Category Archives: Contest
Blogger, Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge, has been a great support to me and of my writing since we first “met” through another blog. (I think we began by discussing the problems surrounding the virus Chikungunya that I had contracted, and the conversation continued to cover eradicating mosquitoes, travel in the Caribbean, and my first novel.) Philmouse, as I now call this blogger, wrote an extremely complimentary review of Island in the Clouds, and was kind enough to read an advance copy of my new novel, One Woman’s Island, and provide me with an excellent review.
So excellent, in fact, that I pulled a blurb-worthy extract from that and am using it now in my advertising and promotion materials for both novels published so far in the Bequia Perspectives series.
Philmouse also recently posted to her blog and wrote about both books in an extremely flattering way. (Link below.)
Instead of just reblogging this post on my own blog, I thought it fitting to give you this little bit of background, above, and offer a giveaway of the eBook version of my new novel to celebrate Philmouse’s kind words!
We’ve decided to make you work a bit before you may enter. The winner’s name will be drawn from all correct replies we receive here on this blog. In order to enter, answer the following 2-part question correctly (Both parts must be correct!)
What is Philmouse’s actual first name and which city does he/she live close to?
The astute will read the clues I’ve placed in this blog post and should be able to discover the correct answers in at least one of the attached files. Good luck!
Here’s the beginning of Philmouse’s post:
Wind in her hair. Departing wishes
Chilling north wind whips her hair. She stands for it. Faces it head on. Can’t rip the genetic memories out of her.
Those dreams took root generations ago – in the warm Caribbean trade winds far far away. As an immigrant, she has done her best to “grow where you are planted”, but suburban life leaves her cold and longing. Her paradise lost.
“Do humans ever feel this?” she wonders. “Probably not.”
And again she tossed her fronds high – reaching for all the stories the wind was bringing from home.
Remember that contest I ran on this blog last week, the one where readers could enter a draw to win a print copy of Seumas Gallacher’s novel, Vengeance Wears Black, by answering a skill-testing question?
Well, we received four comments from readers who correctly answered that the tribute poem Seumas had written and “performed” for me was loosely based on Robert W. Service’s The Shooting of Dan McGrew and that he wrote and performed it on the occasion of the second anniversary of my author promotion blog, Reading Recommendations.
Now, because Seumas Gallacher is a such a generous and kindly sort of fellow – and this is the way his kilt swings … he decided to send each of the four women who had entered the draw a signed print copy of his book! So there will soon be copies winging their way to Mary Smith, Janice Spina, Cinthia Ritchie and Emma Biddulph! I know you’re all going to love reading it, too, because I’ve read everything written by That Man, and I tell you – he’s always at the top of my list of favourite authors!
So you just never know what prizes await you whenever you read my blog … and Seumas’s blog, for that matter! Stay tuned for more opportunities in the future.
I also want to take a moment here to tell you that today this blog of mine passed 1700 subscribers! Thanks to everyone who reads the blog, and to those many faithful followers among you who continue to like, comment, share, reblog. I could never have come this far without all of you!
I’ll close this with one last treat … a reprise of Seumas Gallacher’s celebratory video! Enjoy!
And thank you again, kind sir, for making all of this possible! Mwahhh!
Here’s an announcement from today’s Reading Recommendation-featured author, B. Lynn Goodwin, that should be of interest to all authors out there!
WriterAdvice seeks flash fiction, memoir, and creative non-fiction running 750 words or less. Enlighten, dazzle, and delight us. Finalists receive responses from all judges. First prize is $200. Submit to the 10th WriterAdvice Flash Prose Contest by April 21, 2015. Fee: $15. Feedback given. Complete details at www.writeradvice.com.
Writer Advice Managing Editor, http://www.writeradvice.com
Author of YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers
Over on Phil the mouse’s blog Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge there’s a very interesting post about French sailing ships, the inadvertent settlement along the Texas south coast, and a recent recovery and reassembly of one of those original ships. Fascinating stuff and some great videos and photos to accompany the story.
And … Phil is also offering an eBook copy of my novel, Island in the Clouds, with the winner chosen from comments made on the blog post.
So head on over to the blog, read and make a comment, and follow Philospher Mouse of the Hedge while you’re at it! There’s always something interesting going on over there …
My regular blog readers know I have been very happy with the 5 Goodreads Giveaways I’ve offered to site members from various countries. I wrote a blog post about my experience of promoting books on the site.
To recap, the first giveaway was held in Sept., 2013 for members in Canada, the US, Great Britain, and Australia. 10 winners, from Canada, the US, and Great Britain, were selected from the 758 people who entered.
