Rainer M. Domingo

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Fictional Book Giveaway Appeal


My Goodreads giveaway has been running for a week and I’m satisfied with the number of entries thus far. I find it fascinated that mostly women have entered to win. I wonder why?

Is it because…

  • The cover features two women?
  • The cover features three men?
  • The cover features men and women?
  • The book’s marketing copy?
  • Mostly women read medieval fantasy books?
  • Goodreads membership is mostly women?
  • Mostly women enter book giveaways?
  • Or is it something that I haven’t even considered?

I have no idea what demographic is drawn to my book. You would think it appeals to everyone that reads medieval fantasy novels with characters that have magical powers, but that’s probably being overly simplistic.

What I decided to do was go through the current list of giveaways with the intent of finding medieval fantasy books that I would be interested in reading.

The first thing that drew my attention was the theme and artistry of the cover. If it looked medieval, not too cheesy, not too basic, and gave me a hint about the characters or what the story was about, then it was worth investigating. The title of the book didn’t matter. Then I read the marketing copy to determine if the story would keep my attention. If there was some type of mystery to be solved or questions to be answered as a result of certain events AND the story generally appealed to me, then I would enter the giveaway. Giveaways by best-selling authors definitely influenced my decision to enter. A story intertwined with actual historical events didn’t appeal to me. I prefer documentaries. When I watch movies that fictionalize historical events, I throw out the actual history and watch the movie for its entertainment and cinematic value.

Did this little exercise help me figure out why more women than men entered to win my book? Not even close.

So what can we take away from all of this?

  • Your cover should strongly reflect your genre and provide a hint about the type of characters in your story or the story itself.
  • For me, the title of the book didn’t matter. It may matter to you and your audience, but it wasn’t important with regard to drawing my attention to a book.
  • Your marketing copy should include a question that is important for your character(s) to answer that will intrigue the reader.

If you have any additional thoughts about what makes a book giveaway appealing to readers, leave them in the comments below.

My book giveaway runs until July 19, 2015. Click here to enter for a chance to win!


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Recommended Books for New Fiction Writers

Are you thinking about writing a novel? Have you started writing, but don’t know how to continue? Perhaps you’ve already written a manuscript, but don’t know if it’s any good. Well you’re in luck, because there are some really good books out there to assist you. These books were the most helpful for me.

story engineering1. You absolutely have to read is Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. It will help you take whatever story idea you have and validate if you can turn it into novel or book series. You’ll learn about the six core competencies you’ll need for professional storytelling – concept, character, theme, story structure, scene construction and writing voice. The cool thing is, that he didn’t make this stuff up. He studied successful books and figured out the best way to explain it.

2. Don McNair does a great job of helping you clean up your prose with Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave (Great Books for Writers). It helps to read this book before and after writing your manuscript, so that you can correct your own mistakes.


3. Are you a plot first or character first writer? What you may not realize, is that you need to be both to write a successful novel. Jeff Gerke’s Plot Versus Character: A Balanced Approach to Writing Great Fiction will help you understand what readers are looking for and why each approach is important.


4. In order to hook your readers, you’ll need another one of Jeff Gerke’s books, The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Your Novel Up For Success. If your book meets all the criteria he explains – which is often what readers get to sample, you’re well on your way to success.


If there are any any books you can recommend to new fiction writers, I invite you to put them in the comments below.