There are two reasons why this topic came to mind. Renee has as one of her New Years resolutions (along with some other excellent ones) a resolution to enter more author contests. I thought this was a great one and decided to do it too. I enter very few myself. I did back when I was looking for work. I set up an excel spreadsheet listing each one I entered, which month, what the prize was, etc etc. That lasted until I found me a job and then it died very quickly. Since then I think the number I’ve entered I can count on one hand.
Why I don’t enter author contests
Time: it seems I just don’t have the time to go searching for all the contests. This reason is half excuse though, with the amount of time I spend on romance type-sites on the Internet, it really would be a simple matter to start entering.
Prizes: To be honest, the only thing I would want to win is books. Either that or Amazon gift certificates to buy books. As nice as some of the other prizes I see offered are, I’m not really interested in winning it. I figure we only win so many things in life if we are lucky and I don’t want to loose my wins on something I don’t really want and miss out on something I do because my allotted wins are used up. Wacky reasoning there eh?
Not that keen on the author: Many of the authors who offer prizes I’m just not that keen on. I would much rather see someone win who is a real fan of that author and would appreciate the book(s) more than I would. I suppose I could give them away or trade them in at a UBS, but I don’t know – maybe it’s just me and my very quirky thoughts on this, but it just doesn’t seem right to win something I have no intention of keeping
Already have the book: I’m impatient. When I see a book I want at the bookstore, I need instant gratification. Often times I will have purchased a book only to see it being offered as a prize in an author’s contest. And a lot of authors have contests giving away copies of their backlist. Since in many cases I have the entire backlist of an author, I won’t enter. I notice Karen Robards does this a lot. I did enter a while ago to win a copy of One Summer since it’s my favourite book of hers – but alas I did not win. That’s the only time I’ve entered one of her contests.
*Note* there is an exception to this one that I shall explain shortly
Why I should enter author contests
It’s so exciting to win something! Having won a few contests, it is such a rush when you see that you have won something. Brings out the kid in all of us
Trying new authors: Although I am sporadic about entering contests, if an author I’ve never tried before but been curious about has a contest, what a great and inexpensive way to try that author. I should do it more often.
Downside to author contests
Not winning. When the date for the winners comes and goes and you have won, it’s a bit disheartening. I found this out way back when I was entering all kinds of contests and never won a thing.
Out of date contests: I went to one author's website yesterday. I noticed she was having a contest. When I went to check it out, the winner was announced - in June, new contest to follow – and then - nothing. Now this goes along with a blog I did a while ago on updating author websites. If, as an author you are going to have a separate page for contests, at least try and keep it going. Even if you only have 3 or 4 a year, it seems a bad idea to me to have a Winner in June and then further contest to follow and by the end of December there is still no contest. Don’t wait so long to get another one going. To me it showed said author hadn’t bothered to update their web site since the summer, a big no no in my book.
I don’t visit author websites to win contests. I visit because for one reason or another I’m curious about that author. Contests are just a bonus.
Oh, the second reason I thought of this topic????
I WON AGAIN! I WON AGAIN – HAPPY DANCE TIME!!!! I WON AGAIN
I entered the contest at Wendy Lindstrom’s website and found out last night I won the latest one.
Also explanation as to why I entered; although I have all of her books, they are getting a bit ragged (for me) from reading them. Also, since I do so love them, especially Lips That Touch Mine, the one I chose, an autographed copy would make it even more of a keeper than it already is.
So, this is a resolution I'm there for - with a few exceptions