Do I enter book giveaways?
Sometimes. But not often.
I have entered some online book giveaways, and I’ve even won a few. I recently won a paperback copy of the wonderful A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal, in a giveaway at International Christian Fiction Writers.
And I was introduced to the whole world of blogging and online book reviewing when I won a giveaway in late 2011. The prize was an ebook in my choice of formats, and it ended up being delivered to me as a download link from NetGalley (the link expired after 60 days and the book was unreadable, but that’s another story). Anyway, I created a NetGalley account to download my free book, and found loads more books by many of my favourite authors, all free if I promised to review them. So I did.
Despite this, I don’t enter a lot of book giveaways.
There are three reasons why not.
I live in New Zealand, and most giveaways are for print books, and are restricted to US mailing addresses. I’ve seen authors justify this online by the cost of posting books to far-away countries like New Zealand. I can understand that, but do they realise how expensive books are in New Zealand? The paperback with a recommended retail price of USD 14.99 (which sometimes sells on Amazon for less than USD 10) generally costs $25 to $30 here. Postage might cost, but the result is we appreciate the book so much more.
I do not have room for any more paperback books in my house. I’m already faced with some tough decisions on that front! And my Kindle is full to overflowing with unread ebooks. I keep telling myself I’m not going to buy more until I’ve read what I have. (Yes, I’m lying to myself). But I’m reluctant to enter a giveaway when I have no idea if or when I’ll get a chance to read the book if I win.
Most of the giveaways that are open internationally are ebook giveaways, which means the purchase price isn’t expensive. If the book is on sale for 99 cents and it interests me, I’ll probably buy it rather than enter the giveaway. That’s not such an easier decision for books priced at $2.99 or $3.99 or $4.99, but I still end up buying some rather than entering the giveaway. Because if I like the book enough to enter the giveaway, I like it enough to at least consider buying it.