Unlimited Free Book Giveaway

By John Gilstrap

Once a year, in late June, I embark on a post of shameless self-promotion. This would be that post for 2010.

Hostage Zero, the latest entry in the Jonathan Grave thriller series launches next Thursday, and I am pumped about it. Fueled by a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, which amazon.com was kind enough to put on Hostage Zero’s product page, and excellent advance reviews from other publications, this feels to me like it could do some real business. Let’s all take a moment to cross our fingers on that one.

Good reviews help, but it takes more than that to really get people to take notice of a book. It takes promotion, advertising, and word-of-mouth sales. I don’t mean to presume, but I hope I can count on y’all to help with that last one. C’mon, it’s an investment of $6.99. How can you go wrong?

My publisher, Pinnacle/Kensington, is really stepping up to the plate with this one. From June 29 through July 5, in an effort to build the buzz for Hostage Zero, they are giving away free e-books of No Mercy through Kindle, Sony E-Reader, B&N’s Nook and Kobo. That’s free, folks; as in, you know, FREE! Gratis. No charge. That’s a free copy of the book that is one of five nominees for ITW’s Thriller Award. How cool is that?

The real marketing push for Hostage Zero begins July 6, when the co-op money kicks in to get great placement in Borders, Walden and Books-A-Million. There’s talk of other placements, but they’re not yet firm. You should see a fairly significant online ad presence, as well.

So, the boat’s in the water, and everyone is pulling on an oar. Will Hostage Zero become a bestseller? Lord, I hope so; but then every author hopes so. That’s the really scary part of this business. Think of the hubris. Each of us believes that out of the thousands and thousands of titles that are published every year—out of the hundreds that are published in our own genre alone—this one product of our imagination will somehow break through all the noise and find a breakout audience. Who do we think we are?

On the other hand, it always happens to someone; why not us? Why not me?

Jonathan “Digger” Grave is an old-fashioned kind of hero, whose sense of right and wrong does not necessarily factor in the prevailing laws of the land. If your loved ones are kidnapped, Digger will move heaven and earth to bring them back, and he won’t mind sending people to heaven or hell if they get in his way. A former Unit operator, he is a gentle philanthropist who is intensely loyal to his friends and lethal to his enemies. He is, if I may say so myself in the spirit of shameless self-promotion, a lot of fun.

And starting next Tuesday, for only one week, you can download No Mercy for free. I like to think this is an easy decision. What do you say?

17 thoughts on “Unlimited Free Book Giveaway

  1. After reading my autograpghed copy of No Mercy, I’ll be in line.

    Of course, being a traditional reader, I’ll be asking for an autograph for a printed version as well.

  2. Great news, and good luck, John. That’s also a great, and forward-looking, promotion by your publisher. Ironically, NO MERCY is the next book on my TBR pile, having picked up a copy at Bouchercon. (Yes, I’m that far behind.)

  3. Good luck on the book launch – & shameless self-promotion is not a bad thing… in small doses. At least you started the post with a ‘warning label’.

  4. Good luck with the new book!
    Can you explain what “co-op money” is? I’ve never heard the phrase before. And how does a publisher go about getting good placement at a bookstore? I always thought the bookstore made buying and placement decisions independent of what publishers want.

  5. Thank you all. Jax, I promise not to make a habit of shamelessness. Really, just once per year.

    Stewart, virtually everything you see in a chain bookstore–from posters in the window to placement on the “new releases” table to “new and notable titles”–is bought and paid for by publishers with what is known in the industry as co-op money,

    Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why it’s called co-op. The name implies cooperation with another entity, but I don’t know what or who is on the op side of the co.

    John Gilstrap

  6. I’ll tell the listeners to my webradio show to go out and get the book!

    If half my listeners pay attention and obey that’ll be some help towards bestsellerdom.

    and if all of them pay attention, then there’s at least two guaranteed sales for ya! Booyah!

    Basil Sands

  7. FWIW, the “shameless self-promotion” quotient is quite low at TKZ. I say to all my mates, go for it when appropriate. We are all working for the benefit of our readers here. Every now and then, they should hear our good news, or mentions of our books.

  8. YAY! I’ve been waiting for Hostage Zero to drop!

    I’m tweeting and facebooking the download link and also posting to the collector group I belong to.

    Here’s to a little shameless self-promotion!


    PS: Any way I can arrange for my Hostage Zero to be autographed? I’d pay all the postage.

  9. John – Easy Decision… hmph! Okay – So I bought a Kindle today & it’s your fault. Looking forward to ‘No Mercy’ & ‘Hostage Zero’. If they’re as good as your short story – these books will be great.
    Good Luck.

  10. Terri,
    Thanks for the active support! And I’d be delighted to sign your book when you get it. Email me at john@johngilstrap.com and I’ll give you my address.

    First of all, I’m honored to be a catalyst in your Kindle Adventure. Second, congratulations on the Kindle. I’ve had mine for three or four months now, and I love it. For me, even now it’s a clear choice over the iPad because of its weight. The kindle is light enough to hold in one hand to read while the other hand is steadying you on the subway. Here’s hoping that NO MERCY and HOSTAGE ZERO both live up to your expectations.


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