Thursday, June 3, 2010

Contests: Love em or Hate em?

Tip of the Day: My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours comes out in less than three months!! Release date = August 31st. Help me spread the word and get the chance to win a cool prize pack! Contest details here.

I'm sure you've seen the book contests all over the Internet: comment here for a chance to win _____ (free book(s), gift cards, critiques etc.). (See the tip of the day above for my current contest.) Generally they are posted by authors on their blogs/facebook etc. Often book bloggers will hold contest on their sites as well. Usually to enter you're not asked to do too much- anywhere from comment to follow to repost something on your blog. You've probably noticed that we've done them here on A2A too.

So here are my questions:

As a reader, do you like these contests? Do you enter them? What would make you enter a contest? Before I sold my first book I loved entering contests for free stuff. But that's me. I'm not sure people pay too much attention to contests now. Am I wrong? I'm hoping so.

And now to authors/and others who host contests on their blogs, do you like holding contests? Do you think they're worthwhile? What do you think makes a successful contest?

Sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as having TOO many contests. When your book first comes out people e-mail a lot asking for books to giveaway on their blogs. As Lisa's mentioned on here before, we get a few books for free but we have to buy the books we're giving away. Which can get expensive. And is it such a good thing to be giving away fifty of your book for free anyway? Is there a point where readers will think SIGH, her book is in a contest AGAIN?

Can you tell I have contests on the brain? Feel free to weigh in on one or all of the questions above-- I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Kristina, Miss See Me on the Shelves


Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

I'm fond of offering book contests at the moment, especially because money is tight across the board.

About half of the time, it seems a teacher/librarian wins, and about half the time a young reader or writer.

It seems that the thank yous are ever more enthusiastic this past couple of years.

Also, it gives me another venue for promoting great books by other folks.

That said, I don't typically buy the books I give away. These initiatives are typically sponsored by the author or publisher who mail the books directly to the winner. I used to do all the mailing myself, but budget became an issue.

I hope this helps!

Christa said...

I playfully call myself a book contest junkie. : ) Depending on how busy I am, sometimes I even have to remind myself not to enter a contest just to enter a contest (silly, I know!) because I want someone who is really craving the book to get it instead of letting it fall into the bottom of the pit that has become my TBR pile.

However, if it is a book I want, I will enter a contest as often as one presents itself. Sometimes I even google for contests when I really want a book. And, to be honest, when I see an author offering several copies in different places (like the way Claire de Lune seems to be everywhere right now) it makes me add it to my wish list. The author is being *so* generous, if I don't win it, it's more likely to end up in my cart (at the store or online) because I'll remember it better & how sweet the author was.

Of course, that said, if I really don't want the book enough to buy it, I won't. And if I want the book, even if I've never seen a contest for it, I'll buy it anyway. I think it's mostly books I haven't heard much about or "middle of the road" books on my "want scale" where contests influence my later buying decisions.

I hope that was helpful (and not too rambly!) lol.

DeenaML said...

I enter contests if they are 1) SUPER EASY (like Cynthia's where all you have to do is email her), AND 2) are for a book I REALLY REALLY want to read.

I also enter contests sometimes that are just 1) SUPER EASY and if I don't really want the book, I know the teens at my lib will use them so if I win like I have with Cyn's, I just give the book away again to a teen reader who really appreciates it.

I think overall, teens, teachers, and librarians still really like them bc of tight $, so if there is a way to reach them with the contest, you may get a lot of notice.

Anonymous said...

I second what Deena said about having an easy contest and a book I really want. Even for a book I really really want, I won't enter if there's more than one step to enter. Contests that ask the entrants to do something really creative are fun to read about, but I honestly don't have the time to enter them myself.

And since fair's fair, whenever I've had a contest so far, I've made it super-easy to enter. Leave a comment and some way for me to contact you if you win. That's all.

Kay said...

I agree, I think it can be overwhelming to have so many contests all over the place. I have only entered one or two, and I don't have enough time to do some of them.

BTW, found you thru Paula Kay Mac when she joined my blog.

Great site, looking forward to following you!


Jessy said...

I love contests and I enter as many as I have time for. I don't think you can ever give away too many of your books because there is always someone out there who hasn't read it and would love a free copy.