April was a month of giving back to readers. And giving back drew me into a month of ‘first’ experiences that were rewarding on every level.
World Book Night: I joined more than 25,000 other volunteers in giving out 500,000 books to light readers as part of World Book Night. This was the first time World Book Night was held in the United States. I know I’ll do this again–talking about reading and writing with enthusiastic kids was just too much fun to miss. I’m hoping the visibility the event garnered in this first year will encourage more people to volunteer in 2013. Goal: give away 1,000,000 books!
Kindle Free Days: April marked my first ever Kindle Free days. I drew on the knowledge of World Literary Cafe and a raft of Twitter friends to maximize awareness of these days. The result was a great success as I wrote earlier, putting the ebook version of my memoir in the hands of thousands of readers. All at no cost to them.
Facebook Book Launch Party: Children’s author Cindy Springsteen, writer of just-released WAFFLES & PANCAKES, held a day-long Facebook party and invited authors to participate. I gave away copies of my books as prizes to party goers who participated in what turned out to be an hilarious ‘caption this photo’ contest. Here’s the picture. The winners–both from Missouri–wrote these captions: “Little Molly moo-moo, please don’t make a poo-poo,” and, “Pa said that was a pile of (insert bad word). The kids decided to see just how much a pile of (insert bad word) weighed.” I’m still chuckling!
Goodreads Giveaway: I organized a giveaway of three signed copies of my memoir on Goodreads. This week, I put books in the mail to Canada, Florida and Massachusetts. During the month of April, more than 700 Goodreads members added my book to their TBR lists.
I’ve always believed that the more you give, the more you get, and my experiences in April reinforced that belief. In April I gave away books. I had fun. I learned a lot. I met fantastic new people. The effort was moderate, the cost minimal, the payback: priceless.