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Creativity, people.

Some of us are blessed with it, some of us *raising hand* really aren’t.

Ms Walker, author of the excellent Through the Veil (my review here and author Carolyn Crane‘s reaction here), is running a contest for ARCs of the sequel, Veil of Shadows. Please notice that it’s not a giveaway–one of those “post a comment and random.org will select the winning entry” or even even one of those “winners will be drawn randomly from entries with correct answers” or some such. No, this one is a contest, and Ms Walker is the judge, jury and ex… erm… award giver *cough*

She has all the rules (with big and small print) over at her blog, here, but the nitty-gritty is this: to qualify, let alone to win an ARC, the entrants must be witty and creative, stating in amusing and original ways why they should receive one of these shiny, coveted ARCs, above all the other greedy souls who want them…

...my precioussssssssssssssss...

erm… Yes.


And therein lies my problem and sadness.

(look at the sad: (more…)

Not above bribery: Ann Bruce

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks, Contests
(not that I, azteclady, ain’t above bribery either, but in this particular case–amazing as it may seem–it’s not about me. Shock, I know)


Ms Bruce has a release with Carina Press next Monday, June 14. It’s a contemporary titled Parker’s Price, and to celebrate the release she’s holding a contest in her defunct-but-not-really blog, with three $50 gift certificates as prizes.

She’s sexy, smart…and not for sale. But that won’t stop him.

When Parker Quinn is forced to accept an outrageously high bid at a charity auction, she has no choice but to go out with the last man on earth she wants to spend time with. Dean Maxwell may be one of Manhattan’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s also the man who had an affair with her sister and abandoned her when she became pregnant with his child.

Dean doesn’t know why Parker hates him so much, but he’s determined to show Parker the type of man he really is. Whisking her away to a private island in the Bahamas for a sensual, sun-drenched week together, Dean leaves Parker’s preconceptions shattered and her desires inflamed.

But even as their passion reaches irresistible heights, Parker has a decision to make. Can she allow herself to fall for the seductive magnate, or will family secrets and a dangerous ex tear them apart?

The details:

The Contest
Up for grabs are three (3) $50 Amazon gift certificates and there are three ways to enter:

  1. Post a review of Parker’s Price on a blog or review site.
  2. Post a review of Parker’s Price on Amazon.com.
  3. Share this contest on your blog.

Do any two and get a bonus entry. Contest is open to anyone with an e-mail address. Send your name and link(s) to the review(s) or blog post to ann @ annbruce.net (no spaces). Contest ends July 15, 2010. Winners will be announced on July 19, 2010. Good luck!

To read an excerpt of Parker’s Price, click here; to read the first chapter, click here; and here, to buy the story starting next Monday.

It’s finally here, Dee Tenorio’s fantabulous
“Tempting The Enemy” Trailer Contest!

May 5th-June 10th:
Enter this contest on two fronts–via a blog or twitter!
Winners to be announced June 11th!

Before we get to the rules, how about we get to the trailer?

Like it? Great! Share the trailer and win!

Blog Contest: Post the “Tempting The Enemy” YouTube trailer on your blog and link back to this post for your entry to be counted. Every pingback will be entered for the grand prize random drawing of an ARC of “Tempting The Enemy” from Carina Press and a $75.00(USD) gift card to winner’s choice of one of the following vendors: Apple, iTunes, Amazon, Borders or Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

Twitter Contest: Follow @DeeTenorio and post the following:

Seen the trailer for “Tempting The Enemy” by @DeeTenorio? Check it out: http://bit.ly/biCS9g #GetTempted and win!

All entries from followers with the #GetTempted hash tag & link will be accepted for the random drawing. Grand prize for the Twitter contest is an ARC of “Tempting The Enemy” from Carina Press and a $25.00(USD) gift card from winners choice of either Apple, iTunes, Amazon, Borders or Barnes&Noble Bookstore.

Please note: Winners can only win on one front–meaning you can win the blog prize OR the twitter prize, however entries for both are allowed and encouraged! Enter as many times as you like!

So…are you game?

Some of you guys may remember that way back when (seven weeks, people!!!) I asked readers to share their perspectives on what types of promotion by new-to-them authors has worked for them, as readers.

What motivates you to give a new author a try?

How does often that translate into the discovery of a new “waiting to check out new releases asap” author?

So far, most of the responses to the original post were from authorsand while it’s true that writers are readers first, it’s my opinion that being published (e or print) colors their view of what truly works.

As emily veinglory said (at some point in the past over at ERECsite, I’m paraphrasing here), there’s many a new author who was completely unaware of even the existence of promotional materials (bookmarks, character cards, what have you), let alone the need to have any, until after they joined a professional writers’ organization. And once they did, they were told that these things a) are essential and b) work.

But do they? For Jane Ordinary Reader, do they really work?

