Friday, July 25, 2014

Round Robin Blog Fest--Book Giveaways and Contests


     #Round Robin Blog Fest

I would like to thank Rhobin Courtright for the invitation to participate in this month's blog fest.  The topic: book giveaways and contests.



  How effective do you think book giveaways or contests are?

The key: forethought (know your audience). Careful planning, media blitzing, and a gimmick are the elements of a very successful contest. By gimmick, I mean a creative approach, one that is not a usual contest pitch.  Am I going to give you any never fail rule/a road map to success?

No--I wish it was only that easy.

You can Google names of media savvy authors.  Or Google my name and look at my website ( read my interviews, my archived contest info (the links are still on Google/ Bing, some are available on my web site).  This is not a do-what-you-see-others-do, it more of fact gathering tour.  You know your story/series, and you are the best judge of what will appeal to your fan base. 

After all, what is a successfully contest for me, may not spell success for you. If you write historical novels featuring a lineage page (I do enjoy researching genealogy but. . .) your readers would probably adore winning a book of Sonnets.  While my fan base (me included) are happy with a Starbucks gift card and an autographed copy of my latest eBook.

Be creative. Have fun.  If you don’t enjoy your contest, no one else will either.

    Do you think all the free books through Amazon and the library offered to prime members affect your efforts?

I believe the free reads and lending through Amazon (for prime members) has a positive effect on my efforts in promotion.  I’m willing to try a new author or genre because of the free read offers.  I have purchase 6 books this month as of this Amazon feature.  Amazon distributes a large list of books that are free, the lending library allows Prime users to read one book of their choice monthly at no additional cost to their membership 

However, on the down side, giving way books seems to brink out "rather vicious" reviews.  Which really puzzles me, especially when it's apparent the reviewer didn't finish the book/or read more than a page or two.  We all have our preferences.  Please be mindful of cyber manners--there is no reason post a hateful review.  Everyone that's pride in his/her work.  And every writer is mindful of our readership.  

Ginger goes into more depth on her blog post. You man wish to stop by her site also.

In order to compete with freebies, my publisher. Books We Love Ltd., lowered the prices of our books to try to be more competitive.  

And more good news: Jude Pittman, president, of Books We Love Ltd., with whom I'm published, released this statement as part of a press release:

Of course, any great author would be oppressed without an extensive distribution network for their work. To that end, Books We Love Ltd. has just signed a deal to distribute their books in print in the USA, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Red Tuque will also be handling a portion of the distribution in Canada, with both distributors releasing a combined twenty-five titles this coming fall.

 “This print distribution is a big step for our authors, returning their work to its original format. Of course, we’ve not forgotten about eBooks and currently have over four-hundred titles exclusively available through Amazon Kindle. With each book priced at $4.99 or under, getting some of literature’s forgotten heroes into your hands has never been cheaper,” Pittman adds.

Exciting times. . . and great adventures! 

 What are the best promotions you've participated in?

I find that interviews generate the most exposure for me. Contests run as a group (with your publisher, online reader/writer group etc.) is second. Guest blogging (see I’m here!), and all of my combined online presence, is third.  I am visible in my community. I judge local and national writing contests, offer workshops and guest speaking engagement.  As for book signings—in the past this was a wonderful way to ‘meet and greet’ readers.  Signing 75 books during a 3-hour event was the norm, now author appearances aren't always sure-fired way to draw readers.  The Internet has replaced monthly newsletters that were sent via USPS. While downloadable bookmarks, e-authorgraphs, and facebook and google+ stream (the new fan club base) are all part of author branding.

The online shopping experience, or read a book at your local library and purchase it for your book shelf, seems to be the new norm. I believe to survive in this very competitive field, contests, giveaways, and series readership is a must. 

After all, a loyal readership is the key to success.  Write that ‘must read’ story that your readers will love and keep your name out there! 

Next on your Round Robin tour: Diane Bator at

Happy Reading, 


Participating in July’s Round Robin event: Ginger Simpson at Margaret Fieland at Connie Vines at Diane Bator at Rhobin Courtright at

1 comment:

Rhobin said...

Sorry to be so late commenting, we took our granddaughter to New York on 2,600 mile road trip.

You give a very interesting, positive, and optimistic viewpoint and a lot of good advice on promotion.