Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
Other than participating in BlogFest last year, the Books to Movies Giveaway Hop I participated in last week was the first giveaway hop I’ve done. I generally avoid these hops for two reasons. First, I don’t currently make any money from blogging so I enjoy it being a hobby I can mostly do for free. I occasionally buy a book I can’t get at the library or as an egalley. I certainly plan on doing giveaways at follower count mile markers because seriously – you guys are awesome. But I don’t want to be paying for giveaways all the time. In this case, the chance to do a signed giveaway was too exciting to pass up The second reason I don’t do many giveaways is a question I think many bloggers struggle with and which I’m pondering today. Do we really want followers who are only there for the giveaways?
The simple answer to that question is no. I don’t want followers who are only following for giveaways and will never even read my non-giveaway posts. It’s nice that they boost my stats, but I just don’t get the same joy from that as I do from the idea of people reading my posts or best of all, reading and taking the time to comment. The question this leads to is harder. How do you hold a giveaway without encouraging disinterested followers? Here are a few possible solutions with some pros and cons:
- Requiring people follow your blog – Personally I only do this when I’m doing a follower mile marker giveaway, because in those cases, I’m specifically holding the giveaway as a thank you to my followers. I feel like making following a requirement could encourage people to follow even though the don’t want to. However, I know many other bloggers believe that requiring a follow will weed out people who will take any freebie entries they can get.
- Arbitrarily pick a winner – Again, this is just me, but I like to pick a winner completely at random. I feel that doing otherwise after promising people a certain number of entries for doing certain things is unfair. The other point of view is that some people create twitter accounts strictly to enter giveaways and may not read their twitter feed, so their follow shouldn’t count. While I completely understand the temptation to delete these entries to ensure the book goes to someone appreciative, I think doing so unfairly penalizes people who don’t use twitter but who will truly treasure the book.
- Don’t advertise – If you don’t do a giveaway hop or ask people to retweet, only your followers will know about the giveaway, right? Probably true, but then you’re passing up the chance of gaining any active followers from the giveaway too. I think that’s too big of a loss.
The reason this whole post occurred to me is because a greater percentage of my new follows during the giveaway were from private e-mail addresses compared to my previous follows. It’s possible this is completely coincidental, but it did cross my mind that unlike twitter accounts, there’s not even any way to check if these accounts are used for anything but giveaways. As my list above shows, I’m not currently doing a whole lot to discourage this behavior. I do weight entries so that blog followers have the highest chance of winning (I really do think you guys are awesome!) and I don’t have giveaways all that often, but that’s it. I’m sure the winner in the past giveaway is truly excited about the book, I know there’s a chance I got some great new followers who only discovered my blog because of the giveaway, and so I’m happy. I would, however, be thrilled to get your input on a tricky topic.
Is there anything you do to discourage people following only for giveaways? Do you think it’s necessary?