June 2, 2012

Pajama Musings - Low entries, anyone?

This must be a rather odd topic, but nonetheless I feel it's worth discussing. If you've ever entered a giveaway with a gazillion entries you probably didn't really expect to win (yet, entering doesn't hurt either, does it). If your eyes fall onto a giveaway with only a handful of entries on the other hand this usually will make your hopes soar and you practically expect to find a winner's notification in your inbox (at least I am delusional enough to do).

Of course it is not only random but also reliant on the odds, which in one of those huge giveaways that offer you 572 possibly ways to enter, are hardly in your personal favor. At least they haven't been for me so far. Admittedly I like to enter those big giveaways as much as smallish ones and yes, the possibility to get one extra entry by liking a Facebook fan page, made me go a little over board with clicking and adding such pages. In April I added 724 pages, I know what you're thinking, and I agree, I must be crazy, but I just can't resist the irresistable pull when I see that something like a $100,- Amazon GC may be won (and don't even ask about those alluring $500,- Paypal giveaways).

Now, with so many obvious reasons that make you enter these big-shot giveaways, and consequently tons of people participating, what are the reasons for some giveaways to only get low entries? Either the prize is everything but interesting to people and/or the blogger didn't do much regarding making the giveaway known in the first place. Sometimes small blogs really don't do much in terms of advertising of giveaways to ensure that only followers will enter and not some greedy folks who do the follow-unfollow-shuffle. And sometimes the thing that's being given away ... sucks.

When I take a closer look at giveaways I'm hosting on my blog it's evident that the blog hops get the most attention with several hundred (!) entries (please keep in mind that I only allow one entry per person, so these numbers relate to the exact number of people entering).

Yet, after introducing a new giveaway feature this year, the 2 by 2 Giveaway, I started perfecting low entry giveaways, it seems. Blame it on giving away books that aren't exactly mainstream. The only case of garnering more than a handful of entries was in May when I decided to offer a choice of either The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) or Inside Out (Maria V. Snyder). Judging from the page views of these blog posts I know that a whole lot of people are looking at the 2 by 2 giveaways, but entering? Nope. On the bright side, it gives those who do enter a better chance of winning and those who've already won can't argue with that. Are these low entries a reason for me to reconsider the choice of books I offer? Not really. After all I want to share books that are different compared to the ones you can constantly win on other blogs these days.

But (and there is always a but) on the rare occasion I have an author visiting and giving a book away, low entries persist as well. This tells me two things - I have an off-the-beaten-path taste in books, and I must develop a higher tolerance against feeling embarrassed that so few of my blog readers actually want these books that I'm so excited about. Not as though any of the author's who've been a guest here ever raised an eyebrow, but it's kind of awkward.

Blog readers near and far, what are your thoughts on giveaways with high or low entries? And, fellow bloggers, I'd love to hear what's your take on low entries on giveaways you host! Ever had giveaways with, say, only two people entering? Let me know.

11 comments:

  1. OH, yes! The other day when I gave away A year in the Merde I had two entries. And both blogging friends. In that case I did not advertise the giveaway as such but it was an opinion post about Paris, so the giveaway vultures never bothered to show up, :).
    I don't care whether the books I am giving away are popular or only a niche thing (or too old or what not). The hop giveaways always have a lot of entries and I often wonder whether those people really want that book or whether they just enter out of principle. I'd rather have 2 entrants who really would read the book than 100 and they will bury the book in their 500 book TBR pile.
    As a possible entrant, I don't enter giveaways of books I am not very interested in and I certainly do not "like" anything for additional entries. I might tweet about the giveaway, but I won't add any pages to my reader or twitter or FB in order to get one entry more. I am just stubborn that way. I don't follow anyone to enter either. I move right on when I read "you must follow me".

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    1. Giveaway vultures, hahaha! Ain't it the truth! Personally, when GCs or a book of choice from TBD are concerned I will usually enter a giveaway, but when specific books are being given away it's got to be one with at least a big "maybe" in front of it as far as my wishlist is concerned.

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  2. I've set as a rule to only enter giveaways if I really want to read that book or if money is offered for books (since my wishlist is quite long). Also, giveaways with thousands of entries scare me away :)

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    1. You know when I really REALLY want to win a certain book I even enter those gazillion-entries giveaways, you never know and you might just be the lucky winner after all!

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  3. It's the books that aren't hand chosen by me that don't get high volumes on giveaways generally.So I'd like to think that means people give some weight to my opinion. If I have a book that's been provided by an author or it's part of a blog tour, not so much interest even if the traffic is high.

    I don't like facebook pages except for very specific reason as I don't want fb to be a clutter of blog updates. I have started to use rafflecopter as it easily allows me to give an extra entry to followers or those who spread the word without forcing anyone to follow if they don't want.

    I don't enter many giveaways myself...I have enough trouble with breeding books as it is ;)

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    1. So, your books are giving you a whole lot of trouble by breeding? You should have a "Saver Reading" conversation with them, don't you think? Just teasing!!

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  4. I'm like Rikki - I prefer it if the book goes to someone who is really interested in the book. On the other hand, I've entered giveaways not knowing much about a book, then won the book, and loved reading it - and that would be something I'd not have otherwise read.

    So, for me, entering giveaways is not just about getting a free book, but also about finding out about new books. Although since I have quite a TBR pile already, I am quite strict with myself these days, I don't just enter for entering's sake.

    I get low entries, especially on my Dutch blog. I do advertise, I'm not sure why the numbers are low. I don't mind. Often the book then goes to someone I've interacted with before, so that's nice.

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    1. I guess a lot of people are entering just for entering's sake, especially in the big hops. With the smaller giveaways though I see a lot of familiar names entering and I honestly prefer when the book will end up in a good home and not just end up in the clutches of Rikki's giveaway vultures. This is why I am not randomly picking winners for my pre-loved giveaways where I give away a whole box filled with books.

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  5. I'm the same, Birgit! Anything not mainstreamed will have low entries on my blog. Only big giveaways with multiple books will get many readers tempted. I'm not really bothered because in the end of the day only those who want the book will enter them :)
    I loved that "giveaway vultures" phrase, Rikki! Brilliant! :)))

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    1. Yep, those vultures got me laughing too! So very true!

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  6. I'm glad you posted this because my current (and first ever) giveaway only has two entries so far and it's just nice to know I'm not the only one that happens to! Thanks for the interesting discussion :)

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