On Librarything Giveaways
I can admit it, I’m a much better writer than marketer. I launched my second novel Where Darkness Dwells without much of a p.r. push. Well, I guess you could say besides a mention here and there on this here blog or on Facebook and Twitter, I left my baby out there in the wild to fend for itself. The weeks went by. I finished another novel, and then a novella. I started another novel and another novella. I dipped my toe back into a long-dormant collaborative novel. And in my absence, sales for Where Darkness Dwells languished.
Obviously the axiom from Field of Dreams hasn’t working for Glen Krisch novel #2. I built it, but nobody came!
I started scouting the interwebs for marketing ideas. I needed readers, sure, but more importantly, reviewers. Not only are reviewers readers (obviously) but they are amplifiers. They take your message (or in my case a zombie-like tale set in the Great Depression) and amplify it over their own social network. To target reviewers I decided to have a giveaway. My initial thought for the giveaway was to turn to Goodreads, since I have a strong presence on that site. Hey, why not friend me and we can share book rec’s! http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4525598.Glen_Krisch.
I soon learned that with few exceptions, Goodreads doesn’t allow ebook giveaways. I did find out that Librarything (http://www.librarything.com) hosts ebook giveaways. I signed up immediately, thinking, what a great idea!
Then I started researching Librarything and the readers that hang out there. I quickly learned that Librarything reviewers can be tough. They are thorough and point out mistakes in editing and formatting. They dissect plots and point out weaknesses.
My first reaction was: Oh no!
But then I realized that I want people to read my stories and read them deeply. I want them to analyze my plots, characters, and settings. The deadline for the giveaway was September 8. The only way I narrowed the reviewer pool was to mention to the winners that Where Darkness Dwells travels some rough terrain. It gets grim. There is not much light to speak of between its digital pages. I believe this warning has scared off about 20-25% of the winners. But I’m okay with that. I’m a niche writer. If you don’t enjoy exploring the shadows of the human psyche, I’m not the writer for you.
After only ten days of notifying the winners, I’ve had a number of reviews come in. And they are critical and thorough, and I can tell you, I’ve quite liked the experience. The feedback so far tells me that I can tell stories and do it well.
To quote from the reviews:
“To say this is a zombie novel would be inaccurate – the monsters in this have more in common with the Irish Sidhe* (with a touch of the vampire’s weakness to sunlight), luring humans into their hollow hills with promises of eternal life. What makes the monsters in this effective, however, is their humanity, positive or negative (or both, depending on your definition of monster.) The themes of evil triumphing where good men do nothing is hammered home in the guise of several characters, and the theme of the revenant past and its corruptive bigotry, prejudice and barbarity of slavery.
Overall, this is a good book and more meaty than some ebooks I’ve read, weighing in at over 250 pages. The descriptions were excellent, and the characters convey their feelings well. The horror in this book is not atmospheric in origin, any sustained feeling of creepiness or dread is the sort that ends abruptly in violence, rather than psychological tension. More the horror of the evil that men do to one another than a sense of supernatural awe/dread; there are moments of depravity, brutality and malicious cruelty.”
I also liked this description:
“It’s like wandering through a city shrouded in thick fog, in clinging mist. The shapes seem familiar, you almost recognize them for what they are, but when the mist clears briefly, you glimpse that it was not what you thought it was and see just enough to know that it was something else. These brief glimpses are like a puzzle you forget that you are working on. With each new piece that falls into place, the picture becomes clearer, but you still don’t know what that picture is. You were given the pieces without having the box to use as a guide.”
I expect many more reviews to filter in. After all, Where Darkness Dwells is 105k long (400+ pages). The experience has been great so far. I’ll keep you posted on any new feedback.
To read the reviews in their entirety:
Have you tried a Librarything giveaway? How has your experience been? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear other experiences.