Awhile back I tried out the Giveaway feature of Goodreads. My event to give away 5 copies of Barrier Island Suite just ended with great success. More than 5 people requested the book! Many more, in fact…
A week ago, I saw that I had 98 requests, which I thought was pretty good. So I put out a call on my Facebook and Twitter, asking for people to put me over 100. I don’t know if that request made the difference (I had mentioned it on social media when I set up the giveaway) or if people like to wait until the last minute—kind of like sniping on eBay, though it doesn’t matter when you sign up. It would be interesting, though, to see some statistics on when people join giveaways. Does Goodreads promote the ones that are about to expire? Or do people have a psychological push to sign up close to the deadline? It’s hard to tell.
This morning, Goodreads informed me that 438 people requested my book. That means in the last week, 340 people joined in, up from 98 in the previous 3 weeks. That’s a pretty interesting trend. Maybe it just takes that long to get on people’s radar as exposure grows exponentially, or maybe putting the reminder out on social media really did help. My publisher Texas Review Press also retweeted and shared my posts, so that probably made a big difference.
Thanks to all who requested a copy!
I’m impressed. If everyone who signed up for the book went out and bought one, we might have to go into a second printing soon! I doubt that will happen, but given that the price is only $8.95, it’s not much of a stretch to think some of you will actually buy a copy.
Or if you really want to read it for free, either wait until I do another giveaway—I’m thinking of doing one in conjunction with the Mississippi Book Festival—or request it from your local library. If they don’t have a copy, they might get it through interlibrary loan, and the more requests there are, the more libraries might want to order it. So it all comes around to more sales in the end.
But let’s face it, with poetry, the main goal isn’t making money (maybe doing better than breaking even, but certainly no one expects to get rich), it’s about getting the poems in people’s hands and with this book especially, it’s about getting Walter Anderson’s story out there so more people will be interested in his art.
So if you didn’t win a copy of my book, you should a least take a moment to visit the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Realizations, or Walter Anderson Everyday to learn more about the artist I write about in my book. Maybe it will inspire you to take a trip to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and while you’re there you can pick up a copy of Barrier Island Suite…