YA Scavenger Hunt!


Hi folks! In my new role as a YA author, I’m participating in a very cool online scavenger hunt today. The winners receive a whole stack of free books–and as an added incentive for participating, I’m posting a deleted scene from my novel DON’T TURN AROUND on the page where I’m being hosted! (This was the only scene in the book told from the POV of an adult, which apparently is a YA no-no. But this scene gives insight into what really happened to a fan favorite character in the book, Cody).
It’s a lot of fun, so dive in if you have the time and inclination…
Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM–but there is also a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.


SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by DEC 2nd, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting Ednah Walters on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! 

She’s the author of The Guardian Legacy series, and her latest novel is BETRAYED:

Lil isn’t just an average teenager. She’s one of the Nephilim–the descendants of humans and angels–which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she’s found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, someone starts to manipulate the people she loves… and won’t stop until she’s been lured to the dark side.

Ednah’s Bio:

I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy boys mysteries and fell in love with books. I’ve written picture books (unpublished), contemporary and romantic suspense (under the pen name E. B. Walters), and finally YA fantasy under Ednah Walters. AWAKENED (2010) is the prequel to the YA series about the Nephilim, The Guardian Legacy series. BETRAYED(book # 1) is now available wherever books are sold, HUNTED (book # 2) will be released in April 2013. I’m working on FORGOTTEN, the next book in the series. My adult contemporary, the Fitzgerald books, includes SLOW BURN, MINE UNTIL DAWN, KISS ME CRAZY, DANGEROUS LOVE and FOREVER HERS. When I’m not writing, I do things with my family, five children and my darling husband of 20 years. I live in a picturesque valley in northern Utah, the setting for my YA series.

Find out more information about Ednah and her awesome books by checking out the author website or find out more about BETRAYED here!


And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, hosted author’s name, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 6. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, VICTORIA SCHWAB!

PS…I’ll also be giving away EXCLUSIVE add on content–sections of DON’T TURN AROUND that were deleted from the completed manuscript! So be sure to check it out on Myra Mcentire’s blog!

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Do Giveaways Work?

by Michelle Gagnon

Figment.com has just announced a contest to celebrate the release of my YA debut DON’T TURN AROUND. In keeping with the theme of the book, they’re asking for a story about teen rebels with a cause, in 1,200 words or less. The winner will receive a 13 inch MacBook Pro (a computer that features prominently in the storyline, since it’s sort of a “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens”), and a signed copy of the book.

I’m really excited about this (especially since, for a refreshing change, this time I won’t be the one paying for the grand prize!) However, I wonder…do giveaways really lead to more copies sold?

For my second book, BONEYARD, I held a Kindle contest. Anyone who signed up for my newsletter got their name thrown into the hat (mind you, this was for the Kindle 1, which as a brand spanking new device retailed for $450).
That was, to date, my bestselling novel.
But I was hesitant about repeating that particular contest-after all, signing up for my newsletter didn’t necessarily translate to purchasing the book; and many might simply unsubscribe as soon as the contest ended. (For the record, I didn’t experience an unusually high dip in subscribers in the aftermath). Plus, it was a lot of money to spend without a quantifiable return.

So for my third thriller, THE GATEKEEPER, I decided to take it up a notch. I offered a MacBook (paid for out of my own advance) to anyone who could answer two easy questions about the book.
I received a decent number of entries; certainly not as many as with the previous contest, but a respectable amount. To enter, a reader needed to provide the names of two specific characters, in response to a fairly simple question for anyone who had read the book.

But some people literally sent a full roster of every character in every single one of my novels. One woman emailed me directly twenty times over the course of a day, listing two characters at a time (a few of whom weren’t even from any of my books), asking repeatedly, “These two names? What about these two?”
When I gently pointed out that randomly throwing names at me wasn’t really keeping in the spirit of the contest, she got huffy and fired off a nasty email about how spoiled authors were, and how this was the only way she could get a new computer. Plus, she wasn’t a big reader in general, and found it unfair that she be asked to read something in order to enter a giveaway.

*Sigh. The entire experience ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth (not to mention a dent in my wallet). So for my fourth book, I skipped contests entirely.

I had no idea that Figment was going to be running this contest until it posted; I love the idea behind it, though. Especially since Figment serves as a virtual writing community. And I’m terribly flattered that they’re offering such an amazing, generous prize.

But will it translate into sales? Hard to say. I know the old 50% marketing adage (half of what you do will work, but chances are you’ll never know which half). But it’s a source of perpetual frustration for every author–where do you concentrate your marketing time and money, especially now that there’s such a huge array of options? Hemingway never had to deal with Twitter (although I suspect he would have been fantastic at it, with his knack for sparse prose).

So what do you think? Has a giveaway ever persuaded you to purchase a novel you never would have picked up otherwise?


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