Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Blogging Giveaways: Who is Your Target Audience?

Mulluane | Sunday, December 08, 2013 | 11 Comments so far
Book Blogging Giveaways: Who is Your Target Audience?I run across dozens of book and ARC giveaways every week. I rarely enter them myself. Personally I rarely find one I really want, being rather narrow in my reading tastes. However, I do share them via retweets, pinterest pins and on my Facebook Page.

One of the people I share them with is a friend who is not a blogger but is a reader. This in turn has led me to ask the question, "Who are the giveaways actually for?"



The problem lies in the fact that she doesn't use twitter or goodreads, or blog and uses Facebook only to communicate with friends and family. As a result I get asked questions like "How can I blog this?" "What is Reddit?" "What if I don't use Twitter?" "What the heck is an ARC?"

I am still trying to figure out how to explain to her what a blog is much less Tumblr and Reddit. Best I could come up with; a blog is an online magazine you subscribe to with email as opposed to a paper one you get in snail mail.

"Oh! Yeah I can do that subscribe thing," she says, "but I can't do the rest and I don't want to clutter Facebook with things my family/friends could care less about. Guess I have no chance of winning huh...."

This leads me to the question, are we catering our fellow bloggers or are we providing a valuable service to book readers?

Take a look at your typical Rafflecopter Giveway.

+1-5 - if you blog it
+1-5 - each if you share to Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest etc..
+1-5 - each if you follow me on Twitter, Reddit, Goodreads, Bloglovin' etc...
+1-5 - each if you follow the publisher and author on FB, Twitter ect...
+1-5 - if you subscribe to my blog

Your typical reader can't, won't, has no idea and doesn't care about what 1/2 of that stuff is. All they want is to win a free book. This basically means that the contest odds hugely favor us bloggers.

On the one hand, I understand this. Bloggers are the ones we talk to on social media, the ones who leave the most comments and the ones with the power to help us get noticed by peers, publishers and authors.

But I worry that our target audience - the book readers - are feeling a bit left out. This is not a good thing since they are the ones who buy the books we review, earn us a commission if we use affiliates, and help feed the author's and publisher's families.

I further wonder if this is why we rarely see reader comments. Look through a comment thread sometime and you will see the author, blogging community happily chatting away. As a reader, would you feel comfortable inserting yourself into that discussion? I'm not sure I would. Would I enjoy reading the conversation? Sure! But I would not think that my opinion mattered to such a thriving community so I'd just read along silently.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the author, blogging community. Every one of you that I have virtually "met" has enriched my life beyond measure but I started my blogs as a book reader, for the benefit of the other book readers who share my same tastes, and I am afraid that I sometimes lose sight of that fact.

Of course it may be that I am over thinking all this. I do have a tendency to do that. Which leads me to my final questions.

1.) What do you think as a reader? Do you feel comfortable engaging bloggers in conversation? What about entering giveaways where you can't possibly get all those bonus points?

2.) What do you think as a blogger? Am I offbase with my observations? Or are we here simply to entertain and inform readers while engagement and contests are aimed mainly at our peers?

3.) But most importantly, I want to know what book readers feel is the best way to get readers in general to actively engage on our blogs! What are we doing right? Wrong? Indifferent?

I look forward to reading your answers!





Mulluane is a 55-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest
Dragons, Heroes and Wizards

11 comments :

  1. I hated most giveaways before I was blogging for the exact reason you stated. At best I was willing to join twitter for the free entry, the only reason I was on it at first. But the other stuff just made me think I had no chance, so often I skipped them.

    On the other hand I believe most of my, and other blogs, readers are other bloggers or authors. Check your stats, those Google searches that only say for one review and leave? That's the average reader. It is a rare beast (old time blogs like Pat's and Book Smugglers) that I think actually have a strong non blogging following.

    As for comments, look at what most blogging platforms make you do. This comment box took me to a new window, away from the article. Most blogger uses have the DFLK5334 type checker that I often get wrong. I have given up trying to leave comments on some blogger blogs. Wordpress isn't much easier, not everyone leaves the option to comment anonymously.

    Then, under the 'burn me once' thing, many blogs auto enroll you into an email subscription the second you comment, forcing you to go and change the settings.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Valid points. I removed the captcha for just that reason. I even tried allowing anon but then it became a race to delete the spam and I have to sleep sometime...

