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Books for contests

Got a question/comment about the business of writing or about the publishing industry? Here's your place to post it!
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Fri January 16th, 2009, 7:26 pm

[quote=""Libby""]So who is this Harriet? (I've obviously been missing something important :confused :) [/quote]

LOL, hopefully we don't get separated into a new thread :p :)

Harriet is Amazon's #1 reviewer in their new Classic Reviewer Ranking (so she's #1 but then she's not - that's another topic), and currently has 18K + reviews under her belt.

She also posts reviews at B&N and many many other sites and blogs - just google her and see for yourself. Watching the comments on her reviews has become quite a spectator sport in the Amazon world, albeit quite contentious at times. Not for the faint hearted.

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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Fri January 16th, 2009, 7:29 pm

Harriet Klausner who reviews at Amazon and a few other places. She seems to read and give an extraordinarily high amount of books very positive reviews.
My Blog - Reading Adventures

All things Historical Fiction - Historical Tapestry


There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

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Julianne Douglas
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Post by Julianne Douglas » Fri January 16th, 2009, 9:22 pm

Thanks, it's been so interesting reading everyone's thoughts about this issue. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the benefit book contests are to the blogger. The author of the book gets exposure to potential readers, while the blogsite itself gets hits from potential return visitors. I've noticed many more hits on my blog this past week as people learned about the contest and decided to check it out. It seems that some people got to my blog by visiting a website that consolidates contest giveaways. Although some of them probably came just that one time to register for the book, I hope that others liked the blog and will continue to visit. I'm sure other bloggers (Marg?) have noticed an increase in visits during the days they run contests. I don't want to sound mercenary, but I think giveaways can be a win-win for both authors and bloggers alike.

As for reviews, I try to limit mine to the hf books written by personal friends for whom I want to spread the word about their new books and to books pertaining roughly to the Renaissance. I figure most readers come to the blog because they have an interest in the 15-16th centuries; if I can help them find good novels about the period, all the better. Reviewing random novels would diffuse the focus of the blog too much.
Julianne Douglas

Writing the Renaissance

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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Fri January 16th, 2009, 9:28 pm

There's no doubt that a giveaway increases the number of visitors to a site. Where there is some doubt, is as to how many of those visitors stick around.

I think it is a win-win situation for blogger and author...to a point. There is always a risk of over exposure within the book blogger community, and let's face it, that's pretty much our audience.
My Blog - Reading Adventures

All things Historical Fiction - Historical Tapestry


There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Fri January 16th, 2009, 10:31 pm

Just wanted to add, I'll undoubtedly keep running giveaways now and again, but selectively. Everyone likes freebies, and it's true they draw people to the blog and create positive vibes about books I actively want to promote. That's a lot of why I do them (plus if they're my own copies, it helps me cull my shelves). Likewise, I'll do the occasional review based on books that publishers offer me, but only if it sounds like something I'd like to read anyway.

I also wanted to mention (OK, this may be obvious, but in case not!) that bloggers don't have to wait for publishers to come calling... all of us can request copies for review like any other member of the media. I've never approached a publisher about doing a giveaway (that seems trickier to me somehow because it involves multiple free copies), but there are some that have been willing to do this in the past in conjunction with a review, so I wouldn't hesitate to approach them in the future, about different books.
Last edited by Ariadne on Fri January 16th, 2009, 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Fri January 16th, 2009, 11:15 pm

I am happy to do giveaways of books that I either know I have loved, or expect that I will really like (usually because people who I respect the opinions of have enjoyed it).

I know that you can approach publishers, but I am kind of struggling in terms of balancing library books against review books against the books I read, so for the time being I haven't resorted to that, but there are some books that I may consider doing this for going forward.
My Blog - Reading Adventures

All things Historical Fiction - Historical Tapestry


There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

TerriPray
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Post by TerriPray » Sun January 18th, 2009, 4:23 pm

One thing authors and bloggers should be aware of is the giving away of e-books.

To help prevent the 'giving' away of the e-book without the permission of the author or publisher, it's been advised that authors make sure winners of their books 'sign' an understanding that the prize is for personal use only, and may not be copied, or given away to another.

What we (Under the Moon) do is this.

The prize must come directly from Under the Moon, not from the author, though the same idea can work from the author as well. We choose this way because we have, in theory, a bigger litigation budget than an author does.

This message is sent to the winner.

