Random Rants and Rambling #25 | Giveaways

Random rants
Random Rants and Rambling is a feature here at Lilybloombooks where I.. well, Rant or Ramble about Random topics!


There is nothing MORE exciting than winning a book (or whatever) that you have wanted, because hello, everyone loves freebies! And as an avid reader and lover of all things books, I LOVE to giveaway my favorite books to everyone. As a blogger, I am able to do that with a higher reach for those that really want to read the book. And as reader, I enter giveaways as well.

There are plenty of giveaways, EVERYWHERE, all the time. I can’t get on social media without seeing a giveaway and/or giveaway tweets. There are blog hops dedicated to giveaways (which I used to host – more on that later).

Recently, I feel kind of indifferent to giveaways. I feel like there are pros and cons to anything/everything that we do – but here is MY perspective, as both a host and entrant.

As a host

I don’t think they bring you followers and shouldn’t be used that way. I think they bring traffic that could potentially LEAD to followers, but not followers.. They may keep following you – but only visit when there’s a giveaway. Which is fine but not my intention, ya know? This is one reason I stopped hosting hops.

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater. I disqualify at least 1/4 of entries, depending on the amount of entries, because of cheaters. It’s tiring. And irritating. It’s a BOOK (most of the time) and I can’t even begin comprehend reasons why someone would do this. It’s also disheartening, and makes me wonder what the point is. I have a banned list – for those cheaters that I weed through. I think you are able to disqualify them now on rafflecopter, but I’m not sure.

Money could potentially be an issue. Granted – it’s different if you have a sponsored giveaway, but for awhile there when I hosted Giveaway Hops and participating in others – I was dishing out (at least) $50 a month on them. I could have saved 2 months worth of giveaways and had the money to do a larger, awesome giveaway for a milestone. But I couldn’t.

I have only asked a handful of times for books for a giveaway. And many were for the Stand Up To Cancer fund raiser I helped with. I just can’t do it. I would say 96% of my giveaways are paid for and sponsored by ME.

What options do I use and OMG there are SO MANY. I debate this every giveaway that I host. Do I use twitter, facebook or another outlet? Do I have them follow my blog? Tweet a giveaway? Should I use more than one social media outlet? Maybe I am stressing this too much – but I always feel like I have too many entries available. Especially given my personal preference when entering a giveaway.

People get angry. I have had so many pissed off people because a) the host didn’t send over their prize; not at all or by the allotted time given. b) they didn’t read that it was an eBook giveaway so… they are irritated it’s not a physical book. c) they were disqualified because they weren’t the required age, or geographical location. d) their books were damaged (I get it, but not my problem, if they came from a store, not me). e) They complain about the time. I NEVER give a date for when I will mail things out because it has come back to haunt me. I work full time, have two kids and a house full of animals and things breaking constantly. I will get to the post office when I can BREATHE.

Judgement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with hosting giveaways. Whether it be once a month, or once a week. But the judgement is there, and it bothers me even though I KNOW it shouldn’t. I don’t buy my followers. 99% of bloggers don’t BUY their followers.

As an entrant

You are labeled a spammer with all your giveaway tweets. This is all personal preference, I don’t care, but others do. Especially if you enter a lot of them. This kind of goes along the lines of with hosting – because you want to SPREAD THE WORD, so you use a tweet. But if others un-follow or block you, what’s the point, ya know? And it’s not like you use a separate account, because that will automatically disqualify you.

Following a blog as a required entry. I was guilty of this back-in-the-day. Personally, I will skip the giveaway if that is the required option. If it’s optional, and after browsing around I like your blog, I’ll follow. If you handle giveaways that way, that’s fine. To each his own – but I will skip it.

OMG TOO MANY ways to enter. Pretty much the same thing up there – when there are 15+ ways to enter, each earning me 1 entry? Yeah, not gonna enter them all. Sorry. I know you mean well, but I just can’t jump on board that train.

In conclusion

I think from now on – I will do more reader/follower appreciation giveaways. For the loyal readers, who come here everyday and comment often. Will I participate in hops? Eh, here and there. I love the Cover Madness Hop hosted by Giselle @ Xpresso Reads, so there’s that. I also love Jen @ YA Romantics Freebie Friday giveaway because it’s simply no strings – so I may ask her to do that every once in awhile.

And of course, when a book comes along that is so amazingly wonderful and must be read by everyone? Yep – giveaway.

Side note

I am in no way saying I dislike giveaways, hosting or otherwise. On the contrary, I love it. I love hosting giveaways because I love to spread the word. To give others an opportunity read a book that maybe they can’t afford, or maybe not available at their library. To spread the love for all the books I LOVE, because I am a book pusher. I enter because um, they are books

I’ve just simply run into bumps along the road and have changed how they are handled here at Lilybloombooks (and After Hours). Also, I am not implying anyone should change how they run theirs. This is all personal preference.


Tell Me Your Thoughts

What are you thoughts on hosting giveaways? What about entering them?

