Massive Multi-Author Giveaway! Thank You Readers!

***Thanksgiving for Readers Giveaway***

Sugary, Spicy Reads and Jeni’s Bookshelf are hosting a multi-author giveaway. With the help of some friends, we’ve spent the past week collecting donations. The giveaway needed to be massive because there is simply no better way to say thank you to our wonderfully supportive readers than with a huge, smacking, swoon-worthy giveaway. Yes – we want to give you more books because we know it’s what you love!

We have OVER 80 EBOOKS (across a variety of genres), SIGNED PAPERBACKS & SWAG!

Open to readers world-wide.

thanksgiving for readers 2

It starts today! So, get in on the action and go to the rafflecopter link below to stand a chance to win 1 of 10 prize packs.

Thank you to the many authors who have contributed to this giveaway. Please see the image in the blog for a list of their names (and you’ll also see why you HAVE to enter! 🙂 )

From the authors to all who have read books we’ve written. Our heartfelt thanks to you – with each word you read, you feed our souls and fuel our need to write. 

The Link to the Giveaway on Rafflecopter is below as WordPress does not allow for the rafflecopter widget due to javascript restrictions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/82352b11/

Thanksgiving for Readers giveaway

Prize Pack #1GRAND PRIZE *Open Internationally* Autographed Paperback (winner’s choice) by Aneesa Price, Swag by Jeni’s Bookshelf, Ecopies of: Something Great by M. Clarke, The Unraveling of Avery Snow by Christy Sloat, Finding Kia by Airicka Phoenix, Winner’s choice of ebook by Ann Denton, Guardian by Gillian Joy, Harvest Moon by K.B. Miller, OUAZA 2 by Jennifer Malone Wright, Today Only by D. Love, No Brainer by AJ Lape, & Winner’s Choice by Sable Hunter. (PAPERBACK & 10 EBOOKS)

Prize Pack #2 ~ Paperback of The Descendant by Kelley Grealis *US ONLY* , ecopies of: Winner’s Choice by Aneesa Price, Ruby Blue by Julie Cassar, From Gods by Mary Ting, Ebook by Jaz Primo, Reader’s Choice by Rhonda Plumhoff, Love Remains by Zrinka Jelic, The Unraveling of Avery Snow by Christy Sloat, & Forged by Greed by Angela Orlowski-Peart. (PAPERBACK & 8 EBOOKS)

 Prize Pack #3 ~ ecopies of: Big Bad Wolf Series (4 e-book set) by Heather Killough-Walden, of Finding Promise by Aneesa Price, The many lives of Avery Snow by Christy Sloat, Grade A Stupid and No Brainer by AJ Lape, Love, Carry My Bags by C.R. Everett, The Struggle of Me from Wanda Hartzenberg, & How to Date a Werewolf by Rose Pressey. (10 EBOOKS)

 Prize Pack #4 ~ ecopies of: Elegantly Undead (Coffin Girls #1) by Aneesa Price, Games of Fire by Airicka Phoenix, Ebook by Stacey Rourke, An Ill Wind Cometh by Brian Bigelow, Peer Inside My Soul by De Ann Townes, Therian by Roxanne Kade, Vampire Cop by Sheri Kurtz, &
With Proud Humility by Jess Mountfield. (8 EBOOKS)

Prize Pack #5 ~ ecopies of: Supernatural Seduction (Coffin Girls #2) by Aneesa Price, Winner’s choice of ebook by Ann Denton, Blind Seduction by T. Hammond, Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer (Nightmares Trilogy) by Demelza Carlton, A King Among Prince by De Ann Townes, The Super Spies and The Cat Lady Killer by Lisa Orchard, & Past Unleashed by Tiffeny Moore, & Sherdan’s Prophecy by Jess Mountfield. (8 EBOOKS)

Prize Pack #6 ~ ecopies of: Ghosts & Lovers by Aneesa Price, Compulsion by K.B. Miller, Oceans Gift by Demelza Carlton, Predator’s Serenade by Rosanna Leo, The Black Eagle Inn (The Three Nations Trilogy) by Christoph Fischer, Therian by Roxanne Kade, Me and My Ghoulfriends  by Rose Pressey, & Forged by Magic by Angela Orlowski-Peart. (8 EBOOKS)

Prize Pack #7 ~ ecopies of: Home For Love by Aneesa Price, Forever by Gillian Joy, Wicked Souls by Sabrina Samples, The Breach Between (Spiral Dance, #2)  by Duncan McGonall, Grade A Stupid by AJ Lape, Readers Choice from Clean Teen Publishing, & Forged by Legacy by Angela Orlowski-Peart. (8 EBOOKS)

  Prize Pack #8 ~ ecopies of: Finding Promise by Aneesa Price, Savior by Jennifer Malone Wright, Pulse by HJ Daly, Blind Seduction by T. Hammond, The Elite by Coey Cain, Life in the Funny Lane by Paul Dunne, Readers Choice from Clean Teen Publishing,  & Hope’s Decree by Angela McPherson (Untold Press). (8 EBOOKS)