The second, held from Dec. 2013 to Jan. 2014, attracted 129 entries from Ireland, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, France, Qatar, Germany, Norway, Denmark and South Africa. (Many members choose to keep their profiles hidden, so I was not able to determine where the rest lived.) The 5 winners were from Portugal, New Zealand, Netherlands and Germany.
The third contest that was held from June to Aug. 2014 was the most successful with over 1300 members entering to win one of 5 copies. This one was offered in Canada, US, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa and the winners lived in the US, Canada and Great Britain.
The fourth ran for two weeks from Oct. to Nov. 2014, was offered in the same countries as the third giveaway, and attracted 797 entrants. The 5 books went to winners in the US and Great Britain. I wrote about this contest here on my blog and have since done a tally (with the help of my sister) and discovered that the largest number of entrants – by far! – live in the US.
The most recent giveaway in Nov. 2014 was for 3 copies, and I purposely chose countries where, for the most part, English was not the first language. 179 people entered and 55 were from India – the largest number than from all the other countries combined. I included India, because I had heard it is home to the largest number of English-speaking people of any non-English-first country. Consequently, 2 of the winners live in India. The third lives in Belgium (where my mother was born!).
So, all-in-all I’ve considered these giveaways to have been worthwhile, mainly because they attracted a large number of readers to my work who might not otherwise have heard of me or my novel – over 3200! Several of the entrants have become my friends on Goodreads. One entrant from India contacted me about doing an interview on his blog. A number who won have read my book and posted their reviews. And I have to hope that those who still list Island in the Clouds as a “to-read” will do so at some time or another and consider at least rating the book, if not reviewing it.
But in the meantime, I’m happy to increase my readership and give something back to the Goodreads members who do enter these contests. Because I’m also one of those entrants and have been lucky to win quite a number of books. I not only appreciate the free books I have received and read, but also that I’ve discovered many new books and their authors who I would not have known. And that’s the great power of a site like Goodreads – it brings together Readers and Authors!
Now … if they would just open it up to allow for eBooks as giveaways. That would save authors the cost of mailing print copies to winners.
My recent Goodreads Giveaway for 5 copies of my novel, Island in the Clouds, has been a big success, as far as I’m concerned!
797 Readers from 7 countries (Canada, US, GB, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) entered during the 3 weeks this contest ran, and 5 were chosen by the Goodreads Team to receive print copies. I’ll be mailing those books out to the winners in the US (4) and GB (1) on Monday.
There were only a very few Readers who commented on the blog post announcement of this contest. I was running another Giveaway for eBooks there, since we can only give away print copies through Goodreads. So I’ve decided that everyone who commented will win, and I’ll be notifying those commentors about their eBook prizes later today. (Quite frankly, I’m surprised that so few Readers took me up on this offer. Maybe I should have run a contest separate from the Goodreads Giveaway for the eBook versions of my books, but then my experience has been that few people ever comment to enter when these offers are made. Why is that, I wonder …?)
So now we’re down to 4 Reading Recommendations Authors who are still running their Goodreads Giveaways, and I will continue to promote their contests for each of them.
Best of luck to everyone who enters!
I’m so busy promoting other authors all the time that I don’t get around to tooting my own horn about my books or myself as often as I possibly might do. So it always comes as a great surprise and delight to me whenever any of these authors I’ve been promoting in turn offers me some means of getting my name out there or posts a review of one of my books!
And I recently received a second 5-star review from Tricia Drammeh, this time after she read my novel, Island in the Clouds! Here’s the link to that review on Goodreads. The first 5-star review Tricia wrote was for my novella, That Last Summer, and you may read that review by clicking here. Tricia Drammeh will be featured on Reading Recommendations later this week.
And, still available until Nov. 1st, you may enter the Goodreads Giveaway I’m running to win one of 5 print copies of Island in the Clouds or – if you prefer an eBook edition, comment on this blog post to win either the novel or the novella. It’s as simple as that!
To see a complete list of reviews of my books and interviews I’ve done, please click here.
Well, I am one happy author/publisher today after my third Goodreads Giveaway ended successfully with an extraordinary number of entrants – 1457!!! Thrilled, as a matter of fact, as it doubles the total number of entrants for the first contest I held last Sept. Here are the stats for each of the 3 Giveaways:
From Sept. 1-30 – 762 entered, 10 winners – Available to readers in Canada, US, UK, Australia
From Dec. 10 – Jan. 16 – 130 entered, 5 winners – Available to readers in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland
From June 16 – Aug. 4 – 1457, 5 winners – Available to readers in Canada, US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa
Readers, if you entered any of these contests but did not win a print copy of Island in the Clouds, please send me a private message, if you’re interested in reading and reviewing the eBook version. And, if you’d still prefer receiving the print copy, watch for future giveaways on Goodreads.
