A gal from one of the book blogs I follow recently had a status update on Facebook about having given up hope on ever receiving a book she's won in a giveaway. Apparently the book should have been sent out directly from a publisher (which shall remain unmentioned) and when she inquired about it she was basically ignored.
This sounded kind of familiar to me.
Granted, a lot of things can happen between winning and actually (not) receiving a book. Postal services do chew up mail from time to time. Sometimes books get sent out weeks if not months after winning. And occasionaly your name kind of slips through or gets overlooked, especially in big giveaways and/or on blog tours, these things can happen.
I don't know how any of you approach this when you're the one waiting for a book you've won for quite a while now. And with that I don't mean two weeks or so, but a generous two months. The first time I was confronted with the question how to address the non-appearance of a book in my mailbox, I decided to send off a polite e-mail asking about it. I got a really nice reply almost immediately, and it turned out that my name had indeed fallen through the grid (blog tour, many winners, you get the idea) and two weeks later the book arrived.
Next case. I wrote an equally nice e-mail and received a reply in which the blogger, on whose blog (which, once again, shall remain unmentioned) I've won the book, told me in a rather curt way to contact the author directly. Well, alright, so I did that, of course once again very politely. No finger-pointing or complaining, mind you. And ... no answer. Or book, for that matter.
And then came book number three. As my luck would have it, it was the same blog again and to cut a long story short, with the very same result. Different author though.
Hmmm ... is it just me or is that a bit of a coincidence?
Anyway, I realize it wasn't the blogger who sent out the books and thus is not to blame if books simply aren't being sent out, but come on, work on your wording when replying to e-mails. Short is ok, but friendly wouldn't hurt either. Let a bit of the manners your Mom hopefully taught you shine through!
And the authors ignoring me? If you don't plan to send out a book, don't agree to giveaways. Just stop by for an interview. Period. When I'm interested in your work I will read the blog post no matter if there's the chance for winning a copy of your book or not. Ignorance is just as rude as bad manners when replying. Really.
In the meantime four months have passed, the season's changed, and obviously none of the books ever showed up. Just a day ago I saw the IMM post on another blog where someone mentioned she had won and received a book through the same blog. Maybe it was just bad luck I only got to know the winning part, but not the receiving part myself. Who knows? Either way, while I may still read interesting blog posts, I'm not entering giveaways on that particular blog anymore.
And in case you should think I'm mourning the loss of those books, you'd be wrong. I'm mourning the loss of manners.