Thursday, April 28, 2016

Giveaway Prize Preferences

Upcoming Giveaway Prizes on My Blog
Keli Gwyn here with a question about giveaway prizes.

I saw a post on Facebook recently asking about author giveaways. The person posing the question wanted to know what readers thought about authors who offer prizes such as Kindles, Amazon gift cards and other items instead of books.

Since I've started giving away a newly released Love Inspired Historical on my personal blog each week, the question made me wonder if books are what readers are most interested in winning.

If you're an author, do you offer books for giveaways, or do you add non-book items as special prizes for online launch parties and other big events? What non-book prize that you've offered has generated the most interest?

If you're a reader, does a non-book prize interest you, or are you drawn to giveaways that offer nothing but books? What are some non-book prizes that made you eager to enter a drawing?

28 comments:

Jean C. Gordon said...

I usually give away books, but for certain promotions, I've added a small Amazon gift card along with a book.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jean, an Amazon gift card is sure to make readers happy. They can choose whatever titles they want. Has your reaction to the gift card giveaways been favorable? Do you see an increase in interest when you offer one?

jcp said...

I prefer books or a gift card for books rather than other items such as candy, etc.

Keli Gwyn said...

JCP, thanks for letting me know your preferences. It helps to know what readers think.

Jasmine A. said...

I'm just a reader. I prefer to enter giveaways that have either print books or Amazon cards as prizes. Gift cards in general are great but I much prefer Amazon because I can use them easily at home. For instance, the nearest Starbucks is 100 miles away from me, so using a GC from there would be pretty hard. I enjoy gift baskets but pretty much only enter those that also have books in them. Kindles are a great prize, and I enter those giveaways a lot, but honestly you'd have to have a good size promotional budget for that. As a blogger for the last 3 and half years I've done a few giveaways and I've noticed that print books and even little gift things (with books) have always done pretty well. One giveaway I did, thanks to a VERY generous author, included having a character named after the winner in an upcoming book. THAT giveaway did AMAZINGLY well. I'd also like to say that when authors do giveaways, weekly or monthly or whatever, and I sign up for their newsletters etc. I usually continue to follow them even if I'm not the lucky winner. Just a few thoughts from a reader.
Blessings!
Jasmine

Keli Gwyn said...

Jasmine, let me begin by saying that you are not "just a reader." You are A READER!!! You are wonderful. You are treasured. You are the major reason writers write. Readers are so very special. There, now that we've established how valued you are, I will continue with my reply to your helpful comment.

Thanks so much for telling me what works for you and why. It helps to know what readers prefer. Otherwise I'm just guessing.

Do you review Christian fiction on your blog? I ask because I have a page on my blog where I list Christian fiction reviewers.

Heidi Robbins said...

I'm a reader and book review blogger. I love winning books in giveaways, but it seems like Amazon gift cards will bring you more entries. So I guess for authors it depends on what your priority is- generating followers for better statistics or event attendance or focusing solely on book promotion. For events like facebook parties a combination of prizes is a good idea. And I think it's fun when a prize package includes something related to the book.

Valri said...

I'm a reader too and I agree with Jasmine. I love giveaways with books or Amazon gift cards. I also live in a very small town and am not near any large stores or businesses unless I drive quite a ways! I will mention one frustrating thing though. I like being able to win a specific book...I say that because sometimes I have bought a book and then I enter a giveaway and I win the exact same book because the giveaway was a "selection" of books and was randomly given to the winners! I don't want to sound ungrateful but I buy the book because it's only out for a short time and the drawing for the book might be a couple weeks away! It would just be nice to get a book that I didn't have!

Laurie Wood said...

As a reader, I echo what Heidi and Valri said; I enjoy getting a specific book, not "one of my backlist" because if I'm entering a specific author giveaway I'll usually have or have read her backlist, and something with the book that's pertinent to that story as part of the giveaway is fun. Maybe it's something the character uses in the book - a kitchen gadget, or small cologne, embroidered bookmark, for example. The Amazon gift card is nice but from an author's perspective, it's like putting a $20 bill on fire - you don't know if the winner's buying someone else's book with it! If an author's doing a Facebook party I think different prizes like naming a character after them, or using their town name, or their kids' name, is fun and a couple of different giveaways are good. Like a brand of coffee mentioned in the book, etc. Nothing that's going to cost a fortune to ship either.

Katie Edgar said...

As a reader, I prefer paperback books over e-books, but any sort of book is my preference over any other prize. :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Heidi,

Thanks for sharing your insights. I offered a big prize package of items related to my debut novel a few years back, and I received very few entries. By contrast, when I offer a single book, there are many entries. I guess this goes to show that readers want more books to read, which makes sense.

Do you review Christian fiction on your blog? I ask because I have a page on my blog where I list Christian fiction reviewers.

Keli Gwyn said...

Valri, I appreciate you sharing your preferences and the reasons behind them. I'm learning a lot and absorbing it. Because of this input, I'll be able to do a better job with giveaways in the future.

I can understand why gift cards to businesses that aren't close to you wouldn't be a draw. I can also see why you wouldn't want to win a random book only to find out you already have it or it's not a book you'd care to read.

Keli Gwyn said...

Laurie, thanks for taking time to pass on some of your great ideas. It's nice to know that although books are the number one choice, sometimes an additional item can be fun. It also helps to know how important it is to readers to know exactly which book they would be winning.

