Once again, I’m underwhelmed by the results of a Goodreads Giveaway. Two years ago, when The Greatest Show on Dirt came out, I gave away eight copies to Goodreads readers. Of those lucky winners, just three of them actually rated it, one of whom couldn’t be bothered to write a review. I suspect the book didn’t interest the other five, as they didn’t have any other baseball books on their shelves or indicate any interest in baseball. They fall into the category of “people who just like to win free stuff,” which seems to be type that typically enters these giveaways. Which sucks for an author on two fronts. First, if the point to giving away free copies of the book is to help get more reviews, that’s a fail right there. And if that’s not bad enough, I’m out of pocket for the cost of the book and the postage.
This time around I decided to give away just two copies, figuring the real value of the contest is just getting some word out on Goodreads about the book’s release. I also noted in the description, “Please note: This is a novel about a baseball player. If you don’t like baseball or reading about baseball, well, don’t say you weren’t warned.” (What I really wanted to say was, “please don’t enter, so maybe someone who does will have a better chance.”) In just over a week, 284 people entered the contest. A frighteningly high number of these folks are what I would call “virtual book hoarders.” One woman had more than 35,000 books on her Goodreads shelf, of which 45 were on her “read” shelf. Forty-five down, thirty-five thousand to go. Wow. That’s a lot. To put that in context, if you were to read a book a day it would take you 96 years to get through 35,000 books. So, yeah, I call mental illness on that one.
Anyway, the contest drew to a close in the wee hours last night. Two winners were selected, neither of whom would appear to be in my target audience given the books on their virtual shelves, but hopefully they will read and review it anyway, or maybe hand it over to someone they know who will.
I’m not holding my breath.
Instead of sitting here going blue in the face, I will stage a new contest for two copies of the Kindle version of Nine Bucks a Pound. How you enter is by commenting on this post sometime before midnight Sunday, March 9 (and with daylight savings time this weekend, that’s one less hour than you might think, so get cracking). In your post you will tell us all your favorite baseball novel and what you liked best about it. One winner will be chosen based on the best response, the other by random selection from all those who entered (assuming more than one person does). Your obligation, should you be so fortunate as to win this book, is to write an honest review on Amazon.com (and Goodreads if you so happen to frequent it).
Here’s a description of Nine Bucks a Pound:
For every A-Rod or Manny Ramirez seeking to boost his game to elite levels via illegal means, there have been scores of unheralded players toiling in the minor leagues, desperate to impress the brass enough to simply survive and advance. Young men who have dreamed of playing in the big leagues since they were old enough to swing a bat. When their natural ability alone isn’t enough, the black and white blurs to gray, their fear of getting caught using banned substances outweighed by a more consuming fear of failure.
Three seasons into his professional career, Del Tanner can read the writing on the wall. A contact hitter at a power position, he recognizes his days in the Twins organization are numbered if he can’t match the production of the other first basemen in the system. When his aspiring agent suggests he try steroids, Del makes a choice that will shadow him for the rest of his career.
In his second novel, James Bailey (The Greatest Show on Dirt, 2012) humanizes the players fans are so often quick to demonize. Nine Bucks a Pound ponders life on baseball’s fringe and the dreams that tempt a young man to heed the devil on his shoulder. ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark says, “Bailey hasn’t just given us a great read. He’s given us an important window into a topic we can’t seem to stop talking about.” Adds Russell Rowland, author of High and Inside, “Bailey expertly explores how the desire to succeed at any price can lead to unexpected consequences, mostly involving a man’s relationships with others, not to mention with his own conscience. This is a powerful story about the perils of success at any price.”
Sound interesting? Have at it, for your chance to win a Kindle copy. (Note: If you don’t have a Kindle or a Kindle app, you are welcome to buy a print copy from Amazon for a mere $12.56.) And if you can overlook the fact that you’re actually hurting your own odds in a sense (don’t be selfish, now, kids), please share this post.