Last week I held a little giveaway on Facebook, awarding this red leather journal to the third person who signed up for my new quarterly email newsletter (see the first edition of that newsletter here) telling about what’s happening in my writing life. This generated a bit of excitement among my friends—a dozen of them responded by clicking this link and filling in the simple form with name and email addy. The journal has been sent to the winner, but so many nonwinners expressed disappointment that I ordered a couple more for future giveaways. In this way I’m slowly building my list and am mindful of not abusing the trust of my subscribers; I promise them I’ll write only four times a year (or when I have exciting news). That’s their gift to me—a listening ear. Everyone needs an audience, right?
A regular email list, I am told, is what convinces publishers to take on new books. And I have a book to publish (my second novel–read more about it in my newsletter)! I chose the specific giveaway item of this red journal because it suits the plot of my novel (now in the hands of my literary agent). The manuscript’s working title is The Red Journal (though who knows what the official title will be!); the Victorian anchor and compass symbols on the gift hint at elements of my plot.
People love to receive gifts, but I’ve been realizing how much I love to give gifts! So I’ve decided to make a habit of ensuring that my newsletter recipients are rewarded. The first thing I give all my subscribers is an e-copy of Wet Thaw, a little collection of two award-winning short stories—so if YOU would like a taste of my writing style, sign on up! Then I also plan to give all those on my subscription list a chance to receive some special treat (postage on me)—a signed copy of one of my books, maybe, or a frame-worthy piece of original artwork, or a vintage item that speaks about a character’s personality. I’m having FUN dreaming up possible items that would delight my readers.
What would YOU like to see in my “giveaway” box? Feel free to offer me ideas in the comments below.