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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Contests: What Type Do You Like to Offer...or Enter?

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to All!
One great promotional event is to offer a contest. The prize can be a book, gift card, other type of promotional item. Is there any author who hasn't done this?

I've done my share. And, our Romance Books '4' Us website offers a contest every month.

Why contests?

As authors, we HOPE to entice readers to see our book covers. Read the blurbs. Read the excerpts. BUY our books.

Same goes for our RB4U website. We have plenty of authors/industry reps/publishers who have pages. The idea of our monthly contest is to get those eager to enter a chance to view ALL our pages by looking for something on 20 of the pages. Our hope is that while searching for an icon/dancing Santa/whatever, viewers will take time and check each page.

Will everyone do this? No. But I sure wish that most do!

And, many of our RB4U website participants who have pages sponsor additional contests. You have to READ their pages to find out what they offer!

Some contests have you join a newsletter. Some have you answer questions after reading a blurb/excerpt. Some want comments on blogs.

As a potential contest entrant, what type of contests do you enjoy? Are there certain prizes that you'd rather see offered than others? Do you like the contests where ONE winner gets all the prizes...or would you rather see many winners getting only one prize?

We seem to get more entrants in our RB4U contests when we offer ONE winner all the prizes. Is this your choice?
Speaking of contests, don't miss our Dancing Santa contest at RB4U this month. 30 prizes...including a $75.00 gift card...will go to ONE lucky winner! It could be YOU! Visit our website for details:



Gemma Juliana said...

Hi Marianne, I'll be following this post to see what everyone says. I've never offered a contest, although I've participated in several run by others. I like searching for hidden words or icons on various pages, and I also like doing a quiz. There's more value in one person winning all the prizes, and of course everyone has an equal chance of being that lucky person. Interesting topic.

Adrienne deWolfe said...

Thanks for this forum, Marianne! You got me thinking. I never sponsored a contest until I started doing blog tours this year. My initial thought was "Run a big GC prize" and give away a smattering of books; so far, that approach attracted the most participants. Also tried a Scavenger Hunt -- most people dropped off after 3 days. Me, personally? If I see, like 1500 entries in a Rafflecopter widget, all fighting for one prize, I don't bother to enter. (But then, I'm lazy! LOL!)

Sandy said...

I really don't have time to go through a lot of contortions to enter a contest, so I like something simple like leaving a comment.

On my blog tour, I'm finding it might not be the best. Either that, or they don't like the prize, which is a digital copy of the book I'm promoting.

Tina Donahue said...

I try to make the contest as easy as possible. Just comment on my Hot Guy every month and the commenter is entered. Then I choose a winner at random. Easy for the participants. Easy for me. :)

Cara Marsi said...

I've never held a contest myself. I have given away free books to readers who comment on some blog sites where I do a guest post. I've won my share of books online, all from commenting. I enter contests that are easy. If I have to go through too many steps I won't enter. I like the idea of one winner taking all. I have entered Rafflecopter which is fairly easy, but I've not won anything yet that way.

Rose Anderson said...

I've often participated but never run one myself. It's certainly something to consider.

The December RB4U contest looks terrific. :)

Sabrina York said...

I love contests, and offer lots of giveaways whenever I can.

Of course, I have a monthly drawing for a tiara to my newsletter subscribers (, but I offer other chances for them to win. For example, right now I am running a favorite quote contest to encourage my loyal readers to share their favorite Sabrinaism. The prize is a tiara. All winners are random. I HATE picking a favorite!

I am also featuring a mega Romanticon Swag giveaway featuring a tiara, signed books by some of my author buddies and exclusive Romanticon Swag you can only get if you attend the con.

Occasionally I have giveaways of print books on Goodreads.

I also do lots of events with bloggers and hoppers. I am doing the Naughty and Nice blog hop with the prize of a Kindle Fire ( and a scavenger hunt with Night Owl Reviews where you can win an exclusive Tryst Island One Night Stand Basket (

Oh, and I do other private giveaways for my street team.

I like to keep my entries easy for readers, but some of the multi-author events get more complicated.

Giveaways are fun for me and I think the readers like them!

Sabrina York

Berengaria Brown said...

I seldom enter contests, but I particularly dislike the ones where one person wins everything. Apart from inspiring blatant greed, I don't think any one reader is going to read and enjoy a passel of different books all in different styles, genres, and heat levels.
When I hold a contest, I mostly let the winner choose a book from my backlist. That way, I hope they find something they will truly enjoy and appreciate.

jean hart stewart said...

Love to win and offer giveaways... Of course a Xmas one is always special

E.L. F. said...

I love contests, particularly if they are for a book that I want to read but I am frustrated when they require something like FB or Twitter since I don't utilize either of those. Unfortunately, since there are so many contests out there, I think the more effective contests are those where several authors have joined together to have a large first prize and multiple smaller prizes that can be won by several people. I have trouble with scavenger hunts because I don't always have time to wander around or I don't remember to return day after day. The contests that involve games are more likely to attract my attention for a longer period of time.

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