Once my box of Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) had arrived, I couldn't wait to do my first giveaway on GoodReads. It seemed like a great way to get word out about the book and generate some interest. It wasn't until the giveaway started that I discovered just how distracting it could be.
The setup for the giveaway was a snap. You just specify when you want the contest to run, how many copies you want to give away, and which countries you're willing to ship to. Once the contest starts, you can check as often as you like for up-to-date stats on all sorts of things including how many people have entered and how many have added it to their to-read bookshelf.
That's when the trouble started. I couldn't stop checking. Within minutes, people had entered to win. After only a few hours, seventeen people had added Going Organic Can Kill You to their to-read bookshelves.
But when I checked back an hour later, I noticed only fifteen people had the book there. Where had the other two people gone? Why had they changed their minds and removed it from the shelves? Had they originally added it by accident? Had they read an excerpt and decided it wasn't for them after all? Come back, mysterious people, come back!
And so it went for the next two weeks. I'd check in several times a day, pleased when the number of entrants continued to rise, bewildered when the number of entrants stayed the same or someone removed the book from their to-read shelf.
Then the reviews started. One guy gave it five stars, another only three. Based on what? Since this was my first giveaway and the contest wasn't over, they couldn't possibly have read the book yet. Were they rating it on the title and cover alone? Was that really fair?
I'm pretty sure I need to relax. The book isn't even out yet and I'm already obsessing over every little detail. If I keep this up, I'll have pulled out every last strand of hair before July 1st even rolls around. I need to stop Googling myself, checking GoodReads, and making sure it's still on Amazon.
Instead, I should spend all that time and energy making the next book as great as possible. Then I'll be able to rest easy.