Seeking Other Author’s Advice on Contests

Promo Swag for MOON DRAGONS

Promo Swag for MOON DRAGONS

My writing update for the week:

I remembered what happened last week regarding my ‘finish the short stories you start within a few days’ goal, and vowed not to make the same mistake again. I started a story last week, but I missed a day and almost didn’t get back to it. I won in the end, finishing it up and going back to transcribe it last night. I sent Revision One to my editor a few hours ago.

Including that near-miss, this has been a productive week. The goal is to get comfortably ahead in my publication schedule of one Cities of Luna story every full moon. I’m not there yet, but I feel confident that I will be.

Two more weeks, then it’s NaNoWriMo time.

Now the questions:

On November 6, the first story in The Cities of Luna comes out. Huzzah! I’m so excited to launch this series of shorts!

We’re having a launch party on facebook, and I’m plotting ways to get people active since it is a virtual venue and therefore our interaction is limited to typing at each other, and perhaps sharing a link or image now and then. I have several discussion-generating posts/questions posted already.

I plan to have a few promo giveaways. I’ll coordinate with my publisher regarding giveaways of e-books. Any advice on this? I’ve heard that many authors find that people don’t necessarily even bother to read the free books they get, much less write a review. In my own experience, I’ve often had free books handed to me out of the blue when I wasn’t even aware I’d entered a contest. I can’t read them all.

I have a couple of real, solid, non-book items that I plan to give away, which will cost me a little money for the swag and postage, so I will need to have some kind of wording that says “I have twelve of these” or something like that. The first and simplest is the square card you see above, with a tiny purple dragon attached to it. I plan to use these for something like “Post a picture of yourself with a dragon and I’ll send you one!” I’ll also have a separate thread just for “post your favorite dragon picture!” with no reward attached.

I might have some small prizes for things like “the comment that gets the most likes wins ___.” In the past I’ve made small stuffed Nessies, about 4″ long, for various venues not related to writing. It is easy to adapt this pattern to Moon Dragons, and it is fairly cheap for me to make, and light-weight to ship. It is a very personal thing, hand-made by me, and hopefully readers will appreciate that.

And now the big plan. I’m making a video with my daughters and I singing I’m Being Followed By a Moon Dragon to the tune of Cat Steven’s Moon Shadow. I want people to record themselves singing the song, making up new lyrics if they want. If they post the video publicly to YouTube so I can share it, they get a prize. Likely, hardly anyone will do this. But with the faint possibility that many will, I’ll have to have another limit on how many prizes I’ll give out. I need to brainstorm what rules will be necessary…such as tasteful lyrics. I don’t want to discourage people, but I won’t share a song that’s lewd or vulgar. This isn’t the kind of story where that would be appropriate.

So… for those of you who’ve done a release-party facebook event, what have you learned? What do you suggest?

Meanwhile…shameless plug…

This is a kickstarter for a documentary about space elevators. Since The Cities of Luna features this technology, I have a personal investment in hoping this documentary happens. It only has a day left, but they are very close to their goal.

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
This entry was posted in Blog Business, Commentary & Musing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Seeking Other Author’s Advice on Contests

  1. Great on finishing the story. Good goal of keeping with it once you started. Trying that myself too. As to the contest question, no idea. I’m very much a lurker for Facebook and Youtube so even if I’m your target market you won’t get an entry from me. I just won’t have the time for that kind of effort. I hope you find the best set-up for your competition.

  2. Fallon says:

    congrats on finishing up the story!

  3. Kristen says:

    I like your idea of giving away something more personal. I ran a few contests with Lucky in Love and never much of a response from the winners. I’m going to try to go more unique next time. 🙂

  4. Thanks!
    I’m putting out a new short story every full moon.
    One of my favorite prizes (other than SIGNED print books from authors I adore) was to get Russian Tea to celebrate books with a Russian Theme from Jane Kindred.

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