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WELCOME BACK to the Hammock, Brinda!

Yesterday, I went whistling about my day, checking for comments on the blog and then it hit me.

No.

Not the beer truck, although I did step in front of one to avoid the woman carrying two large sacks of BOGO Starbucks Christmas Blend Coffee and a Vente Something.

An ACK hit me!

A why-did-I-not-think-of-this-before ACK!

Brinda Berry has become so familiar on my site, I didn’t exercise my fingers, tax my brain, or show common courtesy by introducing her properly.

PLEASE forgive me, techie Guru and good buddy, Brinda!

I left your lovely picture hanging out beside the title of the article: Giving the Cow Away. I now gratefully return the Hammock to Brinda Berry, who evidently has a brain.

Giving the Cow Away

by Brinda Berry

While establishing a web presence, we look at our peers to see what they are doing and what works. It’s not easy to figure out what we can do to draw more people to our websites and make our current readers stick with us. Good content? Sure. That’s a given. There are other things we can do that involve some financial resources. I’m talking about giveaways.

Before we get to the beef of this topic, I’d like to see what your experience has been. Please answer the poll and we’ll see.

I recently signed up to use a tool called Rafflecopter  and it’s not necessary to have one of these gadgets, but it sure made tracking a breeze. I was able to export a spreadsheet with information. I’d like to share some results with you that will illustrate activity linked to a giveaway. I ran one contest for 3 days in honor of Ciara Knight’s book release. The prize was a digital copy of her novella and a handbag mirror. Estimated expense was approx. $20 total. I had 7 blog readers who entered the contest. Participants could enter with a comment on the blog, by liking Ciara on Facebook or following her on Twitter. There were 17 “actions” performed to gain entries.  I thought that was pretty good. Next, I tried a contest during the month of November to promote social presence for Gloria and myself. (see it on my site) The numbers below are NEW FOLLOWERS who entered the contest. Here are the results of a month-long promotion with a $25 Amazon gift certificate prize:

6  Follow Gloria’s Blog
7  Follow @GloriaWrites on Twitter
7 “Like” Gloriarichardwrites on Facebook

14 Follow Brinda’s Blog
20 “Like” Brindaberryauthor on Facebook
26 Follow @Brinda_Berry on Twitter

Keep in mind that the Rafflecopter was placed on my website as WordPress does not allow certain javascript apps to be placed on hosted sites. I assume that would be why I did better than Gloria (in the numbers game) because I promoted from my site as well as hers.

I liked using the Rafflecopter and it is a free service at this time. I was able to export a spreadsheet of activity and you saw the data. If you entered our contest by using it and didn’t like it, please tell me about it! Last summer, I did a blog tour for the release of my book and used random.org for selecting winners of my book and for the grand prize. It’s also free and works well, but if you want a reader to do something in particular to enter (like following you on Twitter), then you must have them note it in the comments. That requires you to log things.

I have a question for you now. I know I’m supposed to be imparting wisdom, but  I’d like your opinion. Do you feel that book giveaways discourage you from buying a book since you MIGHT win it?  Someone once told me they wouldn’t buy milk if you were giving away the cow. Or something like that. :/

I’d also like to know the kinds of prizes you enjoy. I was AMAZED by the response I got when I gave out romance trading cards of The Waiting Booth. The cost of the stamp and envelope were more than the card itself. I had emails from people that made me really smile and think that prize was worth giving out. It surpassed my expectations.  So, here’s another poll:

I think the key is to have fun with this, so don’t let giveaways break the marketing budget. Authors can add some excitement to their blogging with a few prizes here and there.  The Pimp My Web Presence Giveaway during November was certainly worth the effort. I look forward to coming up with contests and giveaways that are fun and productive.

Find Brinda:    FACEBOOK ,   TWITTER ,   WEBSITE/BLOG

The Waiting Booth LINKS: AmazonBarnes and NobleKobo BooksEtopia PressAll Romance eBooksBorders online

The Waiting Booth TRAILER: http://youtu.be/xIBrZWsJ3Ls

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