Or Why I May Never Do Another Giveaway Again…
And the thought breaks my heart.
I am going to try not to get ranty – but as with all things that are close to my heart, as with all things that hurt. It may not be possible.
So I am going to put on ‘Happy’ By Pharrell Williams find a whole lot of minion gifs and plunge head in.
As you know I published on a bet – and the success of The Imdalind Series still blows my mind. I am so eternally grateful to each and everyone one of you who have picked up my book, who have read it, who have loved it, who have become a fan.
You mean the world to me. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
Because I am so grateful for each of you, because your love for my works gives me a passion to give back, and to find anyway to say thanks.
Which means I do LOTS and LOTS of giveaway’s.
And I love them.
I think the final tally (done for taxes) was that I spent well over 8k in giveaways and shipping’s last year…. That’s a lot. And I regret none of them. I lovingly signed every book, every bookmark, packed each package and sent it off with a smile.
Which is why when I was getting ready for Soul of Flame’s release I planned A LOT of giveaways. A LOT.
Like enough to fill pages of gifts and addresses.
But the story of why I am seriously reconsidering my giveaway begins before that.
WAY before that.
It begins a year ago, when my husband was roto-tilling our front yard and threw out his back so bad that his sciatic nerve got pinched between two vertebrae. The injury was so bad he couldn’t work, so bad he was laid off making my books the sole income for our family.
Leaving my husband out of work and well… depressed.
My husband is a numbers guy, he’s a stock broker by trade so he’s good at that stuff. So I asked him if he would help with giveaways. Which is where everything has gone down hill.
I don’t think I have been so behind on giveaways in my life. I don’t think I have been so stressed about something that should have been easy, that didn’t get done. You see, with an injury like his there are days he can’t get up. There are days that he simply can’t move, and days when we have to go to the hospital and rack of bills so high my head may explode.
But we won’t get into that…
Where were we? Oh yeah – giveaway’s!!
So I tallied up all the Soul of Flame winners, and I combined it with the giveaways that were a bit backlogged and I smiled and said ‘I can do this’ and got all excited to make sweatshirts and vinyl’s and send out gift cards and signed books. I was pumped, my husband was pumped.
And then my husband had a flare up.
And the money I had set aside to do all my giveaways was gone with one bright shiny hospital room.
I was overwhelmed. Distraught. So stressed that I just shut down.
I posted everywhere that I was behind that I was going to get caught up as quickly as I could, explained to everyone who messaged what was going on – and you know what – they were all very understanding. SOO nice infact, that I wanted to hug them and I started updating my lists to include little bonuses.
Well… everyone was nice except for one person.
One person who harassed my Blog Tour Manager even after I had emailed him several times. And one person who began posting rude terrible things on the wall of my facebook page.
Someone who NEVER messaged me in private – instead decided to go right to a public shaming instead of even ATTEMPTING to speak to me privately. I never received one email from him, not one private message – there is even a contact form on my website he could have used… but no… I guess public shaming is deemed appropriate now.
(I did respond to him as well, even very politely in this post explaining that I had emailed him, and asking him to email me)
And over something that he didn’t have any basis for.
Over a giveaway that I didn’t have to hold, a prize that I am not legally required to give him.
You see, here is the thing. I held a giveaway along side the book blast for Soul of Flame, a book blast to help the readers I may have lost touch with to know that the next book is available. I put a giveaway along side it because I LOVE giveaways I love the joy it brings to people, and I really do love to spread joy.
This man won and immediately emailed my tour manager asking when he would receive his prize. No thanks nothing.
Just gimme gimme.
My tour manager forwarded his email to me, letting me know we had a winner. I put his info on my six page list and handed the list to my husband. Then all hell broke loose and my bank account for all the giveaways I had planned shrunk to nothing so that I could take of my husband.
That’s when I started making announcements. But because this man is not a reader, nor is he a fan, simply some man who jumps from giveaway to giveaway so he can get free stuff (Yes, you can tell this from his twitter page) he didn’t see my announcement – he didn’t care. And so he emailed my tour manager again. Once again – no thank you’s – just when am I getting my money.
Once again, I am not legally required to give away anything.
It was at this point I emailed him back and explained the situation. But never received an answer. I emailed again, a week later, and still nothing.
Then he posts on my wall.
Well, if you know how busy I am, you know I only get around to checking all that stuff once a week. And by the time I got it he didn’t seem to care for my reasoning, he only wanted the money. I explained to him I had emailed him, he said he didn’t get it.
I sent him another email – nothing.
Then this morning he posts again.
(NOTE: It has actually been LESS THAN A MONTH)
And I am heart broken. Heart broken that someone could be so rude, so inappropriate, so demanding.
I point out the posts to my tour manager, we look over all the emails and I realize that I had his email address wrong – that somewhere in the mix it got one letter off and I had probably been emailing some other poor shmuck.
Now, before we go on. Let me acknowledge that I know I should have sent out his gift card right away, and I would have if I had the money. I am in no way saying that I am guiltless here. Not in the least. I just have a husbands whose medical needs trump giveaways sometimes.
But that doesn’t make what he is doing okay either.
There has been a terrible rash of bullying in the author world lately, specifically the indie community, people who seem to think that because they are hidden behind a computer screen and a fake avatar that they can do and say anything they want. And while I wouldn’t call this particular instance of online crabbery bullying – it is certainly disappointing.
And heart breaking.
And so inappropriate I don’t know where to begin.
If you have a problem with my books, with me, with how I take care of my family, and run my business that’s fine. Not everyone can be the same and can do things the same way. If we did the world would suck and be boring. But I don’t come into your house, on your page and yell about how I think entering every giveaway without reading the books is a scam. Don’t do it to me.
Don’t come into my house, crap on the carpet and leave it there.
Clean up your messes. Because I do.
This man does not deserve the card he won. There – I said it. He doesn’t deserve it because he has been harassing me and my tour manager. He doesn’t deserve it because he doesn’t seem to understand what is and what is not appropriate.
But I’m not an ass – and I am bigger than the feces he has smeared on me.
So he is going to get his gift card.
And then he is banned not only from my giveaways but from all the other giveaways I have a hand in – which is a lot.
I will not put up with harassment, I will not put up with someone dragging my name through the mud with no just cause.
I will not put up with it.
Winning is an honor not a right – and to not even say thank you??
What is the world coming to that we can’t say thank you??
I hold giveaways because I love my fans and I want to say thank you to those who have read my books and supported me.
But not like this.
Starting today – I am changing the way things work.
I get paid this week. And I am sending out every giveaway that I am backlogged in – I am showering my readers in gifts and love and sunshine sprinkles. And then I am going head in and showering you all more. Because you deserve it.. and you know what I like to do when I am in a rut –
Spread the happy.