(You did read the title, didn’t you?)
But everybody does love free, and lots of people like lotteries, so I’m offering everyone a chance to win a copy of my new book.
I recently released my second book, R is for Running. It’s a fun read, and the sort of book that makes a great gift for your running friends. It would be a big hit with desperate shoppers if only it were in stores for them to see. Unfortunately, like everyone here I choose to publish independently. Part of what I signed up for is to market my books myself, so I have to come up with another way to get R is for Running in front of people. That is, if I hope to have someone actually read my books (and maybe even pay for the privilege).
I can scream, shout, share, Like, tweet, post, SEO, sticker, QR code, or email all I want. The chance of someone paying any attention is directly related to how closely they already know me. My wife is very supportive, in addition to being pleased that I finally finished. My mom is proud. My (imaginary) kids might look up from their video games and notice someday. My friends did their unconditional supporting when they bought a copy of my first book, so this one’s a harder sell.
Unfortunately, there is no magic key to the minds (and wallets) of my prospective readers. To most people, my blizzard of advertising is nothing more than a small flurry, rapidly melting in the sun. I need to have something in my message that they’ll notice during that short time I exist in their view.
For my last book, Chasing the Runner’s High, I had a recommendation from a fairly famous runner that I used everywhere I could. That certainly helped (Thanks again, Marshall!). After a year, I’ve sold over 500 copes. That’s not enough to live on, but it’s better than most independent publishers do. It’s enough to buy cat food, so Felix and Phoebe are happy.
This time, I’m trying a contest. Everybody wants to get something for nothing, right? Runners usually have to be fast to win a prize, but not this time!
The hope is that enough people will be attracted by the idea of getting a free book that they’ll take a minute to enter. Others will find it in their interest to share a link. Maybe bloggers and podcasters will see this as something of value that costs them nothing to offer to their readers and listeners. Maybe people will think it’s something their running friends will be interested in. Maybe you’ll take pity on me and share a link after reading this. I’m not too proud to beg.
The drawing will be held on Monday, November 7. I’ll post the winners on my web site and email a link to everyone who entered. Of course, that gives them one more chance to buy the book. Generous of me, isn’t it?