Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions: Giveaways (March 4, 2012)

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about blogging/bookish topics. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions. It is hosted by Karen at For What It's Worth and Pam from Midnyte ReaderOne of the hosts will give us a question to respond to and a linky for sharing our responses and developing community.

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 to pick my winners. Google Docs and 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.


  1. That's nice that you give away a Book Depository choice :) I like that strategy!

  2. I've had that problem with The Book Depo too. People send me a book link and then it's out of stock or unavailable to me from the US.

    I have a form for international winners because I can never figure out some of the addresses on my own.

    Rafflecopter took me some time to get used to but now I like it better. I still use google docs & on occasion.

    Hops are the best way to find blogs and win books! I love them.

  3. I haven’t done many Giveaways as of yet; although I do love giveaways and enter them I find them pretty good. I use the Rafflecopter option for my giveaways just because it’s easier and faster for me to post and randomly select a winner. I tend to giveaway books that I have extra of on my shelf. Not sure if that's a good thing but it needs some love too. Having extra entries are great, more chances at winning that prize you want, although for me I don’t require them. Some of the extra Entries stuff like Twitter I don’t use so it’s not optional for me to have as an extra. I also don’t require Fellow Bloggers to follow me, I think it’s their choice if they want to or not. So far I think how the giveaways are going is great.

  4. I am trying to break myself of the habit of entering contests. It just depresses me. For several months I never did and it was really nice. I simply bought the books I wanted. Plus, entering all those contests just takes up valuable blogging and reading time.


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