I have a problem. It’s a good problem to have…sometimes. I like to give things away. For those who receive, it’s a win-win situation. I’m happy because I was able to make someone else happy. Unfortunately, I have discovered that there is a dark side to giving away free books to my fans: they don’t always get there.
A few months back, when one of my books was released in paperback, I gave away quite a few copies. After chasing down addresses of winners, I bought the envelopes, signed the books, labeled the packages, and sent my husband on his merry way to the post office. We are a team here, after all.
It went south from there.
Of the twelve packages that were sent, 60% never were received. Several packages came back as “no such address” which baffled me. I went back to my computer, searched for the address from the fan, and double-checked it against what I wrote. Ja, sure enough! I copied the address correctly! (frown). Had the post office vanished? Was that particular fan uncertain where she lived? Was the world gone mad? I tried to reach out to the fan via email but, lo and behold…no messages are answered. (double frown)
Next, there was a large wave of mangled packages that were returned to me. Books were torn, envelopes ripped, packages empty. (big, big frown). It was as if my husband had given the packages into a large mail eating monster that devoured the envelopes and tore up the books! One post office actually had neatly opened the package, removed the book, re-taped the envelope, and returned it to me with a nice little handwritten note inside that the book was lost. Sorry, Sherry, the postal workers in KY seem to be enjoying that book now.
Prior to embarking on this journey, I had been warned by another author of Amish fiction about this phenomenon. Her comment was “I just don’t have good luck with give-aways” perplexed me at the time. Good luck? With give-aways? Everyone loves getting free things, I thought, and proceeded anyway. Now I understand.
With the upcoming release of Valley of Hope, I had wanted to do some give-aways. However, I won’t be able to do that. It’s too disappointing for both me and the winners of those books when the items are not received. However, I’m glad to announce that my new publisher decided to temporarily drop the price of Fields of Corn so that new readers can get caught up on the series.