Florida mystery author Michael Lister has been giving away copies of his books annually for 16 years now, but this is the first year he stopped to total up just how many books he has gifted to readers over the decade and a half of doing it.
"I was really surprised," Lister said. "Pleasantly surprised, but very surprised. I've just been so busy with the giveaway each year I never stopped to add up how many we'd actually given away. Seeing just how high that number is makes me very proud— about as proud as anything in my writing career."
Lister began the tradition back in 1997 when his first novel, "Power in the Blood" was published by Pineapple Press.
"That seems like so long ago now," Lister said. "But I can still remember how excited I was to have had a book published. I was so grateful I just wanted to share it with others."
This year Lister's Annual Holiday Book Giveaway has a theme: The 12 Days of Free Books Christmas. There's even a video of the song on his website and Youtube.
From Dec. 13 through Dec. 24 the 12 Days of Christmas will include special copies of all his books absolutely free.
"Giving has always been essential to me," Lister said. "Life is a gift. Everything we have in life is a gift. And gifts are meant to be given. Few things in life feel as good as giving a gift to someone open to receive it. And books are some of my favorite gifts— both to give and receive.”
Lister's free Kindle ebooks will be available worldwide on Amazon.com from Dec. 13 through the 24th. He will also be giving away and signing his books in person at the following places:
A Dickens of a Christmas in Downtown Panama City in front of Books by the Sea on Friday, Dec. 13 from 5-8 p.m. CT.
The Purple Grape in St. Andrews on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 4-6 p.m. CT.
The Marina Civic Center in Downtown Panama City on Thursday, Dec. 19 from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. CT.
You can also order books and contact Michael through his website www.MichaelLister.com
Get a copy for yourself or one to give to someone on your list while supplies last.
"My goal is to reach 100,000 copies this year," Lister said. "That means I have to give away 25,000 books between now and Christmas. It's ambitious but possible. We'll see. Who knows? We may just go over it."
Lister's latest novel, "Separation Anxiety," is a spiritual sequel to "Double Exposure." His next novel, "Rivers to Blood," the 6th in his award-winning John Jordan mystery series, will be released in March 2014.