The Lion’s Gate Book Giveaways After-Action Report
Over the past month we’ve run a few giveaways. The following is some of what we’ve observed along the way.
200 Copy Giveaway
June 3, Steve announced a 200 copy giveaway of The Lion’s Gate, just as the paperback edition was being released.
The announcement ran at the top of his post “A Tale of Two Covers.”
A link was included within the announcement, to a form readers could populate to submit their shipping information.
First day: All 200 copies were claimed. Of those copies, 198 were sent out by the publisher within a week. One individual provided a bad address, and hasn’t yet replied to our request for a correct address, and a second individual provided his name/address twice. (Yes, we do actually look at the lists…)
The publisher asked if Steve would include something personal with the books, but given Steve’s schedule and our interest in getting the books into the hands of readers so they could read them in advance of Steve’s Google Hangout with August Cole (Thu, Jun 25, 3- 3:30 PM ET) — and submit questions for August to ask Steve (send by June 21 to email@example.com) — we opted to have the publisher send the books right away. We told the publisher we’d look into sending an e-mail, but time got away from us and we didn’t. Looking back, we should have sent an e-mail at the minimum, just to confirm the names of those on the list. After the “Avoid the Most Obvious” Giveaway mentioned below was launched, I received an e-mail from someone who wasn’t sure if he’d made it on the 200 Copy Giveaway list, hence his sending another e-mail for the second giveaway.
Location: Of the 199 sent, most went to the U.S., while 11 copies went to Canada, two went to Australia, New Zealand and Italy, and one went to Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland, Serbia, Czech Republic, Finland, Netherlands and Singapore.
Personal contact: To date Steve forwarded me an e-mail thank you that he received from one person. With the exception of that e-mail and the gentleman who e-mailed to check if he made the 200 copy list, I haven’t seen correspondence from any of the others on the 200 Copy Giveaway list.
Avoid the Most Obvious Giveaway
Toward the end of my June 5 post “Avoid the Most Obvious,” I mentioned that we had a few more paperback copies of The Lion’s Gate available for giveaway—and asked those interested to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if they’d like one. The plan was to send them to individuals as they e-mailed in, until my stash was gone.
First day: 46 people e-mailed.
Following ten days: 8 people e-mailed.
Location: Of those who e-mailed, one was from England, one from Croatia, one from Jerusalem, three from Canada, and 48 from the United States.
Personal contact: This is where things get interesting. Because everyone had to e-mail in vs populate a form, I received more than an address from everyone — and it was interesting to see how people replied and the information they provided within the e-mail.
Thirty people included their addresses within their first e-mail, four of which were PO Boxes (more on this later). Four people requested or mentioned a preference for an e-book. Of the e-book four, three sent street addresses once I mentioned e-books weren’t an option. Haven’t heard back from the fourth. Of all 54 e-mails, one person offered to pay shipping. Quite a few mentioned that they read the “e-mail” or “newsletter” that day, which indicates that they aren’t accessing the site to read the posts.
Many of comments were along the lines of, “I read you were giving away The Lion’s Gate and would like to receive a copy.”
The following are some of the comments that followed, many of which offered more about our readers and their reading interests, as well as areas in which we might improve. (I decided to include these comments in my post at the last minute and didn’t have time to ask everyone’s permission, hence the lack of names. If you recognize yours and would like a name attached, let me know and I’ll add it.)
I’ve read the war of art and turning pro, multiple times each. These are the only kind of books read typically. However, when Solitary came out I had to give it a try. I haven’t read a non business/design book in years but I wanted to see if I could learn about Resistance, Turning Pro, etc. in a story. I couldn’t put the book down. I had to know what happened next.
That is why I also try reading the Lion’s Gate. I want to see how they pulled something out of noting. How they refused to stop. How they moved forward when the odds were stacked against them.
Not a genre I typically read, but willing to give a try for an e-copy if available.
Greetings! Believing you are well and successful. Thanks for the updates and the heart of service each of you display. I missed the give away and would love a copy of The Lion’s Gate. I promise to read it and talk about it. Thanks again.
Dear Black Irish Books:
I did not sign up in time to receive one of the 200 free copies the publisher was offering.
I am open to reading (and sharing about) it.
Thank you in advance for doing so.
Hi there I did sign up for a free copy of the book but I have no idea if I was successful or not. Do you know how I can find out?
