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Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Blog Discussion

I have been having a problem with giveaway/contests and decided to get a discussion going about them. 

Recently a blogger who had entered one of my contests, contacted me and asked about a prize that was suppose to be mailed from the publishing company. She still hadn't received it, and frankly, if she wouldn't have emailed me, I never would have known.  Thank goodness, I save all of my info and contacts for giveaways that I post. We were finally able to get it taken care of, but it left me wondering about contests I have entered as well.

I enter contests all the time, whether it be twitter contests or blog contests. I have noticed recently that I too have not been receiving my prizes either.  Yet, dumb me, I never wrote down which blog and exactly which book it was.  I just know that I am missing some.  So I asked around a bit and was amazed at some of the ways people keep track of their entries.

Now if I am mailing the prize out myself, I try to get it out within one week. If I have a problem, I TRY to email the winner and let them know. I know things happen in life, but I just think it is common courtesy.  Just a week or so ago, we had a problem with our checking account and I even posted a sticky note to my winners on my sidebar for this.

Some people have a separate blog page that they list their entries on.  Others use a blog roll type system. Now, usually I can be pretty organized, but lately I have slacked.  I really need a system that works.  I am thinking maybe a spreadsheet, but darn it, I am computer dumb!! I am still learning Twitter, and at time I am cussing out Blogger! 

What system do you use? Do you have a spreadsheet? Do you ever contact the blog if you don't receive your prize or do you just let it go since it was free anyway? What is your opinions and techniques?


Blogger Mary (Bookfan) said...

Good post, Amy. I keep track with a list of giveaways I enter. If I win I file the email notification in a folder and then check it off after I receive the book. It works pretty well. I usually give the publisher six weeks before I contact the blogger to let them know a book hasn't arrived. Luckily, it hasn't happened much (maybe once or twice). I would want someone to contact me if the situation was reversed!

May 10, 2010 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

My system is pretty simple. If I win a contest, I write it down on a Word document that I have specifically for contests. I write down what I won, the link to the blog, and the date I won it. I have contacted blogs before to ask about prizes because it had been a couple of months since I won. I think I have done this twice and a simple email fixed both problems. I don't want to be ungrateful, but I was just curious what was taking so long.

May 10, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Nastassia said...

I don't do the spreadsheet thing either , I'm not that good computer wise. I'm usually following the blog's whose contests I enter , so I know when I win . I've contacted blogs if I haven't gotten prizes , although I probably should let it go . For blogmania I wrote down the blogs whose contest I entered.

May 10, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Scorpio M. said...

I keep a spreadsheet. If it's a book I'm dying to read, I will shoot a quick e-mail to the host to check. Most bloggers are very friendly & helpful and I have never had a bad experience. If it's a book that I was just curious about then most likely I would just let it go.

May 10, 2010 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger Kel said...

I actually keep a list on my notebook app on my iTouch. Simple, but it works.

May 10, 2010 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Zia said...

I just write down what I entered and I keep track of what I win. I've contacted sites on a couple of occasions but mostly as a courtesy to let them know I never received the book. The truth is if I never get the book, then it's okay. Stuff happens, mail gets lost, etc.

May 10, 2010 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Jenny N. said...

I'm not a fan of the spreadsheet system. To keep track of contests I have a little notebook and I write down the different contests that I entered (what it is, end date). Also have a google alert with my name in case I win something and I didnt know about it. So far there were two times where I won something and didnt receive the prize. I just contacted the blogger and they contacted the publisher and sorted it out.

May 10, 2010 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Amy J - Book Addict said...

See, my problem is when I win something and then the same blog offers it again to someone else even though I have responded? Maybe an unorganized blogger on that end, but I usually let it go. I tried making a spreadsheet and will try it out. I am so glad everyone is jumping in!

May 10, 2010 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Becky (Page Turners) said...

Im a bit lame, I have given entering contests really. Most contests are only for US and Canadian people anyway, which means I am already out of about 90% of contests, but I know that I would have the same problem as you. Unless its something I really really want to read, I generally stear clear of contests.

May 10, 2010 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

I save emails from those that I win books from..so far everyone understands..The most I had to wait was 3 months for books from a publisher. If its another person...they have been good about letting me know if there is a delay...save/flag emails

May 10, 2010 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Amy J - Book Addict said...

I feel so bad about not being able to offer my giveaways as international. I did make my 2 big giveaways so far this year as international though. I figure if it is going to be big, why not? My weekly giveaways I only do as USA only just because the shipping would kill me doing it 4 times a month. I am hoping to be able to change that though for everyone soon.

May 10, 2010 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Elie said...

interesting post. If I win something I save a copy of the email (send or received) to thank them and let them know when it arrives. I have only emailed someone about a missing prize once (although I have not gotten several). I knew she ordered it from the BD, and I wanted to be sure she knew it didn;t come. It turned out to be an error on BD part. Spreadsheets and seperate blogs seem to be a lot of work.

May 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger ladystorm said...

