Sunday, January 22, 2017

Giveaways – are they worth it? Do the subscribers play fair? #mgtab

Recently, I’ve been very involved in this form of marketing and have watched my newsletter subscriber list bloom in leaps and bounds.

For those of you who haven’t actually joined in multi-author giveaways, this is what happens:

Coordinators like Ryan Zee or Authors Cross Promotion organize a special event, which can be based on certain genres of romance like “A Suspense Giveaway” or a specific date like “A Valentine’s Giveaway” and then they advertise to their list of authors for those who want to sign on.

Those of us who decide to be involved will sign up with a book we’re willing to give copies of to a certain number of winners (usually 3) and pay a fee that can differ from individual organizers. This money is collected and put towards the prizes: see here. In the Giveaway I’m now signed up with, there are fabulous prizes to be won.

Also - the authors must agree to share the Giveaway on their social media and even more important - to their personal newsletter subscribers. This is the unique way that we can link with other author's subscribers and give us a further reach to readers.

And this is how it works: the contest entrants must sign up their e-mail addresses in order to win one of the prizes. In some cases, to get more chances to win, they will agree for their addresses to be passed out to all of the authors involved in the Giveaway. The problem is - many are only interested in winning a prize and not keeping up an ongoing relationship with the author.

When it’s over, the coordinators send out the prizes, they send the book winner’s names to the authors (usually 3 free books are gifted by all authors) and then they share the exclusive list of e-mail addresses.

Over the last six month, I have gained thousands of new subscribers. This is good – right?

Well… yes. In a way, it is good. But only if the subscribers are truly interested in receiving the author's newsletters, want to follow the author and best of all – like reading their books. If not, when they get besieged by all the newsletters they might delete them without opening them which is a negative benefit.

You see, on most of the Newsletter providers like Mail chimp for example – my provider – I must pay a monthly payment depending on the numbers of people on my lists. Up to 500 it’s free. From then on, the price rises:


So… unless my new subscribers, are truly interested enough in my newsletters so that they open them and maybe even interact by buying one of my special offers on books that I always price low or give away for free, I’m paying a lot of money every month to be allocated to the junk mail or worse yet – to spam.


So… does that mean I should quit trying to grow my newsletter?


An author’s newsletter is her own special link with her readers.

What I try and do is this. I don’t inundate my subscribers with constant newsletters that have nothing to offer. I watch for other giveaways from different organisers that they might want to sign up for – with good prizes. I always include either a fabulous sale on a book they might feel is a great buy – Like the Hotshot Lover’s multi-author collection for 99 cents when my book alone – Special Agent Booker – currently sells for $3.99.

Or I set up an Instafreebie and give them the chance at a free book just from me and only given to my subscribers as a special gift for them. Soon, I will include a gift certificate prize one of them will win each month too. But not until I make sure that my lists are full of only those who will open my e-mails and who want to be included.

And that’s another post – coming soon! - How to clear out your newsletters – separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak :-))



Monday, January 16, 2017

I can't believe how sophisticated Giveaways are getting! Check the fabulous #prizes #mgtab

Fall In Love with Romance

$100 Amazon Gift Card
Kindle Fire
Barnes& Noble Nook
$50 Amazon Gift Card
$50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
$25 Amazon Gift Card
$25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Signed Paperback – Dominant Persuasions (12 author anthology)
$10 Amazon Gift Card
$10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
The authors have come through for this one with a huge selection of books!!
Go here to enter:
Fall In Love with Romance


The book I chose for this Giveaway is called
"Hearts, Flowers and Romance".


Thursday, January 12, 2017

The best darn cake you'll ever be complimented on! #mgtab

For all my friends:
This cake has been in my recipe box for years and I dug it out this Christmas to make it for my family. Wow! It went over so well that I had to pass out the recipe. This cake is so moist and delicious that you will be congratulated by everyone who you serve it to.
Carrot Cake – Moist                  

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

4 eggs

2 cups flour

1tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

3 tsp cinnamon

4 cups grated carrots

1 ½ cups chopped walnuts



Beat sugar and eggs well, add oil, mix well. Then mix dry ingredients together. Grate carrots and chop nuts. Then add altogether.

Bake at 325 oven in a 11x7 or for a thinner cake 13x9 for 1 hour and check ( will probably need another 5 or 10 mins if you use the smaller pan). If baked in 9” layer pans, will need approx. 40 mins.  Do not overbake. Touch top to see if ready.


½ cup butter (room temp)

1 tsp vanilla

1 – 8 oz pkg of Philadelphia cream cheese

3 cups icing sugar

Beat altogether until creamy

Store leftover.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Another great tool for authors... and readers! #instafreebie #mgtab


I have recently found a new website called Instafreebie where an author can set up a book to be gifted to her readers and fans without actually having to make it free on Amazon, Kobo and the other venues.

I love this because it means that I can single out some of my friends and followers and give them a special treat with very little effort.

Or when I write a newsletter and want to give my subscribers a free read for being faithful, it’s very simple.

There are many times I’ve wanted to make this type of gesture but if the book is listed everywhere, it can be a battle trying to make sure it becomes free for the days you particularly want it to be. And if it’s everywhere, we all know you have to get Amazon to price match so it will be free on that venue. And… that isn’t easy nor is it a quick change. Sometimes Amazon can stall for days.

Recently, I’ve been involved in a lot of Giveaways and my subscriber lists have doubled and then doubled again. To be able to keep those friends opening my newsletters, it’s a good idea to have a gift for them. This is a perfect way to do that.

I also have a lot of “Followers”, “Friends” and “Likes” on my Twitter and Facebook pages and I think it’s a nice gesture to be able to tell them they’re in for a treat. Then put a book on Instafreebie and pass out the link.

There’s a bit of method to my madness - I’m always hoping that if they get one free book from me, just maybe they will like my writing enough to go looking to buy some of my other books. According to many of my reviews, the readers often say that this was the first book they read by Mimi Barbour but it certainly won’t be the last.

Now that is music to my ears. ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

And… it’s worth giving away a free read.

On the other hand – if you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum – A Reader – Oh great one!!!~sending love xoxox – then this is also a great place for you to go to find free books from some wonderful writers.


~So you can see how easy it is, I have set up Special Agent Francesca -
the first book in my popular Undercover FBI series 
as a gift for you today.
Check it out and see just how easy it is to access!!~