Why Blog? Book Giveaways–Yea or Nay? Need Opinions!

The week of November 30th was the third anniversary of beginning this blog.

Before that week, I took about two years coming up with a different idea for a blog, more than the usual “I’m a writer. Let’s talk about books” theme.  I wanted something that would have a different tone and purpose.

This blog isn’t about me–I hope you’ve noticed. 🙂

Occasionally I will post something about one of my books, but primarily this blog is devoted to stories of strong women.

Each of the authors (and readers in May) who guest here not only tell us about their latest book, but they also share a revealing insight into their lives as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. I love hearing the stories from my guest authors.


For so many years, I would write my books alone in my office and they would go out into the world and I never got to interact with people who read them. This blog is one of the ways I can overcome that former separation.

Many blogs insist that guests give away a book. I permit giveaways but I don’t ask for them or insist on them. Lately I’ve had many authors offer them and I’ve noticed that this may have had a negative effect on the unselfish sharing of ideas and opinions that usually takes place here.

Perhaps it’s just my perception, but over time the leaving comments on here on posts that don’t offer a giveaway have dropped off precipitiously.

So I’m trying to decide. Should I continue letting authors give away a book when they guest or not?

I don’t want this blog to be JUST about entering drawings for books.

It’s about so much more.

I blog to give authors and readers a chance to talk about their lives as strong women and share the stories of strong women they have known.

So should I stop allowing giveaways in 2014? Or limit them?

I don’t want this blog to be about getting but about giving and sharing and uplifting. What do you think? Book Giveaways–Yea or Nay?–Lyn

BTW,  Maria and Tabitha won copies of Marta Perry’s Amish book and Katie J won Carrie Turansky Christmas Love Inspired! 🙂



About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
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33 Responses to Why Blog? Book Giveaways–Yea or Nay? Need Opinions!

  1. When authors give books away or give contests, it makes you know the reasons they write. They write for others as well as themselves. It is fun receiving signed copies, wins, and getting to know authors on sites and Goodreads. And strong women…I say “Women strong in the Lord”. The stories that remind us of where our strength comes from is what I need to hear. We appreciate these stories and your insight.

  2. StrongWomen says:

    Thanks, Angie W! And I have one on Weds already!

  3. Angie W. says:

    As someone who recently won an autographed copy of a book, I like the idea of giveaways. I also like to leave a comment if the subject is something I’ve had an experience with. Not always to win a book but give insight on the blog subject. I recently found this blog through your Facebook page and try to check it every time I see there is a new entry. I like that I can find new great authors through your blog. So, for me, I will continue to comment whether or not there are giveaways. 🙂

  4. StrongWomen says:

    AmyC-Your first sentence was music for my ears. 🙂

  5. amyc says:

    I will still follow this blog with or without giveaways.
    I only use mobile for internet. Sometimes, sites take a bit to load and even longer to allow me to comment. There has to be really on my mind to post a comment. That’s why I’m usually just a lurker.
    I really do enjoy your blog with or without giveaways.

  6. Betti Mace says:

    I enjoy reading the blog. I do not always make a comment, but will do so if I have something to say. I do, however, enjoy the giveaways – if I win, I have a chance to read a book I would probably not have found otherwise. I have read books from authors I had not even heard of before I received the book. That puts me in the position to find more books written by the author. I love to read, and always enjoy being introduced to a new author. Keep up the good work 🙂

  7. ausjenny says:

    I dont know about giveaways. I like to enter them at times but I find at least 2 blogs I visit daily rarely have giveaways infact one doesn’t at all. I haven’t visited as many in the past several months due to just not being up to it. While I will enter some I also find some of the closer blogs with readers are like you said consistent. When I have authors I dont ask for a giveaway. Some offer and I accept. I also find it doesn’t bring in alot of extra readers as many who come only for a giveaway will often post a comment like looks good enter me, or please enter me. They don’t read the post, they dont read the info on entering and they are only there to win a book. Its one reason I dont use the free giveaway blogs to announce my giveaway as it brings more in but they are not reading. I am also finding less people are entering giveaways. I have one right now with very few entries. In saying this I feel the ones who have entered are my blog readers and thats who I want to win a book. (I have alot look but not comment) I have tried the form in the post and get way more entries but almost no comments, tried please leave a comment on the interview and get less but I feel these ones at least read the interview and are interested. Also readers are getting choosey about what they will enter and what books they want. Which is good. But a good blog will stand alone well without giveaways and just the occasional one is a bonus.

  8. I blog and I’m not at a place where I can do give a ways but I love to do the contests. I get a chance to read books from new authors I wouldn’t be able to read without the contests. I try to read those books immediately and post reviews as soon as I have finished. You know when you that there isn’t much chance to win but it is a fun thing to do. I love the interviews. Keep up the good work, I love your writing.
    Glenda Parker

  9. Melissa says:

    I think Giveaways are a fun addition to Blogs. ( Ive had a few giveaways on my blog, and enjoy them ! )

    Maybe the answer is to limit..the giveaways..but I think readers enjoy them and it keeps them “coming back”. =)

  10. Nancee says:

    I am reviewing books myself, and plan to set up a blog. I love reading other blog reviews and enjoy giveaways in order to review additional books. I have some authors who have recruited me to review, endorse & promote their books but I’m happy to have additional books to read & review. Winning books is not my sole purpose for reading blog reviews & interviews, however.

