Monday, September 16, 2013

Thinking like a Reader

© Lisa F. Young | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Happy Monday, everyone!

Hey, I'm super pleased with my WIP right now! I only have a few chapters left to edit and then I'm done. WOOT!

(Until the next WIP)

That means promotion will start soon too. Boo! Anyhew, I was thinking about the last FaceBook party I was involved with and what readers had said there when asked what kinds of giveaways they liked receiving.

I automatically assumed we would hear things like ebooks, books, gift cards, etc...

(Things I obviously like! Ha!) But no.

What do Readers Really Want?
Here is what some said:

1) "Readers LOVE to win CD's with the book's playlist on it! That way we can read the book while listening to it. Just a little thought for you all."

2) "Anything that can help us readers feel what you felt while writing the story, see what you want us to see, smell what the air was like on a hot summer night in Georgia (or wherever the story is), it just makes us fall more in love with the books. We become attached to them and the authors."

3)"The simplest things make us readers happy. A soundtrack, pretty smelling candles that go with the theme of the book, a sentimental trinket that was mentioned in the book. We want to be a part of the story, as well. Maybe a lace hanky that was the heroine's grandma's, etc..."

I thought that was really cool! Why didn't I think of that?

Since learning that, as I've been editing, I've been listening to music. I can't write to music but I can do some editing with it.
I decided to pick the music like I was creating a movie soundtrack. You know, to put me in the mood for each chapter. I'm really excited how this music list came together and how it sparked my creativity for the story!

I think for one of my giveaways, I will either cut a CD with my playlist on it or do a IPod giveaway with the playlist on it. Something a little different. Maybe even throw in a pack of beef jerky and a magic eight ball with it too.
(You would have to read the book to know why.) :-)

That's it for me today. I'm off to edit.

How about you? If you're a reader, what kind of giveaways do you like to receive from authors?

If you're an author, have you made a playlist for any of your books?


Maria Zannini said...

I really like how you thought outside the box.

I'm a little concerned about the soundtrack idea though. Even though you're not reselling the music, it's still being shared on a public venue. Doesn't that step on copyright infringement? Or is that a gray area? I don't know. That's why I'm asking.

I love how you've made me think outside books and bookmarks. It's not just about the story but how it makes you feel.

Old Kitty said...

This sounds so silly but I really love bookmarks!! And postcards! Something tangible of the book!

Take care

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Those are some interesting giveaway ideas. I never would've thought about a playlist.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Good question!

But I think if you're not selling it, and you did buy the music and giving it as a gift, you're okay?
Maybe. LOL

Something to think about though!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Just remember, if you give an iPod with the music on it already, and they register the iPod to their computer, all that music will go bye-bye!

One way around that is to gift them the music, but I have no idea how to go about doing that (or what the cost would run).

I like the different ideas for swag, though. I'm getting close to needing stuff and this is helping. Thanks!

Karen Lange said...

Congrats on your progress! Cheering you on to the finish line. :) Keep me posted so I can share about the release on my blog!

Southpaw said...

Interesting. That makes sense too especially for reader who are invested (emotionally) in the book.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm boring. I still love to get free books. (I think there's still a teensy weensy empty spot in our house somewhere to squeeze another one in...)

Jodi Picault included a CD of original music to go with one of her books. Pretty neat! I'm not sure about the legalities of including someone else's copyrighted music, though.

Sandra Cox said...

Very creative. I like your giveaway plans.

I'm afraid my play list would consist of music from Castle playing in the background;)

Jemi Fraser said...

Your personal wishlist exactly equals mine for giveaways! :)

Beef jerky & the 8 ball - sounds like a lot of fun!! Can't wait!

Janet Johnson said...

That IS brilliant. Thanks for sharing!! Definitely something to keep in mind for future reference. :)

And no, to this point I've never made a playlist. Stuff to think about.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Your playlist sounds good to me. I AM able to listen to music and write at the same time :) Go editing!

Shelley Munro said...

Great ideas, Jennifer. I wondered about copyright on the music too. Something to think about.

Since I live in NZ my take on giveaways is different because most of my readers are in the US. Postage is horrendous so I usually keep to the easy gift certificates and ebooks.

Heather Sunseri said...

Love those suggestions, Jennifer. I've been wondering what kinds of things readers might like to get in addition to books, etc.

Something else I've been thinking about... I have several large signings planned for 2014, and I'm trying to think up original ideas for things to give away at those signings. Besides the typical bookmarks, of course.

M.E. Summer said...

Great question about the copyright legality of playlist as giveaway. I'm researching it now, because I think it would be such a neat idea for a giveaway. Apparently, we're not the only ones who find this a murky issue. It has to do with first-sale doctrine, which is pretty clear when applied to physical goods but tricky when it comes to digital. It may require contacting the music purveyor (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) to see what their policy is. I'll comment again if I find anything out.

Thanks for this post! I've never done a giveaway and had no idea what readers would want.

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress said...

I wanted to do this as well instead of dealing with all the copyright mumbo jumbo, I created a playlist on my site, although it would be MORE fun to give away music :)Here's how I did it:

Also check out my download CRAFT freebie, its a new thing I'm trying since it relates to my novel. Let me know what you think :)

Linda G. said...

Great ideas! Hmm. Now you've got me thinking...

Bethanne Strasser said...

I've never had a playlist. This is great, though. I should start thinking about my novel coming out in November. Hmmm. :D

Thanks for sharing Jennifer.

nutschell said...

Wow! These are awesome ideas--and how clever of you to ask the readers directly!

Editors At Work said...

I love swags. Bookmarks, cards and pens.


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