Monday, December 10, 2012

How Not to do a Book Giveaway ("Heroes Proved")

I still remember coming back from my early morning newspaper delivery route in Yakima, Washington during the summer of 1987 and turning on the television to watch the Iran Contra Hearings.  (Yes, I may have been a strange kid...)

Oliver North has always been a fascinating, patriotic character to me, and  I still enjoy listening to his commentaries.  Fast forward to yesterday afternoon on Fox News when I caught an intriguing book promotion offer from the  the famous author.  If listeners could identify the name of the song from which his title was taken within the next hour and submit to his, he would mail them a signed copy of his latest novel, Heroes Proved.   

I quickly determined that the title was taken from "America, the Beautiful," and I sent in my answer within a few minutes of the announcement.  No response was forthcoming.  After following up on social media with still no response, I decided to write up a few brief thoughts.

First, I suggest that with the advent of Google it may be easier to track down obscure pieces of information like this than Oliver North realized.  That being the case, it's probably best to put a limit of some kind on the number of free copies to which one is committed to giving away.  (I wonder if Threshold Editions is not to pleased with its author today...)

Second, if you have unmonitored social media and e-mail accounts, you're really missing the central point of social media--e.g. the social part.  At the very least, an author or publisher should ensure that an automated e-mail reply is generated when your message is received.  When it comes to electronic communications, authors and editors often seem to be the least organized people around.

I look forward to still reading Heroes Proved (on Kindle), but I won't be holding my breath for that signed edition.

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