  11. Hi Lyn I don’t visit everyday but I know when I do you will have a good interview of a strong independent type woman that shares with the readers both about herself and the books she writes so love to meet new people this way.
    The giveaways are nice for readers to get to be able to keep their blog busy with reviews -I always review all the books I read both on goodreads and my blog.
    I have met many new authors by looking trough blogs and sometimes I comment even when there is NOT a giveaway if I want to make contact, nice to have chance to win books though and I have been very lucky with many I have won.
    Paula O

    • StrongWomen says:

      Yes, Paula, I love having other authors as guests and it’s not just about their new books. I like that they share about themselves–so many have really revealed their hearts. Lovely.

  12. Naomi Musch says:

    I saw your post on FB and it pulled me over, because this is something I wonder about myself. I do giveaways when I’m asked, but at the same time, I’m with a small press, I don’t get many free/giveaway copies, so I sometimes avoid guesting on “giveaway required” blogs. On my own blog, I will host a giveaway if an author wants to do one, but it’s not all that often, and I don’t require it. My page views probably reflect that, but, like you, that’s not what I want my blog to be primarily about. (And there are soooo many free books these days!) As an author it sure does seem to help to get myself “out there” when I do a giveaway, but I prefer to find something new and interesting to talk about that has some worth in itself which might cause people to investigate. I’ll be interested to hear what you decide.

    • StrongWomen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Naomi. I hear you about the cost of giveaways. And so many people now have ereaders. That might be an option to consider!

  13. Phyllis says:

    I liked reading the blog and all the comments. I have never read any of your books, but that is why I have joined some of the book clubs, to find new authors who write good clean fiction. I like the give-a-ways. After reading I give the books to someone who can’t afford to buy them. Most of the books that I read are on my Nook. Thanks and God bless.

    • StrongWomen says:

      Glad you stopped by, Phyllis. You will find new authors and their books here every Monday and Weds. I also do book reviews myself.

  14. StrongWomen says:

    I am finding these remarks very helpful. Keep them coming, lurkers!

  15. Marianne says:

    Lyn, as you know i am a reviewer…an avid readaholic and the whole bit. i have my own blog and i don’t do giveaways because i can’t afford the shipping, and yet i do enter giveaways because that is how i get my novels so i can review. i don’t always take time to comment, even though i read the posts. i will try to be more consistant with comments.

  16. Hey Lyn, GREAT question!!

    I have mixed feelings about giveaways. First of all, I simply canNOT do a blog interview without giving away a book because A.) I like to do everything I can to up the blogger’s hits and followers; B.) I like to offer the readers a chance to win my books as well as a fun interview; and C.) to be honest, it’s a way to reward my staunch reader friends with a chance for a free book.

    It’s no secret that giveaways up the comments whenever I do a giveaway, especially on Seekerville, an author group blog I belong to, because it motivates the lurkers to leave a comment. BUT … after doing over 250 interviews/blog appearances with that many book giveaways and MORE, my publisher feels it’s kind of like preaching to the choir to do a giveaway and not all that effective from a promotional point of view. I agree to a point because I have sent out more books to reader friend’s who follow my giveaways because they’ve read my books and want to win the latest one than I have new readers who’ve never heard of me. But … like I indicated above … I like sending free books to reader friends who support me.

    Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I have decided to cut WAY back on both blog interviews and giveaways in the future because unfortunately, it’s tough to keep up with them and write too. And the simple truth is, they are probably not worth it from a promotional standpoint anymore, although I do think they are essential in the beginning to get an author’s name and books out there.

    Interesting subject, Lyn!


    • StrongWomen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Julie. I think you win the prize for giveaways! And I hear you about blog fatigue. I am going to monitor myself in the future also.

  17. Piper says:

    I usually lurk, but I wanted to leave a comment to let you know that as a consistent lurker, giveaways don’t really impact whether I leave a comment or not. It really just depends on if I have something to say, as I do at this point. I would leave the giveaway question up to the authors, since they are visiting your blog in part to help their own writing efforts, as well as a support for your own worthy message about strong women.

    I enjoyed Their Frontier Family and I was happy to see Sunny emerge as a character. I have noted from your previous blog posts that you had some troubles bringing a former prostitute character to publication, so to read about Sunny was a victory. After all, we all deserve the opportunity for redemption. I liked the Little House touch too, especially now as I am reading through the books with my son. As a reader, I eagerly await the next book in the series and as a writer, I continue to find inspiration in your message and the different kinds of characters you bring forward on the page. Blessings,


  18. Susan Fryman says:

    Personally I like the giveaways whether I win or not. I know anytime I win a book, I read it immediately upon receipt and do reviews at Amazon and Goodreads at a minimum. I’m sorry to hear it has had a possible negative effect on your readership, that really doesn’t make any sense. If I read a blog I always try to comment whatever the circumstances. Sometimes if a giveaway is involved I don’t want to be entered and I will state so. Either it’s a book I have or one I may not read. Looking forward to seeing what the outcome of this is. Blessings, Susan Fryman By the way I’m new to your blog and am looking forward to reading it in the future.

  19. Elaine Stock says:

    Lyn, as someone who replies on blogs (that sometimes offer giveaways) and as someone who hosts authors who offer giveaways on her own blog, I’m under the opinion that giveaways are just an extra fun thing in life. Maybe they encourage viewers, maybe not. I don’t think anyone takes the time to leave a comment in this hectic fast-paced world only to chance winning something. Just my thoughts.

  20. Lyn Cote says:

    Jasmine, Thanks for your opinion. And take my word, the secret to a successful blog is consistent, well written blog posts and reviews. You’ll get there! What’s your blog URL? Leave it here.

  21. Jasmine A. says:

    I hope you are able to continue the giveaways, they probably attract new people as well.
    I am just beginning to blog book reviews so I am not able to do the giveaways or even the author interviews, maybe someday. But I am hoping to somehow find people to read what I am posting…

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