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26 thoughts on “Random Rants and Rambling #25 | Giveaways

  1. Lekeisha

    I am new to blogging, a year on 3/23. I did giveaways hoping to gain followers. I have a little over 300 via Bloglovin’. I don’t get much traffic unless it’s a giveaway hop I’m participating in. I have maybe 2-3 followers who comment on my reviews. So, yeah it makes me want to stop but then I just shrug it off. I enter a lot of giveaways and comment on reviews whenever I can. Most don’t return the comment luv, but my stats show me that my post has been viewed. Again, I just let it go because I love to read and I just thought blogging would be fun since I do it on Goodreads. I’m thinking of not doing anymore hops this year since that’s the only time I get comments. I get it, everyone loves winning books because I love to as well. I get what you’re saying though. I need to clear some books away from my shelf and I’m not sure if I want to do a giveaway or just take them to my library. They are newer releases, maybe 6 months old and I know I have a few followers who will want them. Does that make me mean for not wanting to give them to them? It’s just that, if you aren’t reading my non giveaway posts, why are you here? You know.
    Lekeisha recently posted…Stacking The Shelves #38 End of DaysMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I think it depends on where you’re commenting. Not ALL bloggers comment back – even if you are a regular commented (I actually have a post about this too)

      With commenting/traffic – that’s all opinion. If you stats show that people are reading your blog, that’s enough. (This is my opinion, anyway) Yes, commenting shows that there are people want to ENGAGE and have something comment on – but doesn’t mean that your posts are not getting viewed.

      No that doesn’t make you mean. You could do follow appreciation giveaways or just contact them directly.

  2. Juls

    Giveaways have overtaken the book/blogging world. Is it a good thing??? Not sure!
    How many people actually stop and read the blog posts and how many are there just for a giveaway?? I think it has become a way for others to ‘profit’ – instead of the ‘real’ intent …to get readers attention focused on a book they may not have heard of.

    1. tonyalee

      I think it can spur interest for a particular book – but I don’t think they are ALWAYS a good thing. It just seems that there is always some reason for a giveaway, ya know?

      I can usually tell when people are legit wanting to read the book vs just getting the book. I have heard of people winning books on Goodreads and selling them on eBay. 100% profit.

  3. Christy

    I don’t do hops anymore either, except maybe one that’s hosted by a blogger friend. I just … don’t want to. I don’t follow and enter them either. When I do have a giveaway though, I offer the free entry and then as many ways to enter as possible. That way, if one person only wants to enter by following on twitter they have that option, or someone only wants to tweet it, or follow via bloglovin’. They don’t need to do all, just the one or two they prefer.
    Christy recently posted…Written in Red by Anne BishopMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      Yeah, I don’t do many and hosting them takes work! Plus – money. haha

      I offer the free entry as the requirement, and many other options depending on if the giveaway is sponsored or if it’s my own. But I have come across many that use following via GFC, Bloglovin or email as the requirement to use other entries.

  4. Chelsea @ Starbucks & Books Obsession

    Great post! I’m definitely with you on these. I don’t enter a lot of giveaways for the sole reason that they have a billion different ways to enter. Nobody has time for that. I also agree that some people are a little crazy about giveaways. I’m busy, I pay for this with my own money; I will get it to you as soon as I can.

    1. tonyalee

      Yeah, I haven’t had too many mad people over the past year – but for awhile there it was almost every giveaway!

  5. Jackie

    I agree with you that if giveaways have fifteen entries and they’re all one point each i don’t enter. I also don’t like giveaways that have required entries so for my first giveaway I didn’t do that. i’m still learning the ropes about giveaways and have only done one that is actually me sending the book.
    Jackie recently posted…Review: How I Fall by Anne ElliotMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I think a lot of hosts that DO do those giveaways with many entries, are for tours and what not. Still.

      If you have any questions, I can help! 😀

  6. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I confess, I do like them. To a point. I do one every month, because I just kind of feel like giving something back to my readers (though I never do mandatory entries, because like you, they irk me). I now co-host one because the one I had done since I started blogging had lost its host. It isn’t much work for me, and I truly enjoy giving away a book. I guess, I know how super excited I get when I win, and I LOVE being able to do that for someone else.

    That said, there are definitely downsides! I am so scared that I will run into some of the things you mentioned (people complaining about time, or condition, or rules, or whatever), because I have been incredibly lucky so far and I know my luck is due to run out.

    As for entering, I enter pretty much only when it is a book I am dying to read. Because like you said, I hate to be labeled a spammer, so I definitely only tweet when I really want the book (or am helping out a friend promote theirs or something).

    This is a great post, it really made me think about all the positives AND negatives associated with giveaways. (Oh- and I totally feel you on the time issue! I usually send books from Amazon or TBD so it’s out of my hands, but if the post office is involved… well, two toddlers in a post office isn’t happening soon!)
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren SumaMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      There is no problem liking them, shoot I love them too! My issue is, I love giving to my readers, not giveaway followers. Does that make sense??

      Depending on the book, the entries and such, will I enter. I use to enter them all the time but now, like you, I only enter the ones I really want!

