Stealth Book Giveaway

IMG_4768In September, my blog birthday month, I like to do nice things for people who visit my website. A few years ago, I extended the giveaway to my friends on social media. This year I did myself one better. I had an IRL spontaneous giveaway of my new novel. It was so fun. Everything just came together to make it happen.

I was in Florida without internet the first ten days of September so couldn’t set up any traditional giveaways like Goodreads. (The photo above is the basket our Michigan Sisters in Crime donated for a charity auction.) For part of my Florida time, I was at a book convention. I had several copies of my new release with me, just in case the bookseller ran out and needed more. I was walking with my fellow Michigan Sisters in Crime member, Bobbi, and I realized I didn’t want to carry MY books and all the hardcover books we got inside a book bag when we registered. I took out a book and handed it to Bobbi. “Here! My present to you!”

She said she would buy it but I just waved that away. My September giveaway had begun. In the hallway there was a long table full of free books. Lots of people obviously felt like me and didn’t want to carry a book bag full of hardcovers around or maybe they had duplicates or something. Anyway the books were there and I went over and put a copy of my book on top of the pile. I walked by ten minutes later and it was gone. So I put another one in the pile. After the panel discussion, I noticed that second one was gone, too. So I put a third book on the pile and two women who were sorting through the books looked at me.

“You wrote this? You know this is the free table, right?”

I said, yes, I wrote it and yes I knew it was the free table. One of them immediately grabbed it and tucked it in her book bag. I was having such a good time giving away my books. (You know how that works, right? Do something for someone else and you’ll feel happy, too.) Then I noticed on Facebook people were saying they bought the new book or they wanted to order a copy. I was in Florida and two of the friends who commented that they wanted to get the book were there, too. So I gave them books. Then I gave my dad one,  because he asked. He’d never read any of my previous books.

(My dad’s reaction after reading my book was so sweet. On my last day in Florida, he took me out to dinner and he said “I can’t put that book down!” My book. Then he said “How did you do that? How did you know all that stuff?” I told him a little bit about how I researched the book. “You are a really good writer, honey. You are as good a writer as any of them.” My dad reads a book a day, all mysteries, so this was a huge compliment. He looked at me a new way that dinner. He always had loved me, but now he was a little bit in awe of me. It was so sweet.)

Keeping it in the family, my brother had asked via Facebook if he was ever going to get a copy of my novel and I promised him one as well. The first thing my mom said to me when she came to my house for a family party in August was “Do you have a book for me?” I gave her one. I gave my small critique group each a book, and we don’t usually do that. We usually buy each other’s books as a show of support. But I had dedicated this book to them, because parts of it were so difficult to write and they listened to my technical problems, gave suggestions and cheered me on through the whole thing.

They would not let me give up. I almost did. In fact I took a break and wrote a Christmas mystery. So that’s how the giveaway worked this year. I gave print and eBook copies to random people on Facebook and Twitter and print copies to friends and family. I gifted 16 books, which is something I also like to do. Every September, I give away a book for every year my blog has been live. I’ve been here since 2002. 16 years.

I still have one last blog birthday surprise. It is in the works as I write this, and won’t be ready to reveal until early October. I am so excited about this last surprise. I am bursting to tell you what it is but I’m going to hold off until it arrives. Stay tuned.

Blog Birthday Gift

AWD. 015My blog is 12 years old this month!

And to celebrate I’m giving away Gypsy  for the last five days of September on Amazon.

Here’s a very old picture with a shot of an earlier incarnation of the blog back in the day when I learned a little html so I could link and post photos. My son did the vast majority of coding, and it was only this year that I took over as “admin” as well as “owner” of http://www.cynthiaharrison.com.

So for wallpaper, I wanted blue with darker blue stars and he wrote a program for that. I wanted “A Writer’s Diary” to be spelled out in script and he wrote the code to do that, too.

Many changes through the years, in wallpaper, in blogging tools, and “rules” of blogging. This year, I finally stopped calling my blog “A Writer’s Diary” because I was ready to write about more than writing. But sometimes I still do. Now I’m just using my name. Those are two “rules” I thought made sense for my blog this year. (1. Don’t write about writing if you are a writer. Hahaha. I did that for a really long time, but at a time when hardly anybody else was doing it. 2. If you’re published, call your blog by your author name). Also pictures. I use them with every post now. This one took forever to find, but woth it.

Also, I’m blogging less. For at least five years, I blogged every single day. It’s been a great adventure. I started out with zero books published in 2002 and wrote all about my efforts to make writing a daily habit and become a published author. By 2007, I had my first book out. Coincidence I started blogging less? Nope! I began publishing novels soon after that first book. My first published novel, Sister Issues, an indie e-pub, came out the same time I landed a publisher for my contemporary novels. They’re mostly about relationships, and not just boy/girl, although there is that. I also like to tackle offbeat cultural and social issues. This year I indie published two paranormals on a whim. (Gypsy and its sequel Sweet Melissa) and revised that first book to reflect the changes social media and “The Kindle” has brought to publishing.

Biggest change since 2002? Way more wrinkles. Also “blogger” is a legit term. Wow, it really wasn’t in 2002. Readers, thank you. And don’t forget your free copy of Gypsy.