For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions: Giveaways

 

Co-hosted by
Karen – For What It’s Worth & Pam – Midnyte reader

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about topics that are unique to us. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions.

Just keep it respectful - no bashing authors or other bloggers! If you want to participate just grab our button and include it in your post with a link to either Midnyte Reader or For What It's Worth. We will be providing a linky at the end of our posts so people can "hop" to see all the participants answers.

This week the topic is: Giveaways.

As a blogger, how do you feel about extra entries, required entries etc? 
I think it’s fine to offer extra entries, especially for comments to get a conversation going.

As for extra entries for follows, I don’t mind them because you are spending your own time & money on a giveaway. There isn’t anything wrong with potentially gaining something from that. I do prefer to keep all of it optional though. I don’t enter giveaways where I’m required to do things to enter. Also, I think people are visiting you, maybe for the first time, and I would like them to follow me because they like what they saw, not because they had to. They’ll only unfollow once the giveaway is over in my experience.

I also like to limit extra entries. I think 3-4 is a good number.

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)
I use both Google Docs and Rafflecopter. I prefer Rafflecopter for ease of setting it up and picking a winner. It takes all the guess work out of it. You can’t be accused of cheating (picking a friend or something like that) and it pops up an email for you to contact the winner & even announces it on your blog. But Google docs allows you to customize your form a little more so I still think it’s still a valuable tool for bloggers. Also – Rafflecopter has a nasty habit of malfunctioning during a giveaway. Your helpless until they decide to fix it.

I’m pretty good about getting books out on time. I try to announce all winners on a Sunday then get the books out that week. I have shipping area set up in my office to make it easier for me,

What do you do about people who enter your giveaways but don't follow instructions exactly? 
I used to go out of my way to contact people or fix their entries in my early days but now I just let it go. They lose out for now following directions. On the other hand – I do try to keep it simple. If too many people get it wrong maybe it’s the way I’m framing the instructions.

The biggest issue I have is people leaving their email in the comments when I specifically say to use the Rafflecopter form. With some of my bigger giveaways there is no way I can double check and enter that kind of stuff for everyone.

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?
Yes, I have had a few authors slow to send out prizes but for the most part I haven’t had many problems with an author or publisher following through with a giveaway prize. Honestly, I try not to host many that I’m not in total control over so I don’t run into any problems.

As a prize winner - what do you do if your prize never arrives? Do you contact the blogger or just let it go? 
While I haven’t had many problems with publisher/author giveaways hosted by myself, I almost NEVER get the book I’ve won on other blogs when being sent by a publisher. I don’t really say anything about it. Maybe one email to let them know and then I let it go. It’s not the bloggers fault and I don’t want to bug them. I know they’re busy with life. I don’t enter many giveaways for that reason. I haven’t had any problems with bloggers sending books yet.

****
I LOVE hosting giveaways and I used to try to host several at a time and got overwhelmed so now I try to limit it to one or two a month. A few book tours that I’ve joined host giveaways but they provide the Rafflecopter form and pick the winner and I’m loving that!

What problems or solutions have you run into hosting giveaways?

As a blog follower what are your peeves or what makes you want to enter a giveaway?

29 comments:

  1. That's really sad that you've never gotten a book from a publisher. It really doesn't look good for them. If it were on my blog I would want to know so I could inform the publisher and also so I know not to work with them again.

    I've also been slacking on announcing winners. I figure w/rafflecopter if people really want to know, they could check. But I guess that's not fair, so I should step up my game on that one.

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    1. I do let the blogger know because I would want to know myself but I don't keep bugging them about it. You make a good point about letting the blogger know for the sake of working with them again.

      I try to end all giveaways on a Saturday so I can announce everyone at the same time on a Sunday. I love how Rafflecopter announces the winner though. My winners always contact me right away but I feel bad for people who would still like to know who won.

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  2. I like the topic for this week and your answers! I think it is best to just leave it be if someone doesn't enter in correctly. Their fault, you know? Oh gosh, you never get it from the publisher? That's really sad. Oh and I agree with you about how many entries. I don't think it should be excessive!