    However I think that most people have some sort of google account so I doubt I am alienating too many folks by restricting comments to registered or OpenID (I hope)

    This blog actually goes back to the "old time" blogs and I too got my share of "reader" comments in addition to "blogger" comments. But things have drastically changed since then.

    I'm trying to figure out what and how to fix it :>)

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FYI I changed the comment system based on Nathan's observations. Hopefully this is simpler :>)

      Delete
  3. Immediately better. Now I can actually see what I am replying to. And I know all about the good old spam, when I moved to Wordpress I was shocked at how fast a site could fill up before finding a filter.

    ReplyDelete
  4. First, I do think of myself as more of a reader than a blogger in this case. If I'm an unusually chatty one, okay. {Smile}

    "1.) What do you think as a reader? Do you feel comfortable engaging bloggers in conversation? What about entering giveaways where you can't possibly get all those bonus points?"

    I feel comfortable enough chatting with bloggers, whether on their blog or elsewhere. I'd find that weighting system pretty off-putting. Expecting me to join sites that I haven't just to play their game makes me look for a more fun game. However, I'll enter giveaways that give one entry to each commenter, even if it's one comment to each commenter on each participating blog. {spread hands, Smile}

    "2.) What do you think as a blogger? Am I offbase with my observations? Or are we here simply to entertain and inform readers while engagement and contests are aimed mainly at our peers?"

    I really don't think I'm the right sort of blogger to answer this. Technically, I have a blog, but I started it so I could share photos with friends who didn't want them emailed, and I still use my blog mainly for personal news. I occasionally share recent craft projects, but not frequently enough to attract that crowd. {Smile}

    "3.) But most importantly, I want to know what book readers feel is the best way to get readers in general to actively engage on our blogs! What are we doing right? Wrong? Indifferent?"

    Well, most important to me is engaging me in a real conversation. There's one blog where I recently began commenting where the gal has answered me once. I've left around half a dozen comments, and get a grand total of one answer? At least that answer did reassure me that she wasn't hoping I'd give up and go away, but still. I'll give her some more time to get used to me, but at this point I'm trying not to wonder what I'm doing wrong here. {half-smile}

    So answering fairly often in a reasonably friendly way is probably the most important encouragement to me. Asking questions like this once in a while helps, too. It reassures me that you want to hear from folks. That reassurance - however you give it - is most important to me. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne, as always, you are an absolute gem.

      Thank you :>)

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    2. Thank you! {blush, Bright Smile}

      I hoped that would help. {SMILE}

      Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

      Delete
  5. "Your typical reader can't, won't, has no idea and doesn't care about what 1/2 of that stuff is" I'm not sure if that's exactly true. I think that might have to do with the age category of the readers in question. Teen readers especially are likely to already be using most of that stuff it seems to me? I definitely have changed the entries of my giveaways in recent months to the ones that I think are actually important/interesting. I first of all am including a free entry in all of them because I get annoyed when I can't even enter without doing something for the blogger. Past that, sometimes I have a comment entry, which anyone should be able to do since it's right on the blog, and then a Twitter, Facebook and general follow entry. The following/subscribing entry is important to me since I prefer my regular readers to win over the random giveaway hoppers that stop by but never come back ya know?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good points and your giveaways were not on my radar with this rant. I mainly got concerned when my reader friend felt overwhelmed by at least a dozen "conditions" for a contest she wanted to enter. I mean seriously, the rafflecopter entry form took up an entire page.

    Granted that one was extreme. There are giveaways that are easy (leave a comment, send an email), ones that fall in the middle and ones that fall into the WTH category.

    You bring up another good point. You do mostly YA and lets face it, YA is crazy over social media. My generation uses it to a lesser degree. Heck I don't even own a cell phone, much less an iphone/android. At that rate, a giveaway for a YA book should be more social media friendly than one for an epic fantasy book that appeals to a much wider demographic.

    This makes me curious. I love patterns. I'll have to study this some more and see if the different methods of giveaways fall into demographic categories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please let us know what you find. I, for one, would be interested. {SMILE}

      A.E.B.

      Delete

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