Mr. Pressfield (and the Black Irish Team),
I read your email about promoting titles and audiences with a lot of interest. Wanted to identify another “War of Art” and “Turning Pro” audience (that I’m a part of) — entrepreneurs. The various groups of business owners/entrepreneurs I am part of all share titles and recommendations that spread like wildfire. I’ve given away four copies of War and Turning in the past 8 months and will be giving copies to several of my clients this holiday season (note to self — order the damn things so I’m not handling it at the last minute!)
Anyhow, don’t know if that’s helpful. And from what I can tell, we read pretty eclectically but stick with “business” and “self-improvement” titles. Occasionally something like “Unbroken” or “Solider of the Great War” rips through the group. Maybe a decent audience for the kind of tale in “Solitary”?
If you have copies of Lion’s Gate, I’d gladly read one. If not, I hope they find a loving home that loans them out!
I just read Callie’s post saying to shoot you an email if I want a free copy of Lion’s Gate. I most certainly do, but I don’t have room for a print copy. Is there any chance I could get the Kindle version?
I loved Solitary, btw.
Thank you, Callie, for the offer. I’m always super-impressed with everything Steve does. Also, I don’t know if you track this, but consider not just how many War of Art people are following him because they are writers but because of the getting-over-Resistance for other things in life. In addition to being a writer, I’m a tarot reader and I teach the occasional class in getting started as a small business owner. I recommend him to anyone starting a business—and, his transparency and detailed reports on his marketing launches are very helpful to any small business owner.
Don’t know what info you need or if you have any of the free copies of the book left, or if they’re hard copy or Kindle, but here’s my basic info:
Hi, I went online to the link for a free copy of this book “Lions Gate” on Tuesday June 9 ,2015 and the web page stated that the form was no longer available. 🙁 .
Will I still be able to get a free copy of this book?
I just read today’s email, “Avoid The Most Obvious.”
“…if you’re open to reading (not just receiving) something that might not be your typical genre. Leave out the politics. Leave out the religion. Leave out the battles. Instead, look at the stories shared within The Lion’s Gate and you’ll find the stories (with different names, places, times) shared within The War of Art.”
I’m a great fan of The War of Art. I’m sold on investing myself into The Lion’s Gate if there are any other copies at that this point, just kicking around the office. Thanks y’all!
More into reading, than just receiving,
Magnamous offer . thank you. I will buy both books. I appreciate the pressfield site and education therein.
Hello. I am in the second group, having first encountered Mr. Press field through purchasing The War of Art — would be delighted to receive and read The Lion’s Gate if copies are still available.
Thank you very much, and great success in all your endeavors.
Correct. I am a huge fan of THE WAR OF ART and I have disinterest to read SOLITAIRE and LION’S GATE, any war-bloody-violence-related books. Then again, I recently happened to watch the opening episode of DEXTER on Netflix. Seven episodes later…and despite throwing away my TV many years ago.
Anyhow, if you have a copy left of Steven’s The Lion’s Gate I would be happy to read it. Thank you for the opportunity to receive a copy after the way you put it in your “Avoid the Most Obvious” blog today!
OK…I’ve bought and read The War of Art. I’ve followed this blog. I’m interested in The Lion’s Gate — but not enough to buy it. Chalk it up to disappointment with Istael, despite having drunk the KoolAid by the gallon after visiting there on 1968.
I just read Pressfield’s email and he mentioned that there might be a way to get my paws on a copy of The Lions Gate. I’m a big budding fan of his, only read War of Art and Gates of Fire thus far, but they’re both so wonderful I figured I’d shoot you guys an email to see if I might be lucky enough to snag a copy of Lions Gate!
Keep up the good work, these books, and what you’re doing with them, are an inspiration to the next generation of artists!
Thanks for your email today. It makes perfect sense and I can only imagine why publishers think giving books to an indifferent (or worse) audience makes sense. I’ll admit to being a fence-sitter (uncomfortable place to be). Please and thank you for helping me make up my mind with Lion’s Gate, if copies are still available. Digital is preferred but if you need a mailing address here it is:
In reference to your newsletter (below), I’d love a free copy of The Lion’s Gate.
What’s the next step?
“For those in the second group: If you didn’t sign up in time to receive one of the 200 free copies of The Lion’s Gate that the publisher is giving away, shoot an e-mail to email@example.com. “
I’ve purchased and read all of Steve’s books on writing and creating , but none of his military titles. Can I get a free copy of Lions Gate?
