• My RWA Meeting Gave Me Nightmares

    Special Topic: Killer Personalities

    My local RWA group meets once a month on a Saturday morning. I look forward to this meeting every month. It’s the only time I get to talk to other writers in real life, and I almost always leave there happy, uplifted, and ready to take on the writing world.

    Almost always. This Saturday, I left feeling so sad and depressed. The speakers were really good and engaging, but they were talking about Killer Personalities. Literally, KILLER personalities. One of the presenters was True Crime writer, Patricia Springer, who interviews and writes about serial killers. Some of the details she gave us about how these killers killed, and what kind of personalities they had… God, it was just scary and terrible. I haven’t been so down since after the Newtown attacks. That depression lasted until Christmas for me, which is just sad because the depression didn’t end and won’t end for the families that lost their babies.

    Okay. I’m getting depressed all over again. Let’s talk about the happier portion of the meeting.

    We had a ton of authors sell their books! Seriously, the rose presentation took at least a half hour. That’s fabulous! It makes me so happy to see writers achieving their dreams.

    Romance 101: Goodreads

    I was also able to attend a short session on GoodReads that started before the meeting. That was interesting. I’m a huge, huge fan of Goodreads, and the speaker, Rachel Simeone,¬†had a few suggestions that were worth thinking about. The one thing I hadn’t thought of before was the purpose of giveaways. I always that the purpose was exposure. People see your book cover when they’re looking for books to win, and if it sounds like something they might like, they might buy it even if they don’t win. But Rachel said the purpose of the giveaway is to build your contact list. Apparently, you can see who entered your giveaways. She says that this is your target market, which was eye opening to me. There’s a list of people right there who want to read your book. That’s awesome! But she also suggests you should send each of these people a message thanking them for entering the giveaway. Make personal contact, she says. That makes sense, too, but that also makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m not sure if that’s going too far.

    What do you think? Would you be annoyed that you were contacted by an author who’s giveaway you entered? Or, by entering the giveaway, do you think that’s showing enough interest in an author for you to want to make contact with them?



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3 Comments to "My RWA Meeting Gave Me Nightmares"

  • Li says:

    January 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm -

    Jumping in here on the Goodreads question, as I love GR!

    I personally would feel a bit uncomfortable if an author contacted me just to say thank you for entering their giveaway… I know entrants’ usernames aren’t hidden, but it would just be a bit “eeek” for me! Also, unless GR offers a mass email option, wouldn’t you have to email all the users individually, which sounds like a massive time commitment with limited payoff?

    What may be an option (though I don’t know if this is against GR T&Cs) is to email selected GR users who haven’t won the giveaway offering them a review copy? You can select them based on their reach, and I’d think you’d be more likely to get reviews this way as they’ve already expressed an interest in your book.


  • Sandy
    Sandy says:

    January 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm -

    I think you and I feel the same way about contacting the readers. There’s just something about it that doesn’t feel completely right. I was wondering if it was just me because I’m extremely paranoid about against annoying pressure-promo. This strategy doesn’t seem too bad since they’re already expressing an interest in your book, but expressing an interest isn’t the same as saying, “Hey, contact me!”

    What you suggested in your last paragraph is another thing the speaker suggested – profiling the people who didn’t win an offering the ones who have a lot of reviews and friends a copy in exchange for an honest review. Someone questioned GR’s T&C’s, too, but we never determined if it would for sure be against them or not. I need to read them again!

    Thanks for the input!


  • Amanda Bonilla says:

    January 29, 2013 at 8:58 am -

    On the Goodreads issue, I don’t actually think that it’s a good idea to contact readers who’ve entered a giveaway. I also disagree that every reader who enters is your target audience. A lot of times people see the words FREE or GIVEAWAY and they enter these contests just for the sake of getting something for free. They might not even be interested in your book, only the free merchandise. Also, most Goodreads giveaways have 500+ entrants. If you give away 5 books, that’s 495 personal messages you have to send to the readers who didn’t win. In my opinion that’s a little too time consuming for a message that might come off as spam or a high-pressure sales technique. I have always believed that Goodreads is a site for READERS, not a tool for authors to build their contact lists.


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