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The Biggest & Best Book Contest Ever

1000books_banner_large_newBy Jenny Milchman

It won’t come as a surprise to readers of THE BIG THRILL that the International Thriller Writers is about to sponsor a contest the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. After all, this is an organization known for innovation; for vastly expanding the thriller world and building a unique community of readers, writers, authors, and fans. But giving away a thousand books? That seems like a tall order—a tall stack, that is—even for a group as envelope-pushing as this one.

Yet that is what’s about to happen.

For the past six months, titles by ITW members have been sent to an office in California that must by now resemble Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory…with books. Hot-off-the-press new releases, beloved and favorite titles, debut novels, and even advance reader copies normally impossible to get hold of except by reviewers and booksellers—all have been shipped from across the country and overseas, by FedEx and UPS and the US Postal Service workers, so that ITW can achieve the near-impossible.

Which is this: award twenty lucky winners a new book every single week for a year. Friends, that’s one thousand books. That’s a “kilobook.”

All readers have to do for a chance to win the jackpot is subscribe to THE BIG THRILL when the contest kicks off on November 1. And if you’re already receiving this all-thriller, all-the-time collection of interviews, stories, news, and reviews? No worries, you can sign up again, here.

Twenty winners will be chosen, and each will receive a brand-new book by an ITW author every week all year long. Winners can even raid their book bonanza for holiday shopping, because books will be shipped at the beginning of December.

A brainstorming session between ITW board members triggered the idea for the 1000 Thriller Giveaway. One of the special things about this organization is its mission to build a bridge between thriller authors and fans. ITW creates an unparalleled network from authors at the top of the bestseller list to readers picking up their very first thriller for the very first time. What kind of giveaway could possibly reflect all of that?

“We wanted to do something fabulous for our readers as well as our membership,” Executive Director of ITW Liz Berry says of the 1000 Thriller Giveaway. While discussing some of the organization’s earliest contests and giveaways, a challenge was proposed: How could ITW top everything it had ever done before?

“There are two kinds of people in the world,” remarks ITW Co-President and New York Times bestselling author Lee Child. “Those who think ‘free books’ are the two greatest words in the English language, and those who don’t. If you’re in the first camp, you’re going to think this opportunity is the best ever. I suppose I’m not eligible, but I wish I was…this is an immense cornucopia—an actual torrent—of today’s best stuff, free, gratis, for nothing, and straight to your door. Ain’t life wonderful?”

Jack Reacher couldn’t have said it better himself. If Reacher read thrillers, of course.

1000giveaway_logoThe 1000 Thriller Giveaway was the brainchild of M. J. Rose, ITW Co-President and also a New York Times best-selling author. “At ITW our goal is to get more attention for more thriller authors—not just bestsellers, but also established and debut authors,” M. J. explains. “Hopefully, giving away a thousand thrillers is the kind of buzz-worthy effort that will help us achieve that goal. And make a lot of readers happy at the same time.”

M. J. Rose is known not only for her haunting historical novels of suspense, but also for shining a light on authors and helping them get the word out about their books. These days, we do a great deal of that virtually. But the 1000 Thriller Giveaway will be kicking it old-school by actually placing one thousand printed books physical into the hands of twenty lucky winners.

The 1000 Thriller Giveaway quickly became the purview not only of board members and top-selling authors, but of members who run the whole gamut of the organization. From recent thriller award winners to authors published by brand new micro-presses, the incoming books reflect the wide range of thrillers being published today.

Debut Author Program chair, Amy Christine Parker, invited ITW’s newest authors to send in their books. Says Amy of the contest, “The 1000 Thriller Giveaway is such a fun way to connect readers to a large variety of thrillers and introduce them to a slew of talented authors. I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.”

Bryan Robinson, whose sly southern mystery about the ties that bind—and choke—was published in January 2014, was also eager to take part in the contest. “I am honored to be part of an organization that has the humanity to conduct such a huge worthwhile project: books for folks,” says Bryan. “This is the biggest giveaway I know of. My hat is off to ITW! What a stellar idea!”

And what a stellar way for THE BIG THRILL to grow to reach even more readers.


Jenny Milchman is the author of the Mary Higgins Clark award-winning debut novel, Cover of Snow, and the follow up, Ruin Falls. When not reading thrillers by her fellow ITW authors, Jenny serves as Vice President of Author Programs for the organization.

To learn more about Jenny, please visit her website.