A Facebook friend has a book coming out next month, and I'm definitely going to buy it because it's just my kind of book.
The author's been publicizing a bunch of giveaways, and I feel weird about trying to get a book for free that I am otherwise dying to pay for as, like, a badge of honor. I know there's nothing stopping me (other than weird Midwestern morality) from doing both, but now I'm dying to know: would you rather have modest pre-order sales or tons of activity on giveaways?
I feel like "pre-orders, dummy" is the obvious answer, but sometimes my logic is busted. Help!
Your logic is in fine fettle.
Getting people to part with their hard-earned cash is the ultimate test for a book. If you were planning to buy the book, buy it.
There's nothing morally wrong with entering a giveaway but I'm with your Midwestern morality (and I'm at peace with being weird!) in that I believe giveaways are to entice new readers, and clearly you're already committed.
This is one of the problems I have with giveaways in general: they are a shotgun approach to finding new readers.
I'd rather reward a dedicated fan, or encourage a new reader likely to love the book (ie I'd love to promote Jeff Somers new book on writing to people who bought Stephen King's On Writing) which is what makes Amazon's algorithm "people who bought this also bought" so enticing.
When I'm offered a free copies of a book I always ask the writer to give it to someone else if I plan to buy the book anyway. Even when I get an early review copy of something like Nick Petrie's newest book, I like to buy a copy for myself and use the promo copy as a blog prize. (Several of you are pretty happy with that choice!)
Buying books is the best way to support the writing community. Talking about the books you love is good too but shelling out actual money is top of the list.
PS I'm working on the contest results and hope to have them later this week!