Hey guys, this time my discussion topic is more related to the everyday stuff of blogging than to actual books.
But it's something that I think all of us bloggers are confronted with again and again:
Giveaway-cheaters: how do you handle them?
I just picked the winner for my Armchair BEA giveaway and was once more forced to delete faulty entries and disqualify people. Saying they follow when they don't, commented when they didn't, people simply writing 'done' into a field instead of copying the tweet-link or even simply putting a dot or a slash in. Seriously?! Do they think I'm stupid? That I don't check, even fleetingly? That if that entry was picked as the winner, I'd turn a blind eye? This is why I always check all the entries before I let random.org pick a winner. If entries like that stay in, they falsify the odds for everyone even if a valid entry is the winner.
But it's not just annoying, it also hurts me and makes me mad, to be honest. I'm not obligated to host giveaways. I pay for them with my own money. I do it because I like to. It's fun, it's a great way to bring awesome books to people (that's why I usually don't do 'book of your choice' giveaways but pre-select a dozen or so), it makes people happy which in turn makes me happy. And since I myself love to enter giveaways, it's a way for me to give back to the community. And yes, I admit it's not bad for the stats. But at the level where I'm at right now, it no longer makes my follower-count shoot up either. I'm familiar with most of the names showing up in the entries by now.
The cheaters won't make me stop hosting giveaways, but they do make me think. In case of the 'done' word in entries, do they maybe not understand the instructions? Is it mean of me to disqualify them? Should I just delete those of their entries that are faulty and leave the rest in? Then again, I don't think the rules are that hard to understand.
Plus, all the entry-checking takes HOURS, especially the GFC-verification. Do you guys have a trick how to do it more quickly? How do you handle this issue? Do you check at all? Do you disqualify? Do you have a 'black list' of notorious cheaters? Do you ever confront them with it if they do it more than once? Do you have a way to prevent cheating in rafflecopter? Do you use a different giveaway/entry form?
What's your experience? I'd really like to discuss this with other bloggers, so it'd be great if you could share the link to this post.
And if you're simply a blog-reader and don't have your own blog... have you ever considered this issue? Is what I just said surprising to you or more like 'duh, obvious'? Do the 'hoops' in giveaways annoy you, or do you thik the blogger has a right to ask something of you if they're offering up a free book? I'd like to hear opinions from all sides, so please feel free to comment! State your opinions people, but please do it respectfully.