    My Book Blogger Confessions

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    1. I used to try and fix it but unless you're having a legitimate problem with the entry form (& they should contact me) I can't check fix entry all the time. I try to make it straight forward and simple to enter.

      I gaze over once the extra entires pass 4-5. I'm not following anyone 20 different ways lol

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  3. Thats sad about the books that you have won. I bug to remind but that's it if I have waiting a couple months. I agree with making it easy for the person.I love rafflecopter for my giveaways

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    1. I let the blogger know once but I feel bad harassing them. It's not there fault and if it is for some reason then I probably wouldn't visit them anymore lol

      Rafflecopter has made things SO much easier.

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  4. Great topic, Karen! I think you know my stance on a lot of this b/c i've had to vent to you before about some giveaway issues! And you were the person to finally convince me to use rafflecopter, and yes it is a lot easier! i don't announce winners in a seperate post anymore, I just announce the winner on the rafflecopter if an entrant wants to check back.

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  5. I do a lot of giveaways. I think they are a great way to draw new people to the blog -- and then you have to keep them there with interesting content. I actually like to offer multiple entry options -- I like giving people a freebie and then some choices between Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads or following the blog. What I hate is the mandatory entry on Rafflecopter that unlocks the rest. That just seems weirdly controlling to me and I often don't enter those.

    I have only ever had to disqualify one or two winners for not doing what they claimed to do. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt but I've heard that there are some repeater cheaters out there, so I always verify that my winner is legit. But 99% of my entrants are honest and follow the directions.

    I am OCD about getting my books out as soon as possible. Otherwise I'm afraid I'll forget or offer the book up for something else.

    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Is that "unlock" an option on Rafflecopter? I never really paid attention. I hope I don't do that lol

      My winners have all been great - they contact me right away & let me know when their books arrive which I love.

      I'm OCD about sending out books too. I get most of them out within two days - a week tops unless something major is going on in my life and I email them to let them know it will be delayed.

      I change up my extra entries too. I love adding the comment extra entry. It helps it be more than -great giveaway.

      You have awesome giveaways Jen!

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    2. Oooh and I do have a locked thing on my form! How do I stop that?

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    3. I think you get it by making your first option mandatory. Once the entrant completes that, then the other options open up. I think. :) I've messed up my Rafflecopter forms a few times, so don't take that as gospel.

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  6. I'd love to try rafflecopter, but I just worry that less people will comment then

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    1. I always add comments as an extra or required option and that seems to work for me.

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  7. For my own giveaways, I only use Rafflecopter now since it's familiar to just about everyone and easy for me to set up. I keep my entries to 4 or less if possible if it's just something for me, 6 or less if it's something specifically for an author/pub, and I try to keep them simple, always with one entry just for commenting.

    I've had to disqualify two winners this year because they fibbed on their entry, which is kind of disappointing. But usually things go well. I've almost exclusively had giveaways that have me sending the prize directly from Amazon, B&N or The Book Depository because I don't want to deal with shipping. The one time I had to, it was a disaster.

    When I don't get a prize (which has only happened once), I generally just let it go unless it was from a tour giveaway and then I let the tour hostess know, if only so that she knows that the author didn't fulfill their obligation.

    Great topic!

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    1. Rafflecopter was hard to get used to at first but it's so much easier once you get the hang of it. I especially love how it pulls the winners email up for you.

      Most of my giveaways are direct from the sellers too so I haven't had many problems. Once the Book Depo took over a month to get a book to an international winner.

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  8. Hehe, I think it's more important that vloggers announce. I've never seen a rafflecopter vlogger giveaway UNLESS they do both and just mention it in a vid :P
    You've never got books from publisher? That's upsetting & not fair- I've had ones from smaller publishers thru goodreads giveaways but normally it is an author who markets it. I love authors who do that themselves even if they have a REP :P

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    1. I don't really follow any bloggers so I'm interested to know more about that.

      I never check back to see if I won things (but I don't enter many) I only enter things where I can leave my email but I do try to announce winners on my blog.

