Some time back, Aliya Whiteley mentioned on her blog that a few of the RAF folks she knows were glancing through my novel with interest. Even (gasp) threatening to buy the odd copy and pass it around.
I mused that it would be great if there were some way to donate some copies to the service, and, lo, Aliya found one. A few days ago I mailed off a dozen copies of Shock and Awe to the Armed Forces Library Service in Germany, from whence they will be distributed to various sites (including back to the UK).
I've added a little sticker on the title page which suggests that if the reader enjoyed the book, they should drop me an e-mail and let me know where in the world they are. I’m not convinced the little tag will tell me much, since if I don’t get answers, I won’t be sure if
1) No one is reading the book, or
2) People who read the book didn’t enjoy it, or
3) No one looks at title pages (I mean, do you?).
I doubt this move will boost my sales, but it may boost my readership, and that’s just as gratifying. And it’s intriguing to think of someone reading my book in some outpost on the edge of nowhere. (Though on reflection, I'm not sure it's the cheeriest book...)
If this works out, it might be something other writers want to consider. Morally, you can't go wrong donating books to libraries, can you?
Thanks to Aliya for all her help and suggestions. And if you read this and happen to be serving in uniform--hey, check the library.