  Prize Pack #9 ~ ecopies of Elegantly Undead (Coffin Girls #1) by Aneesa Price, Betraying Innocence by Airicka Phoenix, Awaken (Sword of Isis) by HJ Daly, Ebook by Jaz Primo, Ebook by JD Nelson,  Readers Choice from Clean Teen Publishing, Broken Aro by Jen Wylie (Untold Press), & Displaced (The Achlivan Cycle) by J.F. Jenkings. (8 EBOOKS)
Prize Pack #10 ~ ecopies of Supernatural Seduction (Coffin Girls #2) by Aneesa Price, Halo City (novella) by Mary Ting, Winner’s Choice of ebook by Rhonda Plumhoff, Twisted by Uvi Poznansky, Ebook by Morgan Kearnes, The Struggle of Me from Wanda Hartzenberg, Happily Ever Afterlife (Untold Press anthology) from Untold Press, & For Such a Time as This by Jess Mountfield. (8 EBOOKS)
The giveaway ends on the 25th November! So, you have many chances to tweet and earn more entries.

Good Luck!

Yours in Romance and Reading, Aneesa Price xxx

The Best Kind of Book Promo ‘Swag’

I am most definitely not a saint! I’m a regular mom, wife, writer and woman. Like many indies, I have become intimate with swag – for events, promotion and because it is just so awesome! Yesterday, I watched something on TV that led to some serious introspection and so I decided that instead of doing a monthly swag giveaway for my fan club, I’d do something for charity. It took about an hour of internet searching and a couple of phone calls to find a few worthy causes. Some wanted donations and I did that but I did not only want to donate. I wanted for my girls and I to take the time to get what was needed and deliver it in person. I have many reasons – it’s a religious month of charity, in South Africa we celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday by ‘giving back’ (it was his 95th birthday yesterday), and I wanted my girls to learn some valuable lessons. I do my bit for charity – I donate money or ebooks, share and promote Facebook Charity Events and give away things I no longer need to others who do. But, I no longer get actively involved in charity work – not since I attended university. It was time to change that.

And so, I went on a journey of self-discovery that I believe I’m so much better for. Indie writers often speak of ‘Indie Karma’ but when we do; we refer to helping each other out or supporting the newest, big cause. The causes indie writers support have been worthy and we’ve done fantastic work in raising money. Today I found that ‘Indie Karma’ has a place in my backyard too!

Shopping for Charity

Shopping for Charity

And so I found myself rushing out of the house because I was running late – I just had to hit publish on KDP first. Fortunately, I managed to shop with my two kids in tow and get a store assistant to push the additional shopping cart to my car. Then came crunch time and I was so nervous, my hands were clammy. After getting lost a few times, I navigated the car down a steep, muddy hill. The building was as expected – clean, sparse and in need of a fresh coat of paint. The girls I met were not what I expected. I’d been nervous to meet them but I pushed on because I wanted my daughters to experience the joy of giving and to see how fortunate they were. I’d known the basics – they were all young, teen runaways who had been raped. It’s weird, even having counseled rape victims and with my background in psychology, I was nervous. I didn’t want to inadvertently upset these girls or come across as some condescending jackass donating with smugness. Goodness knows, I’m no ‘Daddy Warbucks’. So, I did what came naturally – I focused on logistics and getting the goods from the car to the house.

The house was tiny. They’d converted what was the original lounge into a communal bedroom. In it were six beds and a single, tiny cupboard. Of course, I realized as soon as I noted it, that runaways don’t travel with suitcases. The place was spotless but furnished with the very basic of necessities. There was no TV, no computer, no posters (those who have teenagers know how strange that is – no Bieber, no 1D adorning the walls – the only décor I could detect were three ratty teddy bears perched against a threadbare pillow on one of the beds. Awkwardness began to engulf me. I felt sorry for them. Here I was, a happily married woman with a holiday house and kids that attend a private school and get almost everything they want. The girls at the shelter have so little; my heart aches to think of it. The harsh reality is that they ran away because those who should have taken care of them hurt them instead.

Glancing at my kids to make sure they were behaving, I followed the troop of girls to the kitchen. If the room was sparsely furnished, the kitchen was even more so. The most notable thing in the kitchen was a baker’s tray of bread. It was filled with packets of what looked like bread that was day’s old, as though a number of people drop the leftover bits off at the house.

