Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So, contests? AND a reminder....

The reminder first! Next Monday I'll be interviewing Nikki Logan. Nikki is a newly published author with Harlequin and soon to be multi-published with them. She has such an interesting premise to differentiate her work and her call story is wonderful. Please join us as we explore her insights into the world of writing, publishing and Harlequin!

Now, contests. I am at the point where I need to start thinking about running contests and identifying prizes. My goal would be to just get my name out there and begin the process of building my author brand. A number of people have actually advised against giving my book away, at least in the initial period after release day. I see other authors offer a whole host of different things. Sometimes you have to merely post something to win, other times there's a bit more involved, such as answering a question. I so need some guidance here! So....

If you're a writer what contests have you run that worked well? Had the most positive response? What prizes seemed to be the most sought after? How did you advertise your contest?

If you're a reader, what contests get your attention? What type of prizes do you like to see? What makes you stop and take a second look? Do they really make you buy books?


  1. I what you do depends on how much you want to invest in the prize. I know one author who wrote a 'fireman' book and had a sassy fireman t-shirt and a copy of her book as a prize. I thought that was great. You did have to answer a couple of qu. based on her excerpt. I think that's smart because it encourages people to read your excerpt...and get hooked;)

    If you're goal is name exposure, then maybe have it and your tagline/website/logo printed on t-shirts, tank tops, beach bags...something that'll make its way out in public. You could start a fashion trend! Of course, I have no costs or stats to go on, just an idea.

    Good luck! If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. I'm sure your first contest will be a hit!

  2. Oops! That should have said "I think what you do..." :)

  3. One thing I've noticed is that writers seem to be giving away bigger and bigger prizes like holidays, high dollar gift vouchers etc. I certainly can't compete, but what I tend to do these days is either give away a copy of my backlist or a voucher. I like to encourage ebooks so I hope to give away vouchers to Samhain and All Romance ebooks in the future. It's expensive posting items (even worse from NZ) and this needs to be factored into the cost of a prize.

    When I was first published I offered a prize incentive for people to join my newsletter. Even now, I offer newsletter only contests. This gives you a built-in audience for promo as well.

    Other than that any contest I do is to build website traffic. I like contests where they have to search my website for the answer to an easy question. It can be something to do with reading an excerpt or a question that highlights your release in some way. The trick is not to make it too difficult.

    BTW - did you get my email?

  4. I don't have anything useful to contribute, Kaily but prizes of books are great from a reader's perspective. I think Rula's and Shelley's suggestions re reading excerpts and blog posts sound like good ideas too!

  5. As one who is just about to finish up my promo book tour for Forbidden Love, I have to say that I did give away downloads of my ebook. I know, I was told not to do that too at first. But it was easier for me and more cost effective to do that right now. And what I was trying to do at this time was simply get my name out there. So I did it. I also have a few other gifts in the offering at the end of the tour for those who post comments on any of my tour stops. Things like other author's books--and because my ebook is SFR (sci-fi romance) I am giving a few gifts from my own SF collection. I'm not actaully spending a ton of money on this.

    And I love Shelley's ideas. Next time I'll do different things.

    Well, that's my take. As one who had an early release date and had to rush around getting it together! I have great friends who offered to give me guest spots on their blog. And I must say, my connection with the SFR community is probably why I had so many hits on my website-- which contains a page of SF terms for those who don't know.

    BTW-- in May, my release month-- my SFR Website had over 3,500 visitors! I think that's probably pretty good for a new author! Still, Kaily, I'm certainly no expert! I'm just learning myself.

    (Oh you can come blog with me if you'd like. Email me soon.)

  6. Hey Rula, yes, it's all about the amount of investment. I'm willing to invest to get my name out there but don't want to overdo it on a first book. I like the idea of having something that requires people to read the excerpt! If you think they'll be hooked ;).
    Hi Shelley, the voucher idea is one I had as well. Although I did think, I could give away a voucher to EC and they'd go and buy someone else's books LOL. Can I made it a requirement that they have to use it towards the purchase of MY book?? The newsletter idea sounds great, but a newsletter? My head is about to explode thinking of having that right now. For the future for sure! Got your email and will respond soon!!
    Jackie, thanks. I think they had great ideas, too.
    Kaye, sounds like your blog tour has been incredibly successful. I certainly saw your name all over the place. Hope it translates to a ton of sales for you.

  7. Speaking of contests... ; ) I nominated you for a reward on my blog!

  8. In all honesty the best contests are for a free print of your book, a certificate for a discout on WPR, I once won an inexpensive silver celtic ring I love it. I was a large size so I could wear it on a different finger. I think I liked that the best!