I would love to hold a "Name a Character After You" contest, but I think that could be more of a challenge for a historical author. There are a lot of names today that were unheard of 150 years ago. What are your thoughts on this?

Keli Gwyn said...

Katie, I'm with you. I still prefer print books even though I'm starting to read more books on my Kindle. I think there's something special about holding a book in my hands, feeling the pages pass between my fingers and smelling the ink. Maybe someday Kindles will come with a button you press to release a New Book Smell scent. =)

Andrea Stephens said...

As a reader, I like real books or digital books. Did you know that you can give a kindle book to someone? You just need their email address. If you as an author were doing a giveaway that would ensure the person gets your book. I like amazon gift cards too.
My budget is beyond tight so I enter as many giveaways as I can. Reading is my escape. I read almost everything I can get my hands on, books, magazines, and junk mail if I'm desperate. Thankfully with my kindle I always have lots to read. I lost three bookcases full of books to a broken water pipe several years ago, I still miss those books. I'm trying to replace them in digital format.

Keli Gwyn said...

Andrea, I really appreciate the Kindle gift option. My daughter has been living in Europe the past three years, and I've used it to give her e-books to enjoy in English while she's been abroad.

I'm so sorry you suffered water damage and lost all those books. That had to be so hard.

There are so many book giveaways these days, which give readers many opportunities to win. I enjoy sending books to the winners of the giveaways I hold. As I said in my post, I give away a LIH each Monday. ;-)

Susan P said...

As a reader I do enjoy entering giveaways for books and ebooks. That is one of the reasons I stalk...er, follow my favorite authors. ;) Because I love their books and want to support them and share their posts/giveaways, etc. I do enjoy the ones that also say a $5 gift card to either Amazon or Starbucks - winner pick - but I know that is not a guarantee getting your book out there. I think it is fun to receive pens and post it note pads from authors, consumable things that have the author's name on them. But you know what has been most precious to me? When I receive a note (whether post-it stuck on the cover or actual note card of thanks) from the author with the book. I'm a dork, I keep all those in a box and have fun reading them. I guess I feel honored that they took a few seconds out of their crazy busy day to do that!
There should be an author appreciation day to acknowledge the time they spend to package the book, go to the post office and mail it. We appreciate that more than they can know - it's a crazy busy world out there and it takes from your precious writing time to send us voracious readers books!! I wish I could be an author assistant just for the love of sending out packages alone. LOL
So in summary, because I think I rambled here, I love books the most. I keep my eyes out for those first. :) (and I make sure to leave a review!) Have a good day!!

Keli Gwyn said...

Susan, thanks for taking time to share your preferences. I love that you mentioned handwritten notes. Nothing makes me happier than opening my PO box and finding a note inside. I received the nicest note from a reader just this week, and it filled me with delight. She took the time to tell me what she liked about my latest book. Talk about a wonderful gift. WOW!

I enjoy writing a message on a note card and tucking it inside the package when I mail out a book. I treasure my readers, and I look for ways to let them know it.

Readers who take the time to leave reviews are blessing writers big time. I'm grateful for each review left on my books.

Jackie Smith said...

I prefer books (or Kindle) or gift cards to order books.....rather than candy, Starbucks, etc.
Am an avid reader.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jackie, thanks for putting in another vote for books as the most-preferred giveaway prize. It's nice to know that books outrank even chocolate. :-)

LeAnne Bristow said...

My vote is for books!! :) I have a shelf of books that I've won from Seekerville and other places where the author signed the book. Those have a special place on my shelf.

Keli Gwyn said...

LeAnne, I love Seekerville. It's such a fun place to spend time, learn new things, win stuff and, best of all, hang out with wonderful people like you.

It's nice to hear that autographed copies of books make readers happy. I've always wondered if it makes that much difference. Sounds like it does. =)

Jennifer said...

As a reader I like the giveaways that give books and or an Amazon gift cards. Sometimes it's fun to get little trinkets that the author considers his/her favorite treat. Also, I like the ones that offer you a book from their backlist if you already have the book that's being offered. Another good thing is when the author lets you know how long it will take them to send it out to you. :) Jenny

Keli Gwyn said...

Jenny, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I like the idea of offering a backlist book in lieu of the latest release for those who rushed right out and got it. (We love readers like that, by the way. =)

I've been letting my winners know in my notification email when I will be sending the book. I follow it up with another message telling them the tracking number after I've shipped it. They really seem to appreciate that. It's gratifying to know that readers really want the books we offer and are on the lookout for them.

Library Lady said...

I enjoy being on the receiving end of both book and non-book giveaways.
I'm happy with books, chocolate, tea or coffee, and gift cards for a book addict like me.
Janet E.
von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

Keli Gwyn said...

Janet, aka Library Lady, I appreciate you letting me know what kind of prizes you appreciate. Chocolate, coffee or tea go well with books and reading, don't they?

Shirley Strait said...

I am a reader who frequently post reviews. I love to receive books, gift cards for Amazon,and Kindles. I also like giveaways that include books and small gift items that are related to the book involved.
I also like getting bookmarks and book plates along with the books.
Shirley

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for sharing your preferences, Shirley. It helps to know what readers like. Thanks, too, for posting reviews. They really help authors out.