Sunday, November 2, 2008

the recap of the discussion on giveaways:

I wrote a post on giveaways in the book blog world a couple of days back, I didn't know the stir that it would cause to bring up giveaways. It really seems many of you have been thinking about it as well. From all of your comments, I have summarized what you said below:

Giveaways are good, everyone seems to like them. It is the book/ blog promotion that is grating on readers nerves. Things such as: post about this giveaway and get more entires. Folks seem to be getting annoyed at going through their Google reader finding nothing but "enter this giveaway" posts, which are starting to be the majority of the posts these days.

It also seems to be a common thread that you who do host giveaways, would rather actually give away the books to your readers than visitors that only come via someone else's blog, or through some website mentioning your giveaway.

Still it seems that most of us are all for the goods, you want to enter the giveaways that are something you would want, this is obvious since 65% of you voted that you enjoy giveaways, and 26% that you are getting annoyed with them. I think the irritation is due to the constant promotion and cross promotion of new authors and new books. Many of you good 'ol time bloggers (meaning those of you that have been around for even most of the year) have noted a crazy increase in these author and publicist promoted giveaways. And I agree with you on your comments that the older books, the classics, even books that are several years old are not being talked about because we are all getting so many new books to read, and we can hardly keep up with those.

What changes can we make to have this change now? Well, I know every blogger is their own boss, no one owns you and I am not trying to tell anyone how to run their blog. BUT if you are starting to feel a little bogged down yourself with giveaways, consider what you can do to change it.

These are the PERSONAL changes that I am going to make:
- I am no longer going to include the line: post about this giveaway on your blog for more entries, therefore I will give the book away amongst my readers for the most part.

- I will only host one giveaway at a time, and once I mention it I am not going to continuously promote it at the end of every blog post. I know this will make for fewer entries, but I don't like the advertising aspect that it brings to my blog when I do.

- I am going to cut my giveaway time down. I am not sure to what. I was thinking of giving my readers 24 hours to comment on the giveaway and then choose a winner. I actually really like the giveaways that I have seen hosted at times that go directly to the first commenter.

-In order to add some older books, and classics I am going commit to reading one book off my shelves every month. That is to start out. I am also going to tell authors and publishers from now on (thank you J. Kaye!!) that I will try their book, but I do not guarantee a reivew. I will put forth an honest attempt to read it, but if the book is not something that I desire to read after reading 50 pages into it, I will not finish or review it.

I am doing that because right now I feel I have the commitment to read every page, of the books people send me. I feel they have sent me the book, and it is almost like a payment for me reading it. I think I really need to take this into my hands and switch it up, buy informing them from the start that if it is not to my interest I will not guarantee that I will complete it. This will also do away with me reading books that I don't like, just to said that I read it. That really is the only aspect of book blogging that I do not enjoy. I don't want to feel that I am in a college literature class again.

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm on this topic. Let me know if you have any further suggestions to maximize the fun aspect of giveaways, and reduce the toll that it is taking on our little book bloggy world. Oh, and if you have any changes you have made or are going to make yourself that you want to sure and share them!!! Let's keep talking about this peeps! You are so amazing :)

What do you think? What changes are you making? Do you agree, disagree....?


Tricia said...

I actually agree with everything you said. Well put!

Yasmin said...

'And I agree with them and their feeling that the older books, the classics, even books that are several years old are not being talked about because we are all getting so many new books to read, and we can hardly keep up with those.'

Great recap thanks for sharing. As for me and my blog, I'm in a niche market and cater primarily to AfAm literature. As such, I don't really have the problem of getting so many new books that I can't keep up. Our problem is lack of diversity...and publishers/authors thinking that we are all monolithic and want to read the same type of books. So, whenever I see a new book that is creatively crafted and out of the box...I welcome it and enjoy spreading the word...and a contest is sometimes a good way to do it.
Unfortunately, not many of those books come our way, and I can't remember the last time I saw a contest for a book by or about the African American experience...oh wait...never was last month. Maybe contest are catching on for these books also.

