I think I should announce that I am a sap. Feedback from readers just knocks me out. When checking these, I sometimes run across truly lovely, heart-felt feedback that gives my work the highest compliments…and I am so touched. Readers have no idea. Once when compiling feedback snippets to tweet, I sat weeping from the lovely things I read about my work. Really. It’s almost embarrassing. When quoting one of these to a friend, she asked if a family member left it… No. Just a reader who truly loved the book and expressed such appreciation that I pretty much fell apart.
I get a similar gut-punch when I run a contest in my newsletter, particularly if the prize is one of my books.
I recently offered one of my newest books–Smooched(Blue Collar Boys, Bk 1)–in a simple contest for my newsletter readers. Within hours of it going out, I got tons of reader entries. Blew me away. I actually went back to the newsletter to see if I’d advertised the contest in the header. You know–Enter A Giveaway!!–because lots of people get a kick out of getting something for nothing. It’s a human thing and I get that. Give a prize away and people flock to enter, but although I have a chunk of romance readers signed up for my newsletter, I often wonder how many actually open the thing and read it. (I know I can access this info, but I’m too busy doing other stuff that interests me more–like my writing and my job as a therapist.)
To my deep gratification, this latest contest offer not only wasn’t in the newsletter header(I seriously forget these details), it wasn’t even mentioned first or second. I mean people had to actually READ the newsletter to get to the contest part. Like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes just seeing this.
Several readers have complemented my beloved S2000 and that gets to me, too. I’m a race car driver at heart and love it obsessively.
Now, the sap part. I offered 1 book in the giveaway and I find myself struggling to know who to pick… Names from a hat is always a good random plan, but there were just too many entries to make this workable. I asked my DH his thoughts and all he could say was to delete the ones who entered asking for the book without getting the book name right. I felt guilty deleting those. I mean anyone can make a typo, right?
I actually find myself thinking of sending out multiple copies(done this before), even though I offered only one. Because I am a sap and my readers are so great. Really. They deserve big prizes and one day I hope to make enough money to do this.
I think I’ll offer it to my newsletter readers because (sob) they actually like me. They actually like me!