So, I’m going to ask againeveryone, regular posters and lurkers who are readers:

Please post, either in this thread or in the original one, telling us what has worked for you. (If you are shy, you can always tell me privately at azteclady1 @ gmail.com)


After writing the contest series, I have been thinking about whether they are a form of promotion that really works or not—for the author.

In this case, I’m wondering what promotional efforts will gain the writer a new reader. More specifically, to newbie or mid-list authors—not the bigger names, who already have name recognition and a larger promo budget from their publishers.

From reading these posts at Emily Veinglory’s ERECSITE, I have come to see that many mid-list and newer authors wonder how to use their promotion dollars most effectively. What works best? Is it swag? Magnets, postcards, bookmarks, pens, etc. Or is it free content online—book giveaways, excerpts, free short stories? Or is it time spent interacting with readers and potential readers—which is time away from writing, which in turn is money—blogging, chatting, guest blogging, booksignings, etc.?

I know that contests and giveaways work for me—if I get a free book by an author with whose work I’m unfamiliar, I get to try it for ‘free’ (aside from the commitment to write a review). In several cases, that has translated into a new fan for the author and a vocal pimp for their work (you know who you are).

Even when I don’t end up with a free book, by participating in the contest or giveaway, I have been drawn into interacting with the author and her fans, reading more reviews, excerpts, short stories, what have you. Sooner or later I will likely be trying at least one of her books—and again, if I like it, that author has gained a new reader and vocal pimp.

However, I am only one reader, and my experiences and reactions may well be at one end of the curve. Which brings me to the question…

What promotional efforts work for you, the reader? What makes you try a new-to-you author?

I would like to get as many responses as possible, in order to compile a *cough* über-scientifically-controlled *cough* chart tracking the different successful methods of promotion. (Chart or something, I’m not very good with graphics—no need to cackle, Karen, really.) For those lurkers who are shy and don’t want to post, you can reach me at azteclady1 @ gmail dot com (no spaces).

Who knows, it may even help some authors decide where to direct their promotional efforts.


You don’t think I’m all altruistic like that? {K: Nope}

I am too.


Okay, okay! I am just very opinionated, {K: Ya don’t say? *g*} and want some anecdotal proof that I’m right and contests rock.

Happy now?

{K: Geez, she’s grumpy today, I totally blame Giselle Bundchen.}


Generosity vs business sense (promotion).

During the discussion of this piece, the question of whether author contests/giveaways are done out of generosity, or as part of promotion efforts for the author’s book(s), was raised. Obviously, the only person who can answer it categorically in each instance is the author herself.

However, for the audience looking in, particularly for a new visitor to the site or blog, what matters is the professional side of the person behind the name. Regardless of whether an author’s motivation to hold contests/giveaways is friendliness, generosity, caring, or whatever else; she will likely be expected to behave professionally when interacting with readers or other authors under her professional name.*

That, in my opinion, includes adhering to deadlines set by the author herself; i.e., if you say you’ll post something on a specific date, not doing so could be considered unprofessional (particularly if no explanation or apology for the delay is given, and/or if such behaviour is habitual). I also think that it should definitely be the author’s choice whether to hold contests or giveaways or not, and under which specific conditions and circumstances—really, there’s no question there.

From what I gather, online readership is only a small percentage of the total readership for any author, in most if not all genres.** For that reason, it’s obvious that authors have to weigh just how cost effective it is to deal with the hassle (and the potential downside) of holding contests—just like they have to weigh time constraints for blogging, interviews, and all other forms of promotion, vs the potential benefits therein. It is common sense, really.

There are, I’m sure, plenty of readers who are demanding, ill-mannered, and all around uncomfortable to have around, and who give writers/bloggers/reviewers headaches. I do not doubt there are people whose only interest is in any freebies they can get—and that these people would not think twice about trying to rig a contest by posting under multiple handles, etc. But then, readers are people, and people come in all varieties. That is something else for authors to consider.

Also important to consider is that word of mouth is one of the most—if not the most—effective of marketing tools relative to its cost. Viral marketing is not really new; it’s only that much faster these days.

I think it behooves authors to consider that online readers interact constantly with people who may or may not have ever heard of this or that author, series, book. Readers who may not spend significant time online. Our mothers, neighbors, sisters-in-law, the person next to us at the grocery store or the bookstore, the list goes on. We readers love finding other readers and expanding their reading horizons. We are like pushers to other addicts—and we love it when they return the favor.

Do I like freebies if/when I get them? Yes, definitely, and I imagine very few people would answer that question (truthfully) in the negative.

However, as a reader, I don’t expect freebies from authors. I visit author’s websites to find out about backlist titles I may not have or know about; to check current and future releases; perhaps, if the author blogs, to interact with him or her and talk about the books. I visit readers/reviewers blogs to see what people whose tastes I trust (because they jive with mine, or because I have learned where they differ, etc.) are saying about books I haven’t read, and authors I know nothing about.

