Monday, January 02, 2006

Author Contests

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 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

'til later


Jay said...

I agree. A lot of times I'm either not interested in the prize - I only want a book or a GC - or its an author I don't read. But it is fun to win!!

romancelover said...

You're funny! I never participated in contests until I realized that it was getting harder and harder to buy all the books I wanted (guilt plays into this; I really need to save more for house). I entered a few (Carlyle, Shana Galen, Jeffries) and have won zilch so far! Whatever! I'm going to keep on trying. Sooner or later, I'm bound to win something.

- Daniela

sybil said...

You sez:
Why I should enter author contests

I sez:
So you can give them to your good friends at your favorite yahoo group.


Alyssa said...

Time is a big factor. I enter a lot of contests on sites, blogs, and e-groups, and I've won a fair amount, too. Definitely lost more than I've won, but I've won quite a bit.

I don't keep track of ones I enter, and I think I would find that depressing.

It does get to be a time-consuming thing, especially if you want to win on an e-group. Like you say, I try to enter contests where I want the prize.


ReneeW said...

LOL, way to go, Kristie! I'm jealous.

Sybil mentioned on the yahoo group and I entered a bunch. But I agree with Sybil, I think I'll go back and enter a bunch more even if I don't want the book, so I can give them away to whoever wants.

Rosario said...

Congratulations, Kristie!! Wow, we've been very lucky at bksl&f lately!

I usually only enter the writerspace ones. Once a month, I just go through the list posted at the website and look for the ones I'm interested. I, too, am interested only in books or gift certificates, because for all the other goodies, it would be just too time-consuming to try to get through Customs. And like you, Kristie, I only enter contests for books I'd be interested in reading. It seems unfair to the author do do otherwise.

ag said...

Congratulations! kristie!

I love GCs and quizzes because I'm too impatient to wiat for the prize. I'd usually go out and buy a book that I really want to read. Same goes for videos.

Enjoy your lucky win.

sybil said...

hee I agree with ya Rosario that it would be unfair to the author... well to a point. If I knew someone wanted the book and that I could give it to them, I would enter.

I think, and correct me if I am wrong, that still meets the point of having a contest. Getting the book into the hands of a fan or a reader that might lend itself to getting others to buy it.

And I like to be a winnah ;). I won two books and now I always try and make it a point to buy their books. Of course if I won as often as nicole I would have to stop that practice.

CindyS said...

I have entered so many things that I don't remember entering and then I worry that my name has been announced somewhere and I haven't shown!

I did win a copy of HotSpell but being the goob I am I bought it the day before in a frenzy of excitement! Luckily for me, Meljean was happy that I bought it.

I think I should enter more contests also but like you, I want books or cold hard cash. Yep, that's it that's all.


Meagan Hatfield said...

Okay, it's not a book...I can't give one away 'cause it's not out yet. :-) But if you like Legolas the elf, from Lord of the Rings, you should swing by my site and enter my contest! I'm giving away three different prize packs, chock full of official New Line Cinema goodies. Details at my blog:
It ends at midnight, Friday Jan. 13th.
Since I'm a newbie author, I figure you have a pretty good chance at winning without messing up your lifetime quota! However, if you still only go for books, I'll have to give you head's up when I giveaway one of my ARC's!
Happy New Year!