Kindle Draw Winner

Exciting times. I’ve just selected the winner of the free Kindle draw among the first reviewers of “Five Dances with Death”.

First, let’s go through how the contest was run.

Late July I announced my contest on Twitter: a person who reads my book and posts a review on Amazon by Aug 31 will enter the free Kindle draw. At no point I implied that this must be a positive review; everyone had an equal chance to win.

Then I launched a broad advertising campaign:

  • Lots of Tweets (those were free)
  • Pay-per-click ads on FaceBook and GoodReads (those were surprisingly expensive, I must’ve gotten the payment algorithms wrong). They generated tons of clicks.
  • Posts on several threads in GoodReads and Kindle Boards
  • Free book giveaways via Smashwords, which turned out quite popular and didn’t cost me a penny
  • Aggressive, if nicely worded, book distribution to various book review blogs and sites. Hopefully all of them were credible – I’ve ensured that every review site stated “positive reviews aren’t guaranteed”. Most of them ignored me. Some responded.

All in all, I received 26 reviews over the last 6 weeks of almost sleepless promotion, at least some of them as a direct result of this campaign. Although I did get one 3-star review and a number of 4-stars (I’m deeply grateful for those, too), the average score is 4.6 out of 5. I’m happy, humbled, thrilled… and most of all, grateful.

I’ll share my learnings from this exhausting but rewarding campaign later. Let’s get to today’s announcement:

I selected the winner using the free service at Here’s what I did:

  • Selected the “Random Sequence Generator” they use for lotteries
  • Entered the number of reviews received by Aug 31: “26”. Number 1 was assigned to the earliest review, Number 26 to the latest.
  • Run the random generator thrice, discarding the first 2 runs. It just felt right to run it three times.
  • Counted (and re-counted, to be sure) the winning review # from the bottom on Amazon.

I hope I’ve made my point by now: you know in full transparency that the draw was fair.

Now, to the winner:

It’s NUMBER 12.

The revier’s name is:  K. Sozaeva “Obsessive bibliophile”

This result spooked the heck out of me. Katy joined the draw clearly stating her intent to win, through my Smashwords giveaway. She also recommended I use the Random Generator to run the lottery. Katy, admit it: you’re psychic :)

And – congratulations!

I’ll contact the winner via her GoodReads account to arrange the delivery of a brand-new Kindle! :)

Here’s the screenie from the Random Generator. I cut the bottom part which isn’t so relevant:

PS. For the heck of it, I’m finally going to buy a Kindle of my own. I’ve been reading on iPad till now.

  • Katy Sozaeva

    AWESOME!!!  *happy dance*  I’m so STOKED!!

    I think I’ve finally figured out this “following blogs” business, so off to get yours added!

    • Austin Briggs

      Just wanted to mention: congrats again and a fresh new Kindle is en route to you! :)