What reader doesn’t appreciate receiving a free book? If you’re an avid reader you’ve undoubtedly come across an author hosting a book giveaway in order to drum up excitement for their upcoming novel. Marketing companies recommend hosting these events to catch readers’ attention. Book giveaways increase an author’s likelihood of seeing a spike in sales.
These days book giveaways have become a staple in the industry—one that readers and fans have come to expect. But when writing is the primary means of making a living, these book giveaways leave me shaking my head.
Authors spend countless hours writing and revising books, and possibly thousands of dollars on editing and publishing. Nothing is free. Then everyone takes his share, leaving you with royalties that are only a small percentage of the original price of the book. The bottom line is that writing and publishing is a very expensive endeavor.
Don’t get me wrong—I appreciate book giveaways just as much as the next person, but I couldn’t agree to give away dozens of copies of my own book in numerous book giveaway events. To me, it defeats the purpose of promoting the book, maybe even devaluing the work by offering so many copies for free. This concept is also applied to contests with a cash prize or a free e-reader or iPad. I can’t help but wonder if these contests do more harm than good. It feels gimmicky, like the writer is trying to buy readers.
If nothing else, I want to be an author whose books people want to read, not one whose books they buy only in the hopes of winning a contest. After all the late nights, tough scenes, and merciless rounds of editing that went into Pinnacle Lust, I don’t want to devalue my book by making it the subject of multiple contests or giveaways. I strongly believe that I should sell the reader my book because the story is good and not just because they want to win a prize.
There are no guarantees that a book giveaway will lead to success, and it may raise some eyebrows and prompt readers to wonder that, if the book is really that good, why the author needs to give it away.
I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to work for free. Read what Amy Schumer wrote about free tickets to her shows in her book, The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo, or tell me if you have ever heard of Spielberg giving away free movie tickets to encourage moviegoers to see his work. And most of all, look in the mirror—do you work for free?
I like to say that I have three passions: nursing, cooking, and writing. My nursing career reached its peak, what was at the tip of my pen was finally published with my first novel, Pinnacle Lust, and now is the time to fold my third passion into the mix.
As a relatively new author, I know how difficult it is to break into a new market—I’ve been there. After spending 25 years in nursing, with a long list of accomplishments and credentials behind me, I dared to step into the competitive industry of publishing with my steamy novel, Pinnacle Lust. Yikes, there are still days when I wipe sweat from my brow.
So can you believe it? Here I go again. After two years, my dream is coming true—Pinnacle Lust unfolds into a cookbook.
Only a few months after Pinnacle Lust was published I had the thought of writing a cookbook. But with an industry saturated with cookbooks and the Internet offering endless, free recipes, I pushed the thought aside…not for long though. The idea kept nagging at me.
I knew I had to come up with a unique concept for the cookbook, as well as bring some related credibility to the project to ensure success. As soon as I created the concept I considered how to add the credentialing part—clearly I needed a professional chef.
I reached out to Chef Johannes Klapdohr, a world class and Michelin star trained chef, and the co-owner of the Library Kitchen and Bar in Sapphire, North Carolina, and prayed he would agree. What a dream that would be! Imagine the dishes and ideas we could cultivate, an author and a chef working side-by-side. Chef Johannes didn’t hesitate to say, “I’m in”. In fact, he was excited about it and entered into a partnership with me.
For the last few months, Johannes and I have been hard at work, creating, sampling, testing, and enjoying delicious dishes to share with you. We plan to design a project with a bounty of colors and tastes. While this cookbook is a companion book to the novel, Pinnacle Lust, it will have its own unique presentation. Our first priority is to create a cookbook with a variety of dishes that appeal to many palates, and range from easy-to-create to more complex dishes. Johannes and I hope that everyone will find something in this book, which we plan to publish before Thanksgiving 2017.
Check out my future blogs for more information on Chef Johannes, his background, and our collaboration—and you may even get a peak at some featured recipes.
Bon appétit! Or, as Chef Johannes would say in his native German, Guten Appetit !
On Saturday, January 14, I’ll be hitting the road.
My destination: The Lavender Cottage & Garden gift boutique in Sautee-Nacoochee, Georgia, only three miles outside of Helen, Georgia.
The gift shop has been one of the primary supporters of my efforts to extend help to neighboring Tennessee after fires ravaged its landscape in November of last year. Since December, my book Pinnacle Lust has been for sale at the gift shop to raise awareness for my campaign, Book A Tree for Tennessee. I’ll be driving there personally to meet with you, start meaningful conversations, and pursue my efforts for raising $25,000—all in royalties for replanting trees in the charred soils of Tennessee.
Having done several book signing events before, I am no stranger to the process, and get excited each time I’m able to fit one into my schedule. But signing books and meeting readers at the Lavender Cottage & Garden will be a unique experience—one taking place in a cozy shop nestled in the wintery Georgia mountains.
I invite each of you to take a scenic drive into the mountains of Georgia and come see me, say hello, and purchase a signed copy of Pinnacle Lust to help support my Book A Tree for Tennessee effort.
Pinnacle Lust Book Signing
Saturday, January 14, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Lavender Cottage & Garden
53 Highway 255 N., Sautee Nacoochee, GA 30571
If participating in Book A Tree for Tennessee has been on your to-do list, now’s your chance to make it happen!
Grab a friend, take a drive, and come say hello. I’ll see you there!
If you’re like me, you sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the things that must be done. It seems as if there aren’t enough hours in a day to get to it all. You’re constantly scrambling to keep up, and are always seeking ways to streamline tasks so you can get to your next project that much faster.
Believe me, I know the struggle. As an author, my online presence is crucial. It is my livelihood and how I connect with my ever-important readers. That means I absolutely must keep up with my social media profiles, managing my website, and creating regular blog posts to keep readers like you engaged and coming back for more.
If I fail to engage with my audience, I lose their interest, which means I lose their following, and, worst of all, the number of readers for my series Pinnacle Lust will plummet. I’d be an author writing for nobody.
But between responding to comments on social media, answering e-mails, and working on writing book 2 of the Pinnacle Lust series and other books, it’s not always easy to keep up managing my professional life.
In general, writing consumes a lot of time—it’s a process. You come up with an idea, you put your thoughts together, you tailor it, you edit it, you re-edit it, you massage it… you probably finesse it once more. And then hopefully you publish it. This holds true for simple posts on Facebook, blogging, and of course writing a book.
I love any writing and enjoy the other aspects that blogging brings. It’s a great marketing tool and a fantastic opportunity to interact with readers—but, it takes a lot of time. This of course takes time away from doing what I really need to do—write books. In fact, in 2016, blogging has kept me from making enough progress on completing and publishing the next book in the Pinnacle series. And I think you deserve better, my dear reader.
So, here is my New Year’s resolution for 2017. I will spend more time writing my next two books and less time blogging.
I think this promise will be beneficial for all of us. What do you think of my plan?