Saturday, June 23, 2007



Two of the sweetest words in the world to any reader have got to be "free" and "books." What could be better than that? How about free books not available to the public – yet?

To put the icing on the cake, this year ThrillerFest attendees will be gifted with, you guessed it - free books not available for sale! M.J. Rose came up with what I think is a simply brilliant idea they are calling the Pre-Buzz ARC Giveaway, so I asked her a few questions about it.

BookBitch: What prompted the idea of giving ThrillerFest attendees free books?

M.J. Rose: From a marketing perspective nothing introduces an author to a reader like a free book. But when readily available books are given away at conferences, the booksellers as well as the authors suffer - since thousands of books given away are thousands of books not sold. Booksellers and authors can’t survive if readers don’t buy books.

So my idea was - let’s give away books that can't be sold.... yet. Meaning: let's give away books that won't be for sale until well after ThrillerFest, books that are coming out in August, September, October, November and December.

This gives publishers a chance to introduce authors and new books to readers but doesn't harm the conference booksellers or authors.

BB: How did you pick the books?

MJR: We didn't. We alerted every member of ITW about this program as well as all the major publishers who publish thrillers/suspense and invited them to be part of it.

BB: Does everyone attending get these great free books? What about the folks who are just going on the one day passes?

MJR: We're going to give out books till we run out. As of right now, we have eleven titles, and at 100 or more copies of each of those titles, around 1500 individual books that we're giving out so, yes, we anticipate everyone will get two books including day pass people.

Some of the titles ThrillerFest attendees will receive:

White Flag Down by Joel N. Ross

Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay

The Intruders by Michael Marshall

Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell

The 13th Apostle by Richard F. Heller and Rachael F. Heller

The Missing by Sarah Langan

Isabella Moon by Laura Benedict

Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston

When She Was Bad by Jonathan Nasaw

Deeper by Jeff Long

From the Depths by Gerry Doyle

BB: Did you limit the number of books?

MJR: No limits. We didn't anticipate it would be unwieldy as ARCs are expensive to produce so there aren’t many around. These will be collectors’ items, no doubt.

We're hoping this is successful since we think it's a smart way to give our conference attendees another unique experience and help our members. At ITW we're trying to come up with as many innovative and creative solutions as we can to deliver a better conference to readers and get more attention for our authors and their books in the reading community, the media community and the publishing community.

BB: Now you got me curious. What else are you up to?

MJR: This month we announced a great program with which gets 1.5 million visitors a month. We're going to have a site at Gather called THE BIG THRILL where we'll be posting articles and hosting live weekly chats with readers and authors. We're also doing the first ever serialized novel delivered over 12 weeks with Audible, called THE SERIAL THRILLER. And we're always trying to come up with more! Ideas anyone?

BB: Don’t forget the bookshelf of signed thrillers by ITW authors that I give away every month! Not to mention the monthly contests run for subscribers to THE BIG THRILL webzine. You guys really work hard at leaving no promotional stones unturned. Kudos!

Thanks, MJ - see you at ThrillerFest!

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