*See this wonderful piece by Jules Jones at erecsite.

**I’m falling for the stereotype that readers of science fiction would probably be up to the latest technological gadget, and therefore, plugged to the net most of the time.


After reading some of the comments to my previous piece, I realized that I didn’t make myself very clear—or perhaps it’s that I pointed out issues I see without giving alternative solutions. Allow me to correct that oversight here with some other ideas—including those suggested by other readers who commented *tipping hat to you, guys, thank you*

= Flexibility –set a beginning and end date for the readers to participate, but give yourself a few days after that to post winners (e.g. “Contest open from Monday morning to Tuesday at midnight, blog-time; winners announced on Friday;” or “Contest open only (day of post) and winners are announced through my monthly newsletter”—or any combination or variation that works for you.)

= Be clear on the parameters of the contest (e.g., Only one entry per household; cheaters will be automatically disqualified; winner(s) agree to post an honest review at a blog/reader forum/your choice—see Shiloh Walker’s rules here and her contest disclaimer here, for example)

= Be clear on parameters of delivery for prizes, both when announcing the contest and the winner, and perhaps even when communicating with the winner(s) through email (e.g. prizes are mailed once a month/every two weeks; allow so many weeks for delivery; please contact me if you haven’t received your prize by –so many days/weeks after correspondence- etc.)

= Apologize in advance for potential forgetfulness or delays when announcing the contest (I could have sworn that I saw that somewhere at Shiloh’s blog, but of course now I can’t, for the life of me, find it–however, she did say something to that effect here), or if you are indeed late (Jody Lynn Copeland does it here, and Sasha White here.)

= Enlist a family member or friend to remind you of contests and giveaways, and/or add scheduled reminders on your computer’s calendar and/or cell phone.

= If running contests in a multi-author blog, perhaps find if one of you is better at (and willing to) keep track of contest deadlines/announcements for the rest (I’m sure there are suitable bribes for this).

Any reader or author out there with more ideas? Please share!

(I will touch on the courtesy or professionalism/generosity vs promotion issues raised in another piece soon.)

If you noticed that I mention Shiloh Walker’s blog and contests a few times in this one… 😀 That is because I happen to think she has this down pat.

{K: AL, you’re such a suck up:)}

(All links have been fixed now)

Do you have a blog?

Enjoy erotic romance?

Like a little humor with your hot guy?

Well, this is the contest for you!

November 27th, Samhain Publishing is releasing my first Red Hot Romance, “Test Me!”. To celebrate my heroes acting like happy bunnies, I’ve arranged for a special contest featuring another favorite character, Happy Bunny, hopping all over the blogsphere!

Here’s The Game:

1. Copy and paste this post on your website, blog, MySpace, or wherever you wish, including a link to this “Test Me!” Excerpt. (For HTML Code, click HERE!)

2. Once you’ve completed #1, email laideebug @ Gmail.com (no spaces) with the subject line that reads: “Happy Bunny Blog Contest”. Include a link to your site and you are entered.

That’s it! But you could totally make Dee’s day if you win by reviewing “Test Me!” at your earliest convenience, too!

Here’s what you could win!

The Grand Prize:

• An e-Book ARC of “Test Me!”
• A Happy Bunny sling bag
• A Happy Bunny magnet game
• Happy Bunny Post-it notes
• Happy Bunny To-Do List
• Set of Happy Bunny mini-pens

And to fill your bag with things to be thankful for, a special gift from my good buddies Maya Banks and Amy Knupp!

• A copy of “For Her Pleasure” by Maya Banks
• A backlist choice from Superromance author Amy Knupp

Oh, but it doesn’t stop there! There’s more!

Three extra winners will win an e-copy of “Test Me!” as well as two surprise e-Book prize selections from the following list:

• A backlist book of the winner’s choice from Ann Wesley Hardin.
• An e-copy of “La Bella Luna” from Bobbie Cole.
• A backlist book of the winner’s choice from Heather Rae Scott.
• An e-copy of “Brazen” and an e-copy of her upcoming Christmas novella, Love Me, Still(goes out to winner 12/18/07) from Maya Banks
• An e-copy of
“Calleye’s Justice” from Donica Covey

So help Happy Bunny hop all over the world! Post on your blog. Enter! Win!

All winners will be announced December 1st, 2007 on Dee’s blog, www.deetenorio.com/Blog!

The girls over at Writeminded have been holding a zillion contests for the last week or so, and they’ve been fun to read. I generally only lurk, but the prizes are well worth looking over.

Taking part in contests really isn’t my thing (far too lazy), but if it was, I certainly would have entered every one of theirs. As it is, I just participated in the one to win Maya Banks’ forthcoming books. Menage books are mostly dead to me, but Maya’s are a kind of guilty pleasure that I like to indulge in every now again.

Their latest post is called A Round Table Chat with Heroes. ‘Tis very interesting, so go read!