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  9. I've noticed that when I receive books from publishers, they are almost always late. It's rare I've gotten one on time.

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    1. That's too bad. It's tough on the blogger who hosted it too. They have to deal with it in the end.

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  10. Hmm, I wonder why so many have issues getting books from publishers. Do they just forget or does it get lost in all the paper?

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    1. I'm sure they have a million things to do and emails to answer. It probably gets lost in the shuffle. Not a good enough excuse since they ask us to host the giveaways but I'm guessing that's what happens.

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  11. I've had never had a problem with Rafflecopter but now I'm intimidated because you've had problems! I might just switch to Google Docs, lol.

    I agree about the extra entries, you as a Blogger are putting the time/money/etc into the giveaway you should be able to have those promotion entries without feeling guilty!

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    1. It's only been a few times. I still prefer it to google docs. The biggest problem I had was in the beginning people leaving their info in the comments instead of the Rafflecopter form. Luckily that doesn't happen very often anymore.

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  12. Hi Karen,
    I've opted out of the meme this time, because I've never hosted a giveaway, so it's not like my post could be useful. But I would like to comment about the topic. Quoting Jen:
    "I like giving people a freebie and then some choices between Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads or following the blog".
    The sad truth is, very few people do that - so kudos to those who do. Most of the time, you're required not only to be following the host and/or the involved author everywhere - which may understandable to a point - but you're actually asked to post about the giveaway on every single social network in existence (LOL, I'm exaggerating just a bit). Now, I'm aware I'm in the minority, but there's no way I'm joining any other network than Goodreads. I don't feel any need or desire to have a FB or T or G+ account. So I guess the Rafflecopters will never love me, as hard as I may try to make friends with them ;). Because I guess you don't stand many chances to win if you haven't complied with all the conditions - is it right? Thanks in advance for any enlightment about the subject :).

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    1. That's such a good point. I waver on whether to add extra entries or not so i mix it up. Sometimes I offer a few and other giveaways just require a simple name and email. I never thought of adding a follow on GR to my giveaways. I never join new things or follow unless it's someone I really want to. i wouldn't do it just for a prize.

      I think some of these tour rafflecopter forms are getting crazy long. I'm not sure how other people feel though. I'm sure it's the best opportunity to get new people but it's overwhelming.

      Oddly enough I would say at least 50% of my winners don't follow or complete extra entries. In fact I've had a person complain about doing all the extra entries yet someone who didn't won. She wanted to know why lol This was in my early days of blogging where you could see all the entries in the comment section (long before rafflecopter or I knew how to use google docs) All I can say is randomizer truly picks randomly.

      Thanks for your answer even if you didn't join in this week with a post :-)

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    2. Thank you for clarifying things for me :). I felt all those entry requests were a bit unfair to those who had no FB or T or G+ or whatever account...but since you say winners are truly random, I take back my little rant LOL.
      I'm looking forward to the next round of BBC!

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  13. I'm finding myself overwhelmed by giveaways lately. I need to stop signing up for so many hops. But I love sharing books with fellow readers! And I have so many that my shelves are going to buckle if I don't get rid of some. :(

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    1. I used to join all the hops but I started getting overwhelmed too. I do my monthly giveaway now which is super simple for me. One winner - once a month. I still get to buy a book for someone but not go broke or crazy ;-))

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  14. I think I pretty much feel the same way as you. I do have extra entries but they are all optional and I limit them (though tours sometimes have more because the author has lots of different sites or something). I don't always get my winnings and I don't every follow up. But I think that if you don't get a prize doing one email follow up to ask about it is fine. After that you just need to let it go. I know sometimes publishers don't get them out and sending them a gentle reminder doesn't hurt. Personally I mail out prizes the same week (almost always) and if they don't arrive it's likely due to the postal service. But it doesn't bother me to have the winner ask. Once. I hate when they just keep asking over and over. Especially if I just don't have a good answer. Luckily I think most all of my stuff arrives, I have only heard otherwise once.

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