Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Contest! Contest? Uh...

Okay, we're getting down to the wire now. Time to seriously start thinking about publicity. Touch of Danger comes out in two days from Cerridwen. ( http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-7215-47-touch-of-danger.aspx ) And yet... It's an ebook. It'll be around for a while, so maybe I can take this slowly and learn good lessons along the way.

I'm going to be a guest on a Momlist, or is that Mom List, or momlist? Anyway, it'll be the 20th on the Cerridwen readers loop. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cerridwenchat/ Why yes, that's the same day as I'll be having a root canal, thanks for asking.

I've been researching Mom lists (or whatever) and what people do on their days, and it seems Mom always has a contest going. Lots of writers have that. It's a way to gather viewers to their site as well as collect names so that you can email them info about future books when that arrives.

Gathering names is important. Sabrina Jeffries has often told our group that the way she became a NYT best-selling author (other than by writing darned fine books) was that she mailed/emailed her lists a week before her release date. It's the first week or so that's the most critical as far as best-seller lists are concerned. They get their figures from sales done in a week, which is why the Bible (to use an example) never shows up on 'em. The Bible sells more overall, but does brisk sales consistently over a much longer period. You've got to move in fast and get the bulk of your sales within a very short period for the lists to notice you.

The way you get enough names to mail so that you can get on a best-seller list is by slowly gathering them book by book.

So. Contests. I'm posting this here in hopes that people will tell me what kind of prize I should offer. Keep in mind that this is an ebook, so the number of people buying it will be (choke) significantly less than if it was a printed book. (But it WILL be eventually, if enough people buy the ebook!) Also keep in mind that I've already paid out a chunk for this book in order to get the rights to use a few lines from a Billy Joel song. (I just couldn't live without that song being in the text. It's the big seduction scene!) So $$ are limited.

ANYway, I was considering prize options. Lots of people give out copies of their backlist or ARCs of the current book. Don't have any of those. Some people give out gift cards to, say Starbucks. I assume I can't give out a gift card to Barnes & Noble or suchlike since they're a competitor for Cerridwen, sorta, though if and when the book comes out in print they should be a source for it.

I've got an (unused) sex swing that I've been trying to get rid of. (I got it at an Adam & Eve warehouse sale.) Too specific? There's those hip-waders that my mother got me for Xmas one year because I'd been complaining about having to wade into my pond and clean it. They're still in the box and tagged. What else? I think I'm ready to divest myself of Action #252, the first appearance of Supergirl. Or maybe my Wonder Woman cookie jar, which I've never liked that much and am afraid that someday its weight will take down the small shelf upon which it sits.

Over on her blog ( http://mariazannini.blogspot.com/ ), Maria Zannini has this posted: "Write a review for Touch Of Fire on Amazon or any other review forum, and earn 5 extra points. Post the phrase [her book's tagline plus title, author and publisher] and link on Twitter and earn 3 extra points. The person with the most points by noon, May 28, 2009 will receive a prize package worth $100. The prize package includes a signed copy of Touch Of Fire, a $50 gift certificate from Amazon.com, and assorted trinkets and VERY COOL goodies totaling $35." Ooh, good idea! For a print book. I'll keep that in mind as I'm assembling "cool goodies" for my print release.

But all those are biggies. I'm looking for something smaller, something to fit the debut of an ebook. A free bookmark is out, since there's no page to mark. Is a gift card to Wal-Mart universal enough? I mean, if someone from Timbuktu wins, can they use it there?

Suggestions, please!!! Thank you very kindly in advance.


MO! said...

Though I'd love to snag the Wonder Woman cookie jar, perhaps something that ties in best with your book? Certianly not a weekend stay at the hotel poor Lina checked into, but perhaps a fire extinguishing gift basket? More sheets? (I've only read the excerpt, so I am going to require either more info or more than 48 hours to put this shebang together!)

Best of luck with the launch, Carol!!

Carol A. Strickland said...

Eee, thanks for the idea! Thank for checking out the excerpt, too!!! Hmm... Maybe some kind of hiking thingie since they're hiking across this deserted desert island?

Carol A. Strickland said...

So I'm sitting here working on checking the Adam & Eve catalog and thinking about contest stuff when it occurs to me: How about a DVD? Maybe the winner's choice of a DVD from the Adam & Eve, AdamMail, Sinclair, etc etc collection of XXX DVDs? I mean, my book is certainly X-rated, and my employee discount makes these things quite inexpensive.

Good idea? Horrendous? You tell me.

EilisFlynn said...

I think the Wondy cookie jar would be fabulous, but how can you go wrong with something like that? And the Supergirl comic would be great, but then I'm biased about that, too.

For a contest for your first book, it should be something thematic for the book. And in my opinion you're going to get more takers if it's family-friendly -- Adam & Eve is fine, but you've got a Cerridwen book, not an Ellora's Cave book. So the cookie jar or the comic, or even a DVD of a superhero movie, or a superhero cartoon, might be better.

Two more days! I can't wait!

Carol A. Strickland said...

Ha ha! You haven't read the book! If you recall, when ECPI accepted it I didn't know whether it would go to Ellora's Cave or Cerridwen. It's pretty hot stuff--the only book in the series that really goes far in that direction. That's why I was thinking a nice XXX DVD. Well, that and because DVDs are super-cheap if you've got an employee discount!

Think I'll save the cookie jar for the print version of the book. The Supergirl book maybe I'll save to fund my retirement. Mile High has it listed in fair condition as over $700 and in good condition as $1500. My copy's got to be one of those two, though I haven't looked at it in years... (I bought it about 25 years ago for $40 and the price almost killed me!)