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.
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.
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?
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.