Saturday, May 02, 2009

What Would You Enter For?

I'm resting up from a 5K race this morning to support Young Life campers. I'd never heard of the organization, but I saw the poster for the May Day race at the newest shopping mall in our area. I figured it was worth a shot to enter, eventhough I knew I wouldn't win. Quick, I'm not. Persistent, I am. In fact the Road ID I picked up to wear while I train out on the road says Winners Never Give Up. That motto is also a good one to have in writing, which is very similar to a race. You want to start out quick, peak the others interest, settle into a good rhythm with some ups and downs, then finish strong with a kick. I didn't have much kick left this morning in my first race back after a hip injury, but I did snag my fastest time yet. So I still have hope in doing the same with my next WIP.

But my real topic today isn't running, racing, or's contests. We've seen a myriad of contests over the years with an equally vast amount of swag to win. I know I've put up movies, candles, soap and even socks with some bigger prizes on peak months when I had an article or something cool on my website. One of the most interesting things I've won was a golden Rubik's Cube, and one of the coolest was a mini critique from an agent. I believe one of the most popular giveaways is books. Do you agree?

Or are you tired of books? Would you prefer something like sci fi movies, a great tie-in like a t-shirt? I know authors usually have to pay out of pocket for anything they offer up in a contest, so it would have to be something that wouldn't make them broke. That's one of the reasons I usually had a star theme to my gift bags. Because the symbol is popular, I could always find something new to keep things fresh. But I did wonder if the giveaways were worth my time. I know that I had several loyal visitors of my website, but wondered if there was a better way to branch out.

What do you think? Are contests worth the effort? Or should authors cut their contests for promo only to big moments and offer better prizes?

I always get a thrill when I get to tell a reader they've won...not to mention when I see an e-mail that says I'm a winner. (It's almost as awesome to get bags of swag at the races I've run for Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Arthritis, and Mebane on the Move.)

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Kytaira said...

I prefer books. The one mistake I think some people make is not giving enough time for the contest. If it's one day only, you only get the regulars. If it's a couple of days, you get word of mouth via blogs. And isn't that the point - to put your name in front of new readers?

Caffey said...

Great on the runs! I do the walks! I was so never a runner, but loved to swim!

I think that as a reader, I look to read books! And I've gone to find new to me authors as well as my favorites to play for their books. I think its because that's what I love doing. I know that others may play at other kinds of contests for things like like (video games, etc). So for me its reading. I won't play contests of things I won't use, like I hear about things related to new items out there, like hair dryers, etc but I don't play them and leave them for those who can use it!

I love to read blogs learning about the legends and research and other things related to the books written, so I come to those and read alot! I don't always post if I just have to say I love reading it because you probably hear that alot, LOL, But its what I like doing is reading!

Cameron Sharpe said...

I just happen to be passing by when I read your post. Nice post and keep up the good work!Nice One