Ask the Publicist: ARCS and Giveaways

Where to send ARCs? After the usual suspects like PW, each book should have it's own very specialized list. It's easy to fall back on the top 50 newspapers or "best mystery bloggers" but I'd suggest -- if you have control over your own stock of ARCs -- that you spent time really researching the best places (and people) to receive your precious copies. Make the list varied and imaginative. Think outside the box.

I love book giveaways. Love them. If at all possible, when my clients do radio or TV interviews, I ask the show if they would like a few books to giveaway. This means that the book will be mentioned again ("the next caller ....") and often posted on the show's web site. Cheap no frills PR. And I encourage clients to do limited giveaways on their blogs of autographed copies. I don't know that you can monetize giveaways but at the very least they build good will and help get the word out.


Allison Brennan said…
FWIW, I've given away over 2,000 books since I've been published. I order extra stock from Author Author (at a steep discount), especially the first book in each trilogy. I send 3-15 books to every writers conference/readers luncheon I hear about (15 is max in a flat rate P.O. box) and I give away copies on FB and Twitter and my newsletter. Another thing I do is win two copies--one for the reader, one for a friend! Then I send to the friend. It costs a bit in postage, but I personally think the best way to find readers is to give them a free book--if they like it, not only will they buy your backlist/future books, but they'll tell their friends. Word of mouth is still the #1 way to sell books, and the one thing you can't buy, but you can help!
I agree, Allison. Though I haven't done it to the extent you have, I always carry "good will" copies in my car and with me at conferences and speaking gigs. I make a point of giving them to people I know would really like to read the book, and I've been paid back many times over in lovely blog posts, online reviews, and notes telling me the recipient is buying my backlist and recommending me to their friends.

Lucinda's right about personal contact being key. I've done the one-for-you-and-one-for-a-friend contest, too, and have been involved with a site that allows a readers group to all win copies. I also speak to book clubs when practical. Afterward, they tend to think of you as "their offer."

Besides that, I get to meet neat people. And there are usually cupcakes. :)
Allison Brennan said…
Great minds, Colleen! I've also given copies to strangers, my mailman (for his wife); the wife of the FBI SAC who was a fan already; the guy who hooked up my Internet because the dispatcher at his company reads all the time and he wanted to get on her good side; the gal who comes to kill all the bugs in the house . . . :)
We're like the friendly neighborhood pusher, willing to give the unwary a little taste for free. LOL.
Jen Singer said…
I like the good will idea. Recently, two fans posted on my Facebook page how much they liked one of my books. I sent them signed bookplates for the books they'd read and a signed copy each of another book. I asked them to write reviews on Amazon -- for a four year-old book.

They were thrilled to get the free stuff, and I know I have fans for life.

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