My name is XXXX and I am interested to read the “Lions Gate.” I have read Steve’s other titles and find his use of heroism in literature needed in our era. I am a therapist by trade and his stories have really helped me to communicate to the hearts of the men I serve. There are battles in all of us. If we want peace, it’s time to declare war. War on ourselves.
I would love a chance to read The Lion’s Gate, and really enjoyed all the background Steve has written about it over the past few months.
I guarantee that not only will I read the book but that when done I will pass it off to a friend in another state to read (who works for a defense contractor) who I have already read parts of those articles to when talking on the phone. And I will badger him to pass it along to a third likely person of his choice who shows an interest in the book – he works with several Iraq/Afghan vets and shares gym time with cops so I know somewhere in there someone will be interested.
Guaranteed three people at least will read the book! (And talk about it when done as I’m sure at least two of us will like it.)
I did try to get one first time round, but then somehow got blocked by a computer/ dunce issue, and then have just been too preoccupied by other pressing concerns (end of life parent care) to get back to it. Plus I live in Cda, so post is an issue too. So whatever. Just wanted you to know that I’m not disinterested, just otherwise preoccupied.
Would love to read it. Just finished THE WAR OF ART and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Just read your email on a few copies left over. If you still have any, I’d like to read the book. If you’d like me to pay shipping/handling I’d be happy to do so, just tell me how much.
If you have any left, I’d love a copy of the Lion’s Gate – I am a fan of Mr. Pressfield’s other books (Gates of Fire, War of Art, The Profession, etc.), and I’d be happy to take a look at this one also.
I read Callie Oettinger’s blog post “Avoid the Obvious” on Steven Pressfield’s website, and was wondering if a free copy of The Lion’s Gate was still available? I’m a reader of Steven’s work about creativity, and want to read more of his other nonfiction and his fiction. I’m also interested in the cultural, almost mythical experience for the Jewish people of retaking the Wailing Wall, and the underdog experience of the Six Day War. If the offer is still available, here is my mailing address:
First off, thanks so much for the effort you and the Black Irish team put in to Stevenpressfield.com. I’m an avid reader of all your work online (those other guys Shawn and Steve too!). I’m responding to your blog post from today. I’d love a copy of The Lion’s Gate, if there are any still available from the publisher. So that you get my demographic down…I’m an Iraq Veteran (2004-2005), former US Army Artillery Captain (1st CAV DIV) and now hang my hat in XXXX with my wfie and three kiddos. You’ve heard this one before…”My first Battalion Commander handed me a copy of Gates of Fireyears ago, and I’ve been a Team Pressfield fan ever since.”
I never miss a blog posting from you, Shawn, and Steve and have devoured every Story Grid post and now have the book. So, I think it’s fair to say that I’m right in your “center mass” of the target audience for the The Lion’s Gate.
Another familiar refrain…”For friends, colleagues, and family…The War of Art is my go-to gift.” I love sharing books. How can I help share The Lion’s Gate?
I read many of Steve’s books including Gates of Fire ,War of Art and Turning Pro and have sent copies of them to my friends and business Clients .
I would appreciate a copy of Lion’s Gate .
If you have any to spare, please send me a free copy of The Lion’s Gate, as mentioned in your very interesting post of 5 June 2015.
In any case, your readers would appreciate an after-action report on the results of your large giveaways of books to your target audience, and how you would measure those results.
I’d love to read Lion’s Gate.
However, I usually don’t order physical copies of books. I read them on my Kindle, typically. There will be a time (boring backstory omitted) when I have room to be ordering physical copies of books and
I look forward to it. But I’m not there right now.
In the “Avoid the Most Obvious” blog post we were offered the chance to get a copy of Mr. Pressfield’s The Lion’s Gate if we emailed this address about it.
As I say, I’d love to read it. Is a digital option available or should I send you and address?
Thank you for your time.
If I didn’t get to my email too late this week, I would love a copy of Lion’s Gate. I recently moved to Jerusalem and have become very interested in the history of the city–I’ve been voraciously reading everything I can get my hands on about Jerusalem as I get to know my new home..
I’m open to reading The Lions Gate. I am a huge fan of The War of Art but have never read a military novel.
I’m curious to see if I’ll enjoy it and also possibly learn something from venturing into new territory, particularly that I may like war stories.
Hi there, After reading your latest “What it takes” today I would love a copy of the Lions Gate if you still have any spare!?
