Archive for May, 2009


Safe House by Christine Duncan

Safe House by Christine Duncan

Today I’m delighted to welcome my first guest blogger–Christine Duncan.


Christine is an Arvada, Colorado mystery writer. She got her start in writing for the Christian market, writing for Sunday School magazines.  Her credits include Accent Books and Regular Baptist Press.

     Although the Kaye Berreano mystery series is set in a battered women’s shelter, Ms. Duncan’s husband wants the world to know it’s not because of anything he did!

   Come visit Christine at http://www.ChristineDuncan.com

Or at her blog http://www.globalwrite.wordpress.com

Here are Christine’s thoughts on author contests. Feel free to jump in and give her your comments.

Do You Give Contests?

   There is a lot of talk on author’s e-lists about promotion.  Much of the discussion centers on contests and giveaways.  How do you attract entrants for your contests?  How do you  decide how much to spend on a prize?  Do you give away nail files or note pads?  Is Vista Print better than National Pen or Oriental Trading Company for buying things to give away?

    As an author promoting my books, I have given contests, and giveaways, ordered my share from the online novelty places and participated with other authors in an e-cookbook that we all could offer to people. I still have that one on my website as a download. Having done all that, here’s what I really think:  Don’t bother.

    Don’t misunderstand me.  Whenever I have done these things, they have attracted a little attention. But people troll the web for contests.  It doesn’t mean that they read.  It just means they like prizes. I can’t honestly say I have gotten a sale from them.  I do occasionally get a thank you e-mail for the e-cookbook.

     As to the giveaways?  I like to have a bowl of chocolate pieces at my table when I am doing a signing but it is more likely to attract little kids.  Their moms are all on a diet and don’t want the kids sugared up.  So I eat it.  But I like chocolate.  A friend of mine keeps water bottles on her signing table. It seems to attract a lot of thirsty people.  But I think they’re way too heavy to want to lug them in and my friend’s books seem to sell even after the bottles are gone.

       Pens and pencils are rumored to be great giveaways because people can always use them.  I agree.  After one Bouchercon, I had a lot of pens and pencils.  Oh, and a Loren D.Estleman notepad–it advertised his latest at the time.  I can’t say I bought any of those authors’ books. (Sorry, Loren!)  I did however, also pick up a bunch of first chapters in booklet form from a table there.  I know for a fact that some of those chapters led to sales for those authors. And I wasn’t the only one who bought because of that.

       So here is my strategy for promotion this time around.  I’m writing.  I’ll write blogs (that’s why I’m here.) I’ll write articles for other places–I’ve got one that’s been running for about a year on MapMyRun and I’ll do others.  I’ll keep the first chapter up on my website so people can get a taste of the books and I’ll get it printed up in booklet form to give away at events.  It just makes sense to me that people will buy my writing if they like the way I write.

Read Full Post »