"In accordance with the Under the Moon policy in regards to e-book prizes-
I am required to make sure that those who win copies of Under the Moon e-books understand the following.

The reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

Copying, scanning, uploading, selling and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without permission from the publisher is illegal, punishable by law and will be prosecuted.

As such this, and any other prize from Under the Moon, is meant for personal use only.

All though with print books you can, obviously, lend or even give the copy away to a friend, relative, or any other person. With an e-book you cannot do this without making another copy of the book and so is prohibited by law.

If you understand and accept this as a condition of receiving a copy of _________ by __________as part of the competition run by _______. Please respond to this email with an acknowledgement. A copy of that email, with headers, is then kept for our records, showing that you acknowledged these rules."


Only if they acknowledge this message and agree to the stipulations, do we then send the prize out.

Part of the problem with piracy is education, and unfortunately there have been far too many occasions where prizes have then been pirated, either on a low level basis, or a peer to peer basis.

There are enough readers who simply don't realize that by sharing the e-book with a friend they are, indeed, pirating the book. You can't lend an electronic copy out unless you do so by lending out the device the book is on.

Sad, but it's not just publishers who are taking this step. Individual authors are also moving in that direction. Especially after a couple of authors discovered that prize winners, or reviewers, were then 'offering' the e-books out as prizes themselves. Basically winning a copy and then making more copies to give away - they honestly didn't realize this was illegal.

Terri
Currently reading through submissions ranging from alternative history to science fiction and fantasy.

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Libby
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Post by Libby » Sun January 18th, 2009, 9:03 pm

thanks for the info about Harriet. Sorry to threadnap. :o
By Loyalty Bound - the story of the mistress of Richard III.

http://www.elizabethashworth.com

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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Mon January 19th, 2009, 2:47 pm

Well, as many of you know (because I also posted it here) I started up a new giveaway for an old book on my blog on Saturday. I've been extremely disheartened by the process.

The point of the giveaway was to share a hard-to-find historical novel with a fellow HF fan who had read the review, or at least with someone who enjoys books and reading. The link's getting passed along to other HF and literary blogs, which is absolutely fine.

Problem is, someone saw fit to post not only the blog URL but my email address (which I don't have on my site as a link) to several generic online sweepstakes sites. As a result, I've received hundreds of spam entries since Saturday. As I've been discovering, there are sites that have premium services -- you pay to have them enter contests on your behalf by posting blog comments and/or sending emails. These programs are very sophisticated. It is pretty obvious many of these people haven't read my blog themselves and may have no idea what the prize is. And what's especially creepy is some of the automated comments are from men who are including their age, address, and phone number. Ick.

In the past I've offered an email option since many "regulars" have told me that Blogger doesn't let them post comments. Lesson learned - that won't happen again, if I ever run another giveaway. The campus email system is treating most of the automated entries as spam, and I can see how many messages are getting caught even though I can't read them.

I've done 8-10 giveaways since I started my blog and this is the first time this has happened. For now (unless any of the comments turn vulgar, which I'm almost expecting) I'm going to hold to the rules and keep the giveaway open through Friday, so people who are actually interested in the book can enter the drawing, but Friday can't come fast enough for me. What I'd suggest for other would-be contest runners - do as Julianne did and require people to answer a subject-related question when they post a comment. From research that I've done, that serves to discourage entries from the contest bots.

ADDED TO CLARIFY since there's been a question - the emailed entries being rejected as spam are ones with subject lines and no message body. People who deliberately entered via email and included a note or their name or address in the message don't need to worry about re-entering.
Last edited by Ariadne on Mon January 19th, 2009, 4:19 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Julianne Douglas
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Post by Julianne Douglas » Mon January 19th, 2009, 10:37 pm

Sarah,

I noticed the same thing happened on my contest, too. I didn't allow email entries, but when I got comments from unfamiliar names, I traced back through sitemeter to see where they were coming from. Some were lurkers who seemed to have actually read the blog, but many were from a generic sweepstake site. I was really annoyed an almost disqualified those names, but then I noticed some of them stuck around and read a few pages of the blog, so I did the drawing with all the names. It seems as though people surf the internet just for free giveaways and enter their names for anything that vaguely interests them. It almost makes me not want to do a contest in the future. But then again, the point of doing a contest is to get new readers, both for the author and for the blog. If we only award prizes to faithful regulars, then we're shooting ourselves in the foot in this regard. Arrgh!!!! What do others of you think about the situation?
Julianne Douglas

Writing the Renaissance

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