      And thank you! I am glad I was able to spark some thought! 😛

  7. Trish @ Between My Lines

    I agree that giveaways don’t really lead to followers, it just doesn’t work that way. And it’s expensive but every now and again I love to hold a giveaway as I like to pass on some book love that way. I always offer a free entry and I do offer other entry options (like about 6) but all are optional. I hate those giveaways where you have to do something compulsory such as like a Facebook page to unlock other entries. I just don’t bother!
    I also only enter giveaways nowadays for books I really REALLY want to read as I have a bit of guilt about all the books I’ve won and haven’t yet got around to reading.
    Great topic and I love your honesty in it 🙂
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Spend St Patrick’s Day with an Irish Author!My Profile

    1. tonyalee

      I do too – but for awhile there, it was getting SO expensive. I am trying to think of original ways to host giveaways for books that I have, but somewhere, SOMEONE has done it, ya know?

  8. Karen Blue

    I love giveaways! Winning is fun and nothing makes me feel better then telling someone “You are a WINNER!”
    I enter a lot for giveaways, mostly from blogs that I already follow. I follow about 30 blogs, so they keep me busy. I hate the ones with a million ways to enter. I hate giveaway collaborations for like kindles and massive book hauls. I never enter those anymore, waste of my time. I have had an active giveaway on my blog since I started because I love giving things away. I don’t think this means more followers, but if a giveaway entrant discovers/likes my blog then that is good for me. I hate when I do a giveaway and get low entries, but I am going to keep giving stuff away because it feels good.
    Karen Blue recently posted…Better Than Before by Gretchen RubinMy Profile

    1. tonyalee

      There is nothing wrong with entering a ton a giveaways. The fact that you enter them on the blogs you already follow (and don’t blindly follow because of a giveaway) speaks for your character.

      And I agree – it does work for you if the entries LEAD to followers. There have been a few blogs that I followed b/c of a giveaway and love their blog. But it doesn’t happen often.

  9. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I don’t enter nearly as many giveaways as I used to because I realized I have SO many books to read that I can’t even get to them all! So now I only enter for giveaways for a book I REALLY want. But I love hosting giveaways. I do find that they bring more traffic to my blog and I’ve definitely gained followers from them (some loyal, some not so loyal – but that’s the way it works sometimes, so I’m okay with that). Great topic!!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Top Ten Spring Releases on My TBRMy Profile

  10. Heather

    I won’t participate in giveaways that require me to do anything. That sounds bad written like that but if I don’t want to follow your blog based on content then I’m not following it just for a giveaway. I run giveaways sometimes but it is always just a free entry or a quick blog comment.
    Heather recently posted…Sunday Post and What Are You Reading?My Profile

  11. Ashley

    I completely agree with you. I stopped hosting giveaways for similar reasons.

    One of the big ones was I realized how many “fake” followers I was getting. This is the main reason why my email follower statistics are so low. Only any 30% of my subscribers actually read the emails I send, because SO MANY people subscribed with throwaway email accounts that they don’t check, just to enter my giveaway.
    Ashley recently posted…Where Are All These Amazing Books Coming From?My Profile

  12. Lola

    Great post! I love giveaways, but indeed there are some things to keep in mind. I often make rafflecopters for the tours I organize and it’s annoying how many entries are contest junkies. I want people to win who want to discover a new book or who are bloggers or readers at least. I would like to host more giveaways if I coudl, but I cna’t afford to at the moment and if I do I do want someone who already follows my blog and visits to win.

    When entering giveaways there are other issues like too much entries indeed. Sometimes giveaways make me realize I don’t follow a certain blogger on social media yet even though I like their blog and then I do follow them, but more often then not if I don’t follow them yet a giveaway will not change that.
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #118My Profile

  13. Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA

    I don’t do too many giveaways and most of them have been associated with blog tours, but I’ve noticed the same 5 people enter EVERY time, and I never hear from them other than than those giveaway entries. I guess it goes with the territory, but it’s kind of annoying. I enter giveaways from blogs I don’t follow too, but I don’t enter every single one of their giveaways and then totally disappear in between. I think those people are professional giveaway enter-ers and I know one of them wins quite a few of them.
    Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA recently posted…Weekly Rewind: March 15-21My Profile

  14. Wendy @ Book Scents

    You know what’s weird is that sometimes I respond to your posts in my head and think I’ve actually commented and I haven’t. Ha. Okay so some thoughts: I don’t think giveaways lend to followers, like you said. People can follow and just unfollow you later. As for people who enter them.. they generally don’t bother me unless that’s ALL THEY DO. As for entering, well I’m lazy. Unless it’s something I desperately want, I usually don’t bother. Unless it’s an easy thing like RT-ing and it’s something I’m interested in. Rafflecopters are so much work to click and enter, and if there’s a required thing that says I have to like your FB page or something? Sorry, nope. I don’t really use FB for that so i just don’t bother. As for giving something away, I haven’t done that recently. If there’s a book i love, i’m more liable to want to spread the word and give it away especially if there’s a deal of it! Or if it’s going to be something special like blogaversary or something. Reason? It’s hard for me to get to the PO and… once again, i’m lazy. haha.

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