It’s not that easy to act casually when these images are thrown at you. You’re supposed to feel shock and empathy. But I couldn’t show my hosts these emotions – it would be tacky and unkind. Once again, I took refuge in managing logistics. It was easy to unpack the goods and hand it out but I was ever cognizant of doing so with humility. I think I managed to do that though because I watched their reactions closely and they remained friendly. Once that task was complete, I was again awkward. These things don’t come with manuals, so what the heck was I supposed to do next? It seemed as though they were waiting for me to say something. I decided to go with my gut.  I found myself thanking them for the opportunity to allow me to give them food, toiletries and some treats. I was honest and told them that I did it because I needed to – because I could; and because my kids needed to know how lucky they were. I nearly cried doing this because here I was giving them basics like toothbrushes and they seemed so grateful. Afterwards, I was ready for a quick escape. My humanity, thankfully, didn’t allow it, and so I turned back and began speaking to the girls, joking with them. I started to relax around them. I no longer saw them as rape victims but as a group of young, giggling girls with the spirit to survive. My daughters were chattering comfortably with them, completely unaffected by the issues I had had because children have so much less baggage and fears to color their interactions. I wanted to teach my daughters a lesson and to give back to the girls at the shelter and ended up learning more and receiving the most. In that instant, it became less about me and my insecurities and need to teach my daughters, and more about them. I got to know a bit about who they are and connected with them. If I hadn’t, I would indeed have been nothing more than a smug donor of goods. Oh, the irony!

In the end, we had a great time and we’re going back this Sunday. My girls have decided to raid their ample toy closet and have made up parcels for the girls. I’m going to buy cake, ice-cream, sodas and a huge bucket of KFC so my kids can play with the girls at the shelter. And, this time, I can’t wait!

Thanks to the members of my fan club for agreeing to my idea of ‘charity instead of swag’. I’ve discovered that charity is the best swag ever!

child abuse portrait

Does Bling Bring the Swagger to Book Sales?

Facebook, Twitter and every social network are inundated with ‘ebook and swag giveaways’. They started off with more affordable prizes such as bookmarks and postcards then progressed to bling in the form of necklaces, jeweled bookmarks and bracelets. Now the recent trend seems to be the amazing prize of a Kindle or Nook giveaway – with the Kindle Fire being the biggest draw card.

I resisted going the swag route – not because I’m adverse to it but simply because as a new indie writer, just starting out with absolutely no budget, every ebook I gave away ate into my personal bank account. So, you can imagine that swag seemed like a dream.

To Swag or Not to Swag?

I first gave into the lure of getting my own swag when I observed the huge interest it drew and to be honest, my sales went from looking hugely promising to despondently dwindling. Another thing happened – I got a bit of disposable income, which meant that I could carve out some of that for swag. The thing with being an indie is that you cannot discount that indie writers mostly have day jobs, family responsibilities and thus also financial responsibilities with the majority of their income coming from outside of the sales of their books. But, because I was worried about my sales and I needed to create some form of hype around my work, I bit the bullet.

 Custom-made Coffin Girls Swag through Vistaprint

Custom-made Coffin Girls Swag through Vistaprint

What Swag To Choose?

The first thing I do before embarking on any venture related to indie writing is Google. Google is the most informative and amazing resource any writer has access to and Google gave me information on swag. My search led me to a blog by Curiosity Quills. What resonated the most was that the swag being given away should be functional as well as decorative and promotional. And even better, Curiosity Quills provided the website address of an international printing company called Vistaprint (www.vistaprint.co.uk).

I then spent hours poring over the contents of a variety of websites and settled on Vistaprint, who was affordable even with taking shipping into consideration. Having said that – if any indie writers are reading this blog and mosey over to Vistaprint or any other site – note that affordable is a relative term because what I paid still made me grimace.

In the end I settled for calendars, notebooks, postcards, tote bags, etc. The great thing is that you can build an online portfolio and order as little or as much as you want whenever you want to. So, I may not have a stock room full of swag – I have a small box – but I do have access to an on-site, personal portfolio for future use.

The Price of Swag?

Buying swag is one thing, shipping the swag from the vendor to your home is another. But the hidden cost that is not always taken into consideration pertains to shipping. Do not discount this because the indie writing and social literary networks are internationally spread and when you do a giveaway, what you send will be weighed and measured by your postal service or couriers.

Some authors are limiting giveaways to their home country. I can respect and understand why but what bothers me about this is that the literary community is an international one and by limiting a giveaway to a country, you exclude many from participating.

So now, I basically sit with a box of swag in the cupboard while I save money towards the shipping! (LOL – I’ve got to laugh at the irony of the situation.)

Has it Worked?

I’ve only recently started giving away the swag. Has it helped sales? Absolutely not (*grinning again*). But what it has done, which is why I’m a swag believer, is assist me in promoting me as a writer. The number of Author Page likes for Aneesa Price – Sugary, Spicy Reads has increased, so have the number of friend requests I receive and I’ve also been experiencing renewed interests from reviewers to host my work on their blogs and to provide me with honest reviews.

So, yes – it does work. I believe that Swag fits into the category of ‘short term (financial) pain for long term (sales and promotional) gain’.

The Future of Swag?

At the moment it seems to be flooding the literary social networks and to be honest, there’s a feeling of ‘you snooze, you lose’ if you don’t get onto the swag bandwagon. So my recommendation to other indie authors is to get out there and do the swag thing (but save up first – do not put yourself personally out of pocket).

What will swag look like in future and will I reap the benefits in the form of reader reach? Well I don’t know the answer right now but I’ll be watching.

Swag made by a friend and street team member

Swag made by a friend and street team member

Bookmarks

Bookmarks