Authors, if you are not listed on Goodreads already – what are you waiting for??? I have found the exposure I’ve received for myself and by books to be incredible, not to mention again the success I’ve realized in participating in their First Reads and Giveaway programs, as outlined above. The way I look at this is, every new entrant to a contest or every new reader who adds my books to their “to-read” lists is someone who might not otherwise have heard of me or my books. So, essentially, Goodreads is one of the best means for authors to find new readers! Do consider setting up your own Giveaway on the site (print books only eligible at the moment) and I promise that I will help you promote your contest to my readers and friends, if you send me the link.
Thanks, Goodreads! For providing authors with an effective way to promote our books!
As many of you know, I have written and self-published a novel, Island in the Clouds, and a novella, That Last Summer, and I’ve been promoting both through whatever means I can – mainly on social media and by advertising locally on Bequia and in Minden, where the stories are set. But I’ve mainly been depending on word-of-mouth promotion, hoping that readers who enjoy reading what I’ve written will tell their friends about these books, either directly or by reviewing the books and commenting on them on social media, on Amazon, on Goodreads, etc. This has been working well, enabling me to get the word out there much further than if I were to personally contact every person I know.
But I do realize that many, many more people have read my books than are telling me or their friends about having read them. I’ve given away copies in contests, through my blog and on Goodreads, I’ve sent free eBooks to bloggers and travel or book sites, and I’ve gifted many print copies of the novel to many more people – all in the hope that they will not only enjoy reading what I’ve written, but also that they will then take that a step further and review/tell a friend about the books.
I would like to thank those who have taken the time to review online or who have sent me an email with your thoughts about the books. I’ve compiled everything here in an Online Reviews and Comments PDF (scroll down to What Readers are saying about Island in the Clouds!) Your support and enthusiasm has been overwhelming and much appreciated!
However, I would like to throw out a challenge to anyone else who has not yet reviewed either of my books online or by sending me a direct message: Please consider writing something now and posting it. Even if you didn’t enjoy either of the books all that much, tell me why that was the case. Authors just want their work to be read, and we thrive and survive on Readers telling us what we did right or wrong in our writing. If you do not feel comfortable putting your comments out there for all the world to see, I would even appreciate receiving a private email with your thoughts. It all helps me to improve my writing.
And it helps to attract new readers to my writing … so here’s the Review Challenge for you to consider – If you have read my books, please recommend them to another friend who you think will enjoy them. Then ask them to do the same and recommend it to another of their friends. Pass on your copy if you need to do so in order to convince them it’s worth reading. While I’d love it if everyone bought their own copies to read, I completely understand lending as a means of interesting readers who don’t know about me. I’m even willing to send out free eBook copies to anyone who would like to read and review either book. If you, or a friend, are willing to do that, please contact me. susanmtoy (at) gmail.com
I hope this idea doesn’t sound like desperation-for-reviews on my part. What I’m really trying to get across here is how important word-of-mouth promotion is to ALL authors, whether self-or-traditionally published. I know! I was a sales rep for publishers during my career, and the best-selling books were always those that I could personally recommend as having read and enjoyed myself. (Plus, I can be a very convincing sales person at times …) I now very dutifully read and rate/review many books on Goodreads, and I occasionally post a review on Amazon, but I also publish an Author Promotion blog, Reading Recommendations, so I believe I am still doing my bit to get the word out there for my fellow authors.
So, what are you going to do about this? Are you willing to take up my challenge? I would be ecstatic if every reader who has read either of my books were to recommend just one to another reader! And, if each of you were to review those books or send me an email with your comments, as well … You will have made this particular author very, very happy!!
Authors, please feel free to share this blog post and encourage your readers to become part of a challenge to spread the word about your own books – and all authors and their books!
I am so pleased that my blog has reached another milestone … (HEY! For me, this is BIG!!!) This calls for a celebration and a giveaway!
To show my appreciation to all the readers who have taken a moment to subscribe to or follow my blog I am going to hold another draw to give away free copies of my two eBooks, Island in the Clouds and That Last Summer, for whichever reading device you own. If you’ve already read both, you may want to give your prize to a friend, should you win. So there’s an incentive for everyone to enter! (At this time, I can only offer free copies of the eBooks, because mailing copies of the print edition would be difficult as I’m here.)
So, if you are currently a subscriber and you would like to enter this contest, please make a comment below. On Feb. 14th, I will make a random selection from those who enter. You may consider this my Valentine’s Day treat for all my readers out there!
And, if you’re not currently a subscriber, you may want to become one now, because I’ll be holding more similar contests as I reach new milestones.
Thanks to everyone in advance for participating in this contest!
But, more importantly, thanks to all 300 of you who have subscribed to my blog over the years. And thanks for continuing to read!! I couldn’t keep doing this without your support!
(And, yes, Tim Baker, I know I’m well over my exclamation point quota on this post!!!)