The key: forethought (know your audience). Careful planning, media blitzing, and a gimmick are the elements of a very successful contest. By gimmick, I mean a creative approach, one that is not a usual contest pitch. Am I going to give you any never fail rule/a road map to success?
No--I wish it was only that easy.
You can Google names of media savvy authors. Or Google my name and look at my website (novelsbyconnievines.com) read my interviews, my archived contest info (the links are still on Google/ Bing, some are available on my web site). This is not a do-what-you-see-others-do, it more of fact gathering tour. You know your story/series, and you are the best judge of what will appeal to your fan base.
After all, what is a successfully contest for me, may not spell success for you. If you write historical novels featuring a lineage page (I do enjoy researching genealogy but. . .) your readers would probably adore winning a book of Sonnets. While my fan base (me included) are happy with a Starbucks gift card and an autographed copy of my latest eBook.
Be creative. Have fun. If you don’t enjoy your contest, no one else will either.
2. Do you think all the free books through Amazon and the library offered to prime members affect your efforts?
I believe the free reads and lending through Amazon (for prime members) has a positive effect on my efforts in promotion. I’m willing to try a new author or genre because of the free read offers. I have purchase 6 books this month as of this Amazon feature. Since I do not participate in the lending feature, I have no comment.
3. What are the best promotions you've participated in?
I find that interviews generate the most exposure for me. Contests run as a group (with your publisher, online reader/writer group etc.) is second. Guest blogging (see I’m here!), and all of my combined online presence, is third. I am visible in my community. I judge local and national writing contests, offer workshops and guest speaking engagement. As for book signings—in the past this was a wonderful way to ‘meet and greet’ readers. Signing 75 books during a 4-hour event was the norm, now appearances aren’t a sure-fired way to draw readers.
The online shopping experience, or read a book at your local library and purchase it for your book shelf, seems to be the new norm.
I believe to survive in this very completive field, contests, giveaways, and name branding is a must.
After all, a loyal readership is the key to success. Write that ‘must read’ story that your readers love and keep your name out there!
Readers what's you take on the subject?
Happy Reading, (remember my novels are part of the Kindle Count Down this month)
See you on Saturday! I'm going to being trying out a podcast for the blog, too.