Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blogs and Giveaways (or Not)

This is NOT a giveaway post.

It does have a point (in a meandering sort of way).

Please (at least) check out the end. I would love comments and opinions...

I mentioned (in a comment) on my post about book hoarding a little while back that I hoped to hold my first giveaway on this blog this April.

Last year I held one through the eHarlequin community. I worked all year since then to increase my offerings. In addition to a number of category romances (large-print included), I can now offer some general (paranormal, contemporary, and maybe a couple historical) romances, some mysteries, and a few children's chapter books.

All are are Christmas books ... the giveaway would be called "Christmas in April" ... You can see what I did last April (and details about why Christmas and why April) here.)

Anyway, I had great plans, and by the time April came around...I couldn't (can't) afford the giveaway. My only other opportunity for 2010 being in August (I think. If I remember correctly, at least one state holds the event the giveaway was based on in August). It doesn't feel right, but if I'm able to financially by then, I'll do it anyway.

In the meantime...

What are your thoughts on Book Blogs and giveaways? Do you prefer them? Can you do without?
I know many book blog readers just want to discuss (and discover) books (and socialize with people of like interests).
But I also know giveaways can really build up readership. (Though I'm not sure mine would have had that effect anyway. The giveaway I planned is very themed and heavy on the category/series romance.)  Have you held giveaways before?  How did it go?  What positives and negatives did you encounter?


  1. They do not bother me but I also read many blogs that don't do giveaways. I am an ebook reader, so I usually just skip book give-away posts :)

    (though I am sure I am not the majority)

  2. I love giveaways: holding them, entering them and of course, winning them. I have a lot of different types on my site.

    When an author offers a giveaway to be included with an interview or guest post, it's free to me since they ship directly to the winner. Since I ask for nothing but a comment to enter, I have never had any problem with these giveaways.

    I get a decent amount of books sent to me for review. I give these away once a month in the hopes that other bloggers will review them too. I make the giveaway open to followers, but it isn't a large draw and they usually go to someone who's been a follower before the giveaway.

    I have a large bin of slightly used books that I bought myself. I give these away for minor thank you type gifts when someone suggests a topic for me or something of that nature.

    I do very large giveaways for follower milestones (100, 300, and 500 so far). These order from book depository who ships directly to the winners. There are many extra entries to these giveaways and I'll gain at least an extra 100 followers during the month the giveaway runs. These I do get some problems with. With huge giveaways, some people are more apt to cheat by entering more than once or lying about doing the tasks that gain them extra entries. I check all the winning entries, so the cheaters never win, but it is a hassle.

    I like sharing books that I have and gifting people books they really want to read. Media mail isn't very expensive, so most of them don't cost me much to hold. People spread the word of the giveaway for me, I gain followers, most stay after the giveaway has ended and people win free stuff. I see them as a win/win for everyone involved.

  3. Felicia - I was sure there'd be some out there like you. =) Thanks for speaking up.

    And if I follow Jennifer's idea about Author Interviews and such, maybe I could have an ebook giveaway. Something for me to keep in mind.

    Jennifer - Thanks so much for your response! I haven't been asked to review books, and have no contacts with authors or publishers, so I hadn't really thought about interviews or guest posts. That would definitely be manageable during the financial crunch though.

    Is there any particular place I can find authors who'd like to do this, or do I just ask around and hope? And do you have (or know a good place to find) tips about interview etiquette/questions?

  4. I've been put in contact with a few authors through publicists and groups on Book Blogs Ning.

    Most of the time, if I really like a book, I'll email the author to let them know I enjoyed it. Their email addresses are almost always on their websites or their pages on the publishers websites. Usually, I'll also ask if they'd like to do some sort of promotion on my site. Many authors are very agreeable to writing a little something or answering a few questions. Like I mentioned above, a few have offered giveaways as well. I never ask for books for review or giveaways from authors directly because they usually aren't given many promotional copies. But some do offer, which is like a surprise bonus.

    The best interview questions are based off of your impressions of the book. If you want to know, chances are other readers do too. I try to research other interviews an author has done to make sure I'm not asking the same questions they've already been asked a bunch of times.

  5. I've been wanting to do a giveaway of a single book. The postage isn't too much on 1 item, and I know readers enjoy them. However, I've been held back out of a fear that no one would enter, lol.

    Oh, also a bunch of my readers are British (I'm in MA), and I hear international postage is very high.

  6. Jennifer - Thanks for the advice. More to think about. =)

    Amanda - Postage isn't bad, but I have 0 income, so any postage is more than I have.

    I worry that no one would enter too, though.

    As for mailing internationally... from what I've heard it depends on where. I've been told Europe and Japan are supposed to be the most expensive postage-wise from the U.S. From experience, mailing to Canada isn't that much higher than mailing in the states. Not that that helps you when your readers are in England...


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