This week's question is: Giveaways. As a blogger, how do you feel about extra entries, required entries etc? Do you have a system to choose/announce winners and keep prizes organized? What method works best for you when hosting a giveaway? (Rafflecopter/Google Doc's or other)
What do you do about people who enter your giveaways but don't follow instructions exactly?
Have you ever had problems hosting a giveaway sponsored by an author or publisher who is supposed to send the prize to the winner and doesn't? How have you handled these issues?
As a prize winner - what do you do if your prize never arrives? Do you contact the blogger or just let it go?
I like giveaways. I frequently participate in Inspired Kathy's giveaway hops. Since hops are a good way to show off your blog to prospective followers, I have gained a lot of followers via hops. I do make following my blog a requirement for entering most of my contests. I don't like a lot of extra entries that require commenting, tweeting, etc. Beyond following my blog, I ask for the minimum information I need to choose a winner.
I use Google Docs to collect entries and have contests down to a system now. I have basic templates made for the kinds of contests I do - email address needed or mailing address needed - and just have to add details and pick a background theme. I use Random.org to pick my winners. Google Docs and Random.org works well for the contests I have. I have taken a look at Rafflecopter but am happy with using Google Docs. I don't like filling out Rafflecopter forms myself and don't think I am the only one who feels that way.
In most contests, I give away a book of the winner's choice from the Book Depository because that is the easiest thing for me to do. I have also created a Book Depository winners template that collects the information I need to easily order books there. I did have some problems last time I ran that kind of a contest because the winner could see different books as available than I could. That has never happened to me before.
It seldom happens that entrants don't follow instructions. When it does, I delete their entries and just move on.
I have hosted a few contests where the prizes were coming from someone else. I haven't heard that there were any problems with winners receiving their books. I'm assuming that everything went as planned.
I almost never enter contests myself. I already have more books on my TBR pile than I can read in the next five years. If I want the book that is being offered as a prize, I buy it. I leave contest entering to those who like that sort of thing and who need books more than I do.
How do you feel about giveaways? Let me know and link up at the blogs listed above so we can all see your answers.