s a bit of a joke, considering authors have a hard enough time selling books in the first place, unless they’re famous.)
I finally decided to conduct my own giveaways through my newsletter. I asked a trivia question and the first three to respond with the correct answer would win a book (an ebook, if they were outside the USA). It went great and I had some very happy fans. I can’t believe I didn’t do it this way in the first place!