On Twitter today a really great topic was raised and I had the opportunity to discuss it with a few fellow (and equally amazing) blogger buddies. It got me thinking, which of course quickly became a blog post. Sometimes it happens with out me even knowing it :D
The topic was:
Should you require entrants to follow your blog in order to be eligible for the prize
For most bloggers, this is a "to each their own" kind of thing and I would like to take this time to voice my stance on the topic. *pulls out soap box. dusts it off. climbs on*
I do require you to follow my blog in order to enter any give away I host, be it personally from me, given by an author that I am hosting on behalf of, or part of a "hop".
Other then one's name and personal information, the follow is the only thing I require. I will, from time to time offer you opportunity to gain extra entries by asking if you tweeted it or followed the author who is being mentioned, but I too find this annoying sometimes and so it's not very often this will happen.
I find this small gesture on the part of my readers fair in the grand scheme of things. Let me lay out exactly why:
I do not have a magic book portal in my house where, if I stand perpendicular to the sun on a Thursday after solstice, books will appear and stack up high, next to which also a pile of money will land. Nope-a-roonie. More than 80% of what I have given away has come out of my own pocket, or to be fair my husbands pocket because the stay-at-home-mom-book-blogger-writing-first-novel isn't a paying gig yet. I'm not, and neither is he, made of money. Nor are you I would bet. And the cost of the item itself is not all there is, there's packaging and shipping, and other costs to take into consideration.
Now lately, I have been utterly blessed (and I say this with the utmost sincerity) to have a few authors allow me the privilege to read and review their books, and in some cases have even offered me some swag and/or books for my awesome readers. Some of these authors have sought me out, some I have contacted in a professional manner and expressed my desire to read their novel. Usually, even if I am lucky enough to hear back from someone I sought out, there is still a lot of getting to know you type stuff to make sure that the blog and blogger is the right fit. This takes a lot of time, time I gladly spend, but with a family time is one of those things there is never enough of.
Me, My Shelf and I is not yet of the highest regarded stature that my more established sister (and brother) blogs are where publishers adore me, have framed photos of me on their desks and call me weekly to chit chat along with mailing me out books randomly that appear in that glorious contraption at the end of my drive way called the mail box. Each ARC I receive is done so after a lot of hard work on my end. Part of this hard work is net-working, and 99% of the time I am asked directly how many followers I have by the keeper of the book. It is how they gauge you, how they make sure you are a serious blogger.
While I started this blog because reading is my passion, I go to bat for my readers to bring them the newest, the best and most honest reviews possible along with some fun goodies along the way. In return I don't find it too much to ask that you support me in return by following.
I believe in my writing. I believe that you will get a great review, and giggle a little even if it is just at my poor punctuation. But I can't expect you to fall in love with the first post you read, I mean even I have off days and lame posts from time to time. I'm only human. So how can I get you to come back? Well, to be apart of your blog roll on Blogger by you clicking the golden FOLLOW button. (or for you to be following me on twitter, of course)
I will wage a years worth of books that if you stop in for a giveaway, skip over the content (you know you've done it!) and just fill out the form you will not likely be popping about the mall, sipping a half caf caramel latte with foam and suddenly have the epiphany that you need to check out my blog the second you get home because they way I worded "Mailing Address" on that giveaway form was life changing to you.
Basically in the end (bless your soul if you made it this far) I work hard for you, and I don't think it's too much to ask you to click a little button that will help bring you back in the future. And what does it cost you? Nothing. There are no e-mails, annoying solicitation phone calls, just my latest post popping up in your blog roll.
To each and everyone of my followers, THANK YOU for helping make my little piece of the web all the more wonderful. With out you to write for I have no reason to do this.
Weigh in below in the comments section - what do you think about the required follow? And let me know if your a blogger when you do :D
- Take a minute to take my poll -
it is anonymous so feel free to be honest!