Callista said...

Well put and thanks for the recap. I just won three contests yesterday so I I'm for sure not telling people not to hold them but I think not holding TOO many at the same time or at least not unless you hare posting at least every day as well is a good idea. Also the posting on your blog thing. My only concern with not doing that is I have a giveaway coming up on my other blog but if I just limit it to my normal readers, I'll have like 3 entries or less and that won't please the company giving the product away very much. So I might use that link to me for an extra entry thing there at least.

I do feel that there is too much emphasis on new books. I like the fact that my blog reviews books that other's haven't and I much prefer the ARCs that I get that not many other bloggers get.

Anonymous said...

This was a great topic to bring up. I actually kept going back to read everyone's comments. I love J. Kaye's spin on things, too!

Anonymous said...

Gosh! I really agree with what all you said :-)
And I think thats great. All the changes you are bringing in :0)
J Kaye is cool :-)

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Good summary and I'm in agreement. As for me, I've made the decision not to participate in the big promotions anymore. I will certainly continue to read the blogs that do, but there are so many that I feel confident that the author/publisher doesn't really need my help. ;)

I'll continue to scout for good books that fly under the radar and could use some word-of-mouth publicity. I also agree about reviewing some of the previously released books. I love finding a book that was released some time ago that I missed. Doesn't matter if it's a classic or not...if it's in a genre I like, chances are I'll check it out.

Good points to ponder and I'm glad you brought the subject up.

Next stir-up-a-hornet's-nest -subject suggestion: feeling obligated to give a better review than the book deserved just because you got it for free. I know, that's a hot button, isn't it? ;)

Trish said...

I admire the time you put into this whole conversation, Bethany! One thing that I try to keep in mine with the ARCs and author books is that I'M doing them a favor by reading it. You shouldn't have to feel obligated to read something you don't're right, it is reminiscent of college and that's not fun!! OK, college was fun but the obligation wasn't.

And I think you should do what is ultimately right for you--if we don't like the giveaway, we don't have to enter. But if you like giving them, you don't need to stop!!

In terms of the timeline...I think 1-2 days is plenty. I can't get on to blog every day, but I've noticed that with my giveaways the majority of entrants come the first 2 days. So, good idea!

"Confuzzled" Shannon said...

I pretty much agree. I try not to over promote my giveaways. Maybe a post near the end of my giveaway to remind people. I usually feel it myself when I am posting to much about something because I get tired of hearing about it as well. Although my husband disagrees he thinks I should post more about them. I also plan on reading what ever I giveaway and giving my review. If its sucks then I am not going to give it away because if I don't want them then probably no one else does.

Ramya said...

that was quite a discussion you stirred up! one thing i did do to reduce blogger traffic of giveaway posts is that i put it in a separate tab.. it doesn't come to your reader by default but you can always find giveaways and stuff there (When i update it!)..:)
for any book lover, saying no to free books is definitely tough but i like the idea of giving away books to just regular readers and not the ones that come by just to say "do enter me for the giveaway".. i have been very random and entered giveaways in many blogs that i don't go and follow up on and i don't know how that is useflu for the blogger..

Serena said...

great discussion and I say that whatever each blogger chooses to do is the right thing for him or her. I have felt bogged down, but that is my lack of being able to say no to good books...but I've got my own personal rules starting up in December.

Madeleine said...

I do agree with you, glad you brought it up. i have actually stopped visiting some blogs due to a avalanche of givaways which resembles a departement store close out sale.
I mostly visit blogs to view what others are reading, then buy the book or order it at myy library if I like what I see. I am not this interested in winning books except if it is one I really want to read.

Corinne said...

I'm glad you brought the subject up and I appreciate you writing this follow up. For me, I feel like it's time for me to start saying no to some books and giving publicists the "I'll try" line too :) As for giveaways, I do like them but I like your new rules :)