The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is…

Prizes for The Night ones Legacy contest

Prizes for The Night ones Legacy contest

The contest for feedback for The Night Ones Legacy has come to a close. I’m a little bit sad, because this was a truly fun learning project. I’m happy, too, because it means I can move on to other fun experiments.

The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is A., a thirteen year old girl that has actually read my book more than once. Because she’s a minor, I can’t comfortably post her full name here.

Here’s some of the feedback I got from A.:

I really admired how beautifully written it was. The way the characters acted and responded to each other was amazing! I loved how much I was able to see Lily grow in the book. In a way I felt I was there with her during her trials because I got scared and nervous some too. The book was so full of mystery and adventure that I hardly ever put it down! I read the whole thing in a day and a half. I love how realistic the characters were.

The only thing that could make the book better is a sequel where we, the readers, find out more secrets than the first book has revealed. This book could not have been any more well written.

I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the Narnia books, The books of Bayren series( Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, and Forest Born), The 100 cupoards series, Fablehaven readers, Percy Jackson readers too (maybe), kids my age, and basically anybody who is in to magic, wonder, mystery, and action.

Announcing other prizes, hinted at in this quick contest update a few weeks ago:

  • The only surprise prize I actually really announced was for feedback on the book cover. The best feedback I got on the cover was from Esther W. She won a $10 Amazon gift card.
  • For the first entry, a $10 Amazon gift card goes to Wayne Beck. 
  • For the first Amazon review, a $10 Amazon gift card goes to Charles Yallowitz.

These other prizes were not part of the original contest, but I was having so much fun, how could I help it?

And now, what I learned from running this contest:

  1. If you’re writing for middle-grade readers, holding an online contest may not be the best way to reach them. I was lucky. I got a few entries from young teenagers and some from mothers of middle grade readers, but overall, this isn’t a demographic group that’s buying books online very often. I think a localized, direct approach–maybe contacting local bookstores, book fairs, libraries and schools and having more paperback books available would have made a difference in how well I was able to hit my target market. I don’t think writers targeting markets for older readers would necessarily have this problem.
  2. Contest interest seemed to fluctuate quite a bit with the amount of promotion I gave it. I got spikes in contest interest when I posted contest updates, and smaller spikes the first few times I twittered about it. My biggest spike came when someone close to me posted about it on Facebook, but the interest from that was fairly short-lived. I guess what I’m saying here is that promoting contests are probably just about as time consuming as actually promoting the books would be. 
  3. The contest did result in more book sales. Not as many as I’d hoped, but enough that I got a small royalty payment from Amazon. THAT was really fun.
  4. One of the areas that I thought might need a lot of help was characterization. Surprisingly, readers seemed to feel otherwise. I got quite a bit of positive feedback about how the main character, Lily, grew and matured through the trials she faced. I did get some feedback indicating more interaction with children her own age would have improved the entire story, and I tend to agree with that.
  5. An area I had hardly considered before promoting this book was its cover. I received quite a bit of interesting feedback about the cover–mainly, that no one would have picked the book up based on the cover photo. This book needs a cover makeover! The more I read about book marketing, the more I realize how important this is.

Where I’m going from here:

  • Due to a handful of repeated requests from young readers, a sequel to The Night Ones Legacy is underway. I hope to have it out to beta readers within the next few months. If you’re interested in being a beta reader, please let me know–the more, the merrier!
  • Part of the purpose for this contest was to determine whether to leave The Night Ones Legacy on Amazon or to take it down. My thoughts on the matter now: I’ll finish the sequel, then go back to The Night Ones Legacy, rework it and re-release it later. I may keep the current edition of The Night Ones Legacy available as a vintage edition at that point, but I haven’t decided for sure. Any thoughts? I’d love to hear perspectives from readers and other authors.


2 Comments to “The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is…”

  1. You can also make the first one free to entice people into the series. That’s what I’m going to do once my sequel comes out. You can price the sequel at $2.99 for the 70% royalty and it should sell better once people get introduced through the first one.

    I’m glad you mentioned twitter because I keep forgetting to use that for the contests. So far, I think my Amazon Review contest is going to do better than my Goodreads contest.


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