I don’t fit into any of the types of people who you thought would like to read the book, but following your weekly Blog, and having read Solitary which I ordered from Black Irish previously, I’m interested in the war in Israel at that time. I find it fascinating.
In case you’re interested I’m an Irish protestant, living in London married to a Turkish Muslim – there’s another audience for your book 😉
Many thanks, and If you don’t have any spare I’ll be buying one anyway!
I am retired Air Force (1 year) and would like to read your book if you have more.
I would be incredibly interested in a paperback copy of the Lion’s Gate. I purchased the hardback version and it’s one of my favorite books I’ve ever read. Steve’s ability to mix story telling while connecting people and relationships to feelings is amazing.
If I were to receive a copy, I would gift it and then ask them to do the same if they appreciated it like I do.
Black Irish Books is doing amazing things and for the right reasons. You probably don’t get the credit you truly deserve but don’t even think about stopping, the work you are doing is far too important.
This world needs more people/businesses like you.
Just read the post about reaching out for a copy of Lions Gate, so I thought I’d drop a note. I’m a composed fan of all that you’re doing…from Black Irish to War of Art (that I own in digital and audio), as well as Story Grid (a happy owner of the full, early package). I’m not in need of a free copy, and it’s on my list to read, so consider this note more of a fist bump to entrepreneurs and writers I respect. Thanks. And keep doing what you’re doing.
Seen at Steven Pressfield’s website was an invitation to contact you all to request a complimentary copy of “Lion’s Gate.”
I’m an academic advisor and counselor at the XXXXX; Michael Oren’s “Six Days of War” is displayed in my office where students see it every day. Steven’s book would look great propped up right next to it.
Lion’s Gate, I think, is especially important on this, the anniversary of the Six Day War ending. That conflict’s effect on modern US, Israeli, Arab, and Gulf Nation history is inestimable.
By my count, I bought 7 of Steven’s other books (some of which I understand may be from other publishers). I hadn’t heard about Lion’s Gate because my reading time has been consumed by so many other recently-published [great] works of historical fiction.
What to do with all of this information?
The second giveaway took longer because there was so much personal contact, but that contact offered an opportunity to connect with readers – one of which helped us reach an organization that is going to give away almost 1,000 copies of The Return to veterans it employs — so I wouldn’t trade the personal connection in the future. Instead, I’d minimize the back and forth time by asking for a street address up front, which would cut down on the time e-mailing /waiting for a street address vs. not having an address or being sent a PO Box.
I’d also figure out a different way to collect addresses. Because people were sending in their addresses e-mail by e-mail, I had to collect all of them and format them before printing or handwriting labels. With the giveaway the publisher sent out, we pulled an Excel spread from the form readers populated and provided it to the publisher ready to go. All they had to do was print the labels. The form was much easier for collecting addresses, but I wonder if we’d receive the personal responses if we did a form that had a comment box. Would readers write there as they had in the e-mails? Or would they just insert their addresses and move along?
On the placement of the giveaway offer within the e-mail, I don’t think the location matters as much as the content surrounding it. If you’re writing something of interest, readers will stumble across the offer no matter where it sits. Along these lines, we actually have two more offers. The publisher is working with GoodReads to give away a few more copies of The Lion’s Gate. If you’re interested, you can access it here: Book Giveaway for The Lion’s Gate. Later this afternoon, Shawn will be sending an e-mail to First Look Access and Story Grid members, offering a free e-book of Do the Work. If you’re interested, you can sign up for First Look Access — via this First Look Access Link — which is how we send special promos before they hit the site (with the mention of it in this post being an exception this time).
One more thing: We’ve found that our international audience plugs in during the wee hours of the East Coast’s mornings. We’ve tried to do offers that are open for a longer period of time in the mornings, so those out of country can access them, too. If there’s a limit — say the offer goes to first 200 who e-mail in or takes place within a few hours only — we’ll avoid afternoon offers. End of day, though, there isn’t a convenient time for everyone. Not long ago we received a complaint from someone in Hawaii who woke up to find he was too late to access an offer. We’re trying, but… Times zones can be tricky…
So that’s the after action report. If there’s anything you’re curious about, please let me know in the comments. If you have experiences you’d like to add to the above, please drop those in the comments, too.
Thanks to those who e-mailed in. We’ve learned quite a bit from you and hope that some of the above might be of interest — AND we appreciate the kinds words many of you sent in our direction!
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