I try to keep the email that says I have won, but sometimes I forget to and sometimes I forget that I won something. Then sometimes I get something in the mail and I go...did I win that..LOL

When I host a giveaway I make sure that I try and keep the name and address of the winner for a while until I feel it is safe to assume they have received there prize. I also try to point out that if it comes from the publisher to allow 4-6 weeks because it just normally takes longer for them to send out prizes.

May 10, 2010 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Cleverly Inked said...

To keep track of contest you enter you can use google reader.

To keep track of what you win..Mostly people email you letting you know you have won. I just put those in a designated folder.

May 10, 2010 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Anna ♥ said...

I guess I'm the only one that doesn't use any system. O_O I've only had one instance where the publisher didn't send out the book. The blogger herself emailed me, when she found out that the publisher had not sent out some books, to find out if I received mine. If she hadn't emailed me, I would have never known. I'm always thrilled to win and super thankful to the bloggers for the chance to win, but I've never thought about keeping track of my contest entries before. A spreadsheet sounds wonderful though. If I ever learn how to use it, I'll probably use that. :D

May 10, 2010 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Julie P said...

I keep an Excel spreadsheet. I have a columns that list what I won, from who, their blog name, the date I received it, and if I have reviewed it. I only keep track of my winnings, not all of the contests and giveaways I enter--that would be way too difficult to keep track of. I haven't had any problem getting what I have won (yet). Good luck!

May 10, 2010 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I don't really have a system. When I enter contest. I usually bookmark the page and take note when the contest ends.

For contests I run, I always keep the winners emails with their mailing address in a separate folder. Which I keep until I know they've received their winnings. I usually have the winners let me know when they've received their winnings.

If a winner hasn't received their prize. I do contact the author or publisher to find out what the status is.

May 10, 2010 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger aLmYbNeNr said...

I'm glad this post came up. I won a giveaway from Earth911.com for Earth day and still haven't received my prize. I was notified I was a winner by email on April 23 and then emailed by the author of the book I won on May 2 (she said she would mail it out that week). I haven't gotten it, but maybe she didn't mail it until Friday or Saturday.
I also was one of the first 100 commenters on another blog and won a book on May 1. I filled out the form with my address so I can receive it but I haven't seen that one either but I think there's still time.

But how long of a wait should we wait before courteously contacting the blogger/author/publisher?

May 11, 2010 at 5:43 AM  
Blogger katsrus said...

I usually keep the emails but; sometimes I accidently delete them. I am going to start keeping a list like some of the others on here. I won a contest once from 2 differant authors~1 contacted me & sent me the prize & this author let the other one know I won & the other author never did contact me. I got rid of email too so I couldn't even remember who to ask. I know if they send things media mail it could take up to 4 weeks to get.
Sue B

May 11, 2010 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

I am one of those email keepers but if I don't get the book (only happened once)--I just let it go. I should probably contact the blog but I don't. Now if I am getting something from a publisher, I will email them to let them know it has not been received :)

May 11, 2010 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Excellent post. I keep all of the emails informing me of winning in a folder and delete them when the giveaway arrives. It does seem like things haven't been coming lately. Wonder why.

May 11, 2010 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger aLmYbNeNr said...

Oh, but you know what I just remembered? I'm waiting for some books from Borders.com and when I went to the tracking website, there was a note that due to the flooding in Tennessee, it could take longer to get certain mail. Maybe that's why...?

May 11, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger The Library Lurker said...

I keep the emails that they send me when I win in a separate folder and then delete them when I get it. If I win without them sending me an email I bookmark the page that announced it.

May 11, 2010 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

I don't have a system for winning. Although I enter a lot of contests I win so little that I remember and I just don't delete the email until I receive it. I've never won anything that's coming from a publisher. Only one time did I not receive something and a month had passed so I just emailed the blogger. She'd just been busy. I say definitely let them know because usually it's just a mistake. If you win but then you see that they reposted or gave to someone else I would let them know because they need to be aware that their system isn't working for them.

May 11, 2010 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Mitzi H. said...

I don't have a system for tracking winnings either. I have a folder in my email for (contests entered) and another for (contests won).

I used to email myself a blind carbon copy of each and every entry with a message to check back on (whatever) date to see who won, but now with google reader I no longer have to do that. I can just click on google reader and follow all the latest posts.

If I'm lucky enough to win a book, I still BCC myself a copy of the announcement with the (Title in the Subject Line) along with my reply and then file them in my "Contests Won" file.

If by chance I win the same book from 2 different places, my Contest Won File makes it easy for me to see and then I can let the blogger know that she can draw another name and let someone else get the thrill of winning a book. (that's only happened to me once in 2 years).

Not long ago, I won a (James Paterson) audio book but received the print version in the mail. I did not feel that I had the right to complain because I did receive the book and after all, the blogger did say they were not responsible for what was delivered by the publisher.

I know there are other times when I've never received a book I've won....but I don't complain because I just feel so lucky to have been drawn.

Maybe I should say something, but I know it's a big job to have a blog and the last thing I want to do is cause trouble....I'll forgo my prize if it means that the blogsters will keep blogging and keep giving me info about new stories by new authors to read. After all, that is the reason I follow book blogs.

May 11, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

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