DVD Giveaways & Author Promotions

I’m an author. I write books for kids and teens. The primary purpose of my website is to promote what I write. I’m also a Doctor Who fan and a DVD/Blu-ray obsessive… so I have a blog (Viewing Clutter) on my website for DVD/Bu-ray reviews and giveaways, mostly of the Doctor Who persuasion. How do these things connect?

I write DVD/Blu-ray reviews mostly because I like inflicting my opinions on other people — I get to share my delight in the things I enjoyed watching and vent my frustrations about the things I did not. These reviews also help bring extra traffic to my website which, according to all the marketing stuff I’ve read, is apparently a good thing.

I also run giveaways on my blog, thanks to the generosity of Roadshow Entertainment. Mostly, I do this because I love sharing my passion for those lovely shiny discs. These giveaways have the secondary benefit of bringing even more traffic to my website.

The benefits of all this extra traffic are not really quantifiable. I have no idea how many (if any) of the people who visit my site to read a review or enter a giveaway actually go on to purchase one of my books. So if that was my sole purpose in writing the reviews and running the giveaways, I’d probably have given up by now. After all, the reviews take time to write and the giveaways actually cost me money, as I pay for the postage to send the discs out to the winners.

But I keep reading stuff about how giveaways can, and should, be used to further my own promotions. So I decided to try a bit of an experiment with my last giveaway, for Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor. People could enter the giveaway as normal, with no strings attached… but they could gain extra entries by helping me to promote one of my YouTube videos. Since it was a Doctor Who DVD that was up for grabs, I chose a Doctor Who related video, “A Letter to Steven Moffat”…

The experiment was a success! I got the most entries of any giveaway thus far, and 27% of those entrants participated in the promotion. The YouTube vid got extra hits and I picked up a few followers on both YouTube and Twitter. So a BIG THANK YOU to all those people who helped the promotion!

The upshot of all this is that I’ll probably do promotions like this again. Not with every giveaway — I don’t have the time to do it regularly and I also don’t want to piss people off with too many promotions. And if/when I do it again, there will always be the option of no-strings-attached entries. I NEVER want these giveaways to become just about promotion. I run them because I enjoy running them and if self-promotion became the be-all and end-all of them, I suspect they’d become a bit of a chore. And I don’t want that to happen.

Now, I feel the need to explain something about the video. It is meant to be humorous. I don’t actually entertain any delusional expectations of Steven Moffat seeing it and ringing me up to offer a writing gig. And, truth-be-told, I think I’d probably prefer the opportunity to write a Doctor Who book as opposed to a script anyway. The purpose in promoting this particular video was promoting my interest in speaking about and writing about popular culture. I’ve written about Doctor Who for numerous books (see “Another Doctor Who post”), I’ve spoken about Doctor Who on the Splendid Chaps podcast (see “Spoilers and Surprises”) and I’ve spoken about Game of Thrones at the Australia Centre for the Moving Image (see the ACMI podcasts page ). I would love to do more of this! So I need to promote what I have already done in the hopes of attracting more such gigs. Well, that’s the theory anyway.

I’m still waiting to be inundated with offers. ;-)

Catch ya later,  George

PS. Follow me on Twitter to get updates.

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2 comments on “DVD Giveaways & Author Promotions

  1. Cold-Hands on said:

    Love your work George- although I’m a bit surprised to see a post on the 20th January and no mention of Tom Baker’s 80th birthday.

    http://www.digitalspy.com.au/british-tv/s7/doctor-who/news/a545281/tom-baker-turns-80-doctor-who-legends-best-screen-mom

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