Thursday, 30 September 2010

Paul the Octopus and a Japanese Baby

Have you entered my exciting competition to win a signed paperback copy of one of my books, or a special edition signed ebook? No, of course you haven't. The reason I know this is that I have only had two entrants so far, (with a total of three entries between them) and you're not one of them.

The first competition I ever had on this blog, I had 133 entries - and when I posted a giveaway on Goodreads I had 2229 entries, and 726 on LibraryThing - so please don't feel sorry for me. I don't feel unpopular.

With this current competition, you have to provide a link to a public review you written. It's a way of thanking people who have already bought my books, without asking for a copy of bank statements or anything scammy like that.

I had said that winners would be drawn at random and that people posting 5* reviews would have no advantage over those posting 3* reviews (or 1* or 2*). Nevertheless, I felt sightly conflicted about it. Would it seem, if people started posting glowing 5* reviews and linking to them on here, that I had coerced them into writing much more kindly about my books than they otherwise might have done, just for the chance to win a signed copy? Would my integrity be besmirched? Would theirs? Would yours?

Fortunately, public indifference to this competition has ensured that we can all come out of this with our heads held high. We are all, to some extent, winners.

Still, I have a Japanese baby on her way to the house even as I type this, to make the draw. Though her identity must, of course, remain a secret, I can confirm that she lives on an island a long way away from here. She is travelling by ferry - her first trip across the water since she was born - and then by car to reach me. Her little hands will be instrumental in choosing a winner some time over the weekend.

I had hoped to have six entries, so that I could get her to roll a dice. As it currently stands, I think I will ask her to choose one of three brightly coloured objects - possibly some Nespresso capsules. Does anyone know whether babies are attracted to the colour red? Apparently that's the logic behind the choices Paul the Octopus makes when picking winners. The more red in the flag, the more attractive it is to the poor creature.

If any of that thrills you; if you have read one of my books and written a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Goodreads or LibraryThing or the Book Depository or WH Smith or anywhere like that - or if you are intending to - don't forget that you have until tomorrow to enter the competition. All you have to do is leave a link to your review in the comments section of this post. Full details here.

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