Today’s post comes in two flavors. The first tastes of generality and should appeal to all. The second carries a hint of specificity and should interest those dwelling in the seedy underbelly of book-marketing. Sample the former; stick around for the latter; or savor the aromas of both. I’ll never know one way or the other.
Flavor 1: What I Learned From An ENT Doctor
Years ago, I worked with an ENT physician (Ears, Nose, and Throat) for part of my medical student surgery rotation. Dr. J was awesome and double-O groovy. He had that caustic, sarcastic personality I so much enjoy, but underneath he was one big softie. Not only did Dr. J let me take out a tonsil, he taught me a valuable lesson to boot.
What was this cherished piece of wisdom? A mnemonic for the differential diagnosis of neck masses? A list of effective sinusitis treatments?
In fact, what I took away from that rotation wasn’t medical at all. It was a handy description of life phases. Read them and ponder where you currently fall:
Dr. J’s Life Pearl:
When you’re young, there’s nothing better than good sex.
When you’re middle age, there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep.
When you’re old, there’s nothing better than a good bowel movement.
Ah, the seeds of wisdom passed from one medical generation to the next…
Flavor 2: Goodreads Book Giveaways
Many of you, authors or not, are on Goodreads, a social media site for book lovers. As part of my book marketing attempts, I gave a Goodreads Book Giveaway a whirl. It’s most often used by publishers to give out free ARCs (Advanced Reading Copy), but any author can sign up for a book giveaway to help seek new readers.
Information about the giveaways can be found here and here, but the process is simple. The author completes a short online form including the title of the book, the ISBN number, a short description to go along with the giveaway (e.g., book blurb, contest wins, reviews), the number of copies you wish to give, and a selection of the countries to which you’ll agree to send. You also must enter the start and end dates. I chose two weeks. Some choose longer; some choose shorter. Then you submit it for Goodreads approval.
So What’s the Benefit?
After two weeks’ time, 992 people signed up to win a copy of The Seneca Scourge, and over 400 people added it to their ‘to-read’ list. That amounted to 992 pairs of eyes that hadn’t seen my book before. Well, perhaps some of those folks lacked two anatomical eyeballs, but you get the drift. Whether they ever read my book or not remains to be seen, but I’d like to think at least a few will do so.
Of note, many authors and publishers only agree to ship books to the US, Canada, and the UK. I expanded my giveaway to all countries thinking, Hey, what’s the chance the winner will fall outside one of these three countries? Well, I can now answer that question. It’s 66.6666….% My three winners were from Canada, Malaysia, and Croatia. As a result, my local post office was happy.
So if you’re an author, I encourage you to give a Goodreads Giveaway a try. One more marketing tool, and a relatively benign one at that. And if you’re a reader, consider entering one for a chance to win. Who doesn’t want something for nothing?
Have you ever entered a Goodreads Book Giveaway or used one to promote your own book? What phase of Dr. J’s helpful life reference are you? Any pearls of wisdom to pass on to us?
All images from Microsoft Clip Art
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