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Crowd-sourcing my brain

Most writers hold some sort of contest when their books come out, yes? As a promotional thing?

I feel a vague urge to do the same thing, but I’m not sure what I should do. I’m not planning to give away a tooth, like that horror writer from a couple years back.

So I’m asking you: What should I do, and what sort of prize should I offer? I have copies of Child of Fire sitting around now, and could offer them as prizes, but that sounds… presumptuous. (I know, I know. I’m the worst self-promoter ever. Don’t judge me.)

I have other books and stuff I could give away. Alternately, I could convince my wife to make a sketch to include with the book.

Another option is to give away copies of the book in exchange for reviews.

If I were going to be honest, though, I’d admit that I’m dubious about the value of this sort of thing, and time has been really, really tight lately. What do you think?

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here or there.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Wasn't it Scott Nicholson who gave away the tooth?

I don't know that author promo makes a significant difference, at least 95% of the time. On the other hand, I keep doing some. Partly because it's fun and I like giving books away, and partly because I do think it can help a little. Maybe not much, but if it picks up a few new readers here, a few more there ... who knows.

The guideline I try to follow these days is, "Will doing this promo thing be fun for me and for those who participate?" If so, go for it.
Sep. 17th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure who gave away the tooth, and I don't want to google it. I'm afraid that, if he gets a lot of attention from that, he'll soon be gumming his toast and hashbrowns every morning.

But you make a good point. If I can think of something fun, I'll go for it.
Sep. 17th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
Harry, I will give it the selfavowedgeek rambling not-review treatment. Straight up--contest aside--if you want me to message you my mailing address.
Sep. 17th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
I already have your address, from when I sent it to Random House for publicity galleys. I don't think any of the people I suggested received one.

Thanks for the offer, though. I have to divide up the books for different purposes, so it'll be a little while before I start mailing them out.
Sep. 17th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
You could send the winner a mock "ghost knife" :-)

But no, it's not presumptuous. Your book is good, and people will want to win it. Once the book is out, it'll defiantly get a review from Genreville. We both loved it.
Sep. 17th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Hey, that mock ghost knife is a good idea! I'm not sure I could pull it off, but I'm going to talk to my wife about it. She's a former TV effects/prop person and might be able to pull it off.

And thank you for the kind words. I'm trying to work out how I should respond to people who tell me they like my book, since my first instinct is to argue the point (stupid brain), but until I come up with something interesting, I'm stuck at "Thank you."
Sep. 18th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
You're welcome. Seeing as I really like it, I have a vested interest in it's success, so you'll get paid to write more.
Sep. 17th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
If you get your wife to do a sketch for the book, then I will throw all my morals out the window and win the contest. By whatever means needed.
Sep. 17th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
I'm tempted to razz you by saying something like "You wouldn't need a very large window" or something, but instead I'll just say "Thanks" and leave it at that.
Sep. 18th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
poking fun at an atheist morals is like shooting fish in a barrel
Sep. 18th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
Good thing I didn't say that, then.
Sep. 17th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Another option is to give away copies of the book in exchange for reviews.

Don't do this.

I say this as one who has tried it.
Sep. 18th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Your comment made me suck air through my clenched teeth.

I'm sure there's a story there, but I don't want to ask for it.
Sep. 18th, 2009 11:38 am (UTC)

That's right, you don't.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 18th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Good to know. Thanks.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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    Oh, yeah, excellent point.
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  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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