Talk To Me: Followers and Give-Aways

December 17, 2014 books, discussion 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link me up.


FOLLOW MEEE! Give-aways are almost ubiquitous in the (book) blogging scene. In a lot of give-aways, you have to follow the blogger on various social media sites to have decent chances of winning. Sometimes there’s a free entry, but if there are ten more possible entries, you’ll probably want to enhance your chance of winning that cool book you’ve been waiting for for ages. But do you stay subscribed or unsubscribe when the give-away is over? Are give-aways worth it in the long run – for bloggers and for subscribers?

My Opinion

I appreciate not everything is black and white here. On the one hand, I can’t deny I love the chance of winning something. I’m not entirely sure on how give-aways function, but I’ve gotten offers from publishers or authors to host a give-away on my blog, so I assume that bloggers don’t always pay for the books they give-away, but act more as a facilitator in exchange for publicity. So basically the publisher/author pays (do correct me if I’m wrong), and you get more subscribers – sounds like a sweet deal. BUT, and you knew there was a but coming, does that really work to the satisfaction of everyone involved?

Ideally, if you host a give-away, you want people to discover your blog and go: “OH, that’s a cool blog! I’m so glad I discovered it. I’ll be sure to stay updated and read all of their future posts.” But let’s be real – most of the time that’s just not what happens. As a reader, I don’t really see the point of following someone just because I want to win something. As a blogger, I don’t want to beg people to follow me in exchange for giving them something – I want them to follow me because they have the same interests and like to read what I write. Do you really want people following you who aren’t interested in your content in the least? Isn’t it more important that your subscribers actually want to read what you’re talking about and, possibly, interact with you in the future?

What’s the point of having 2000 followers if 1999 of them have you muted on twitter, report your e-mails as spam, or unfollow you after the give-away is over? I mean I get that it can be frustrating not to have a lot of people reading the content you put in a lot of effort and love to create, truly I do, but is buying your followers with give-aways really the answer? Personally, I almost never enter give-aways anymore because it’s just too much hassle to unsubscribe from blogs I didn’t want to follow in the first place. I also unsubscribe from blogs that host a give-away every other day because it’s simply not interesting enough to me – I’d like to read more interesting content instead.

I know this all sounds very judgemental, but I’m genuinely interested in people’s take on this. A lot – if not to say the majority- of book blogs I’ve come across host give-aways, and they do seem to gain followers that way. Maybe they do stay around and read future posts. I’m not even saying I’d never ever in the history of never host a give-away. I do realize there are upsides to give-aways – who doesn’t love to win something from time to time? Or maybe you just want to give back to some of the people who have followed you faithfully for years. Completely understandable. Perhaps you’d like to do something nice for Christmas – great idea! But in that case, do you really need people to subscribe to you on every social media platform imaginable? Wouldn’t the contact information of your winner be enough? It is hard to get noticed though. I’m not saying everyone who hosts give-aways is a complete sell-out with no original content whatsover, so please don’t mistake this post for a hate rant on blogs who do this – I’m positive I read some blogs who host give-aways and still like them. I’m mostly talking about extreme cases here.

Your Turn!

So what’s your stance? Do you think give-aways are the greatest thing ever and naysayers don’t matter since no one’s forced to subscribe to anything? Or would you like to see less give-aways because your twitter feed is full of them and you’d like to read about something else for a change? If you’ve hosted give-aways, what’s your experience with them? Do People hang around and read/interact long after the give-away? Tell me below!

8 Responses to “Talk To Me: Followers and Give-Aways”

  1. Ashley

    I adore this post! I feel very similarly to you.

    I see a lot of giveaways as bribery. They’re bribing you to subscribe to them. But if people do this, then their follower number (like GFC or whatever they use) no longer becomes an accurate representation of their TRUE followers. I define “true follower” as someone who actually checks back regularly for new content.

    Instead, it just becomes an arbitrary number. It’s the number of people who hit the “follow” button, but maybe 70% of those people don’t actually read your new posts!

    I’d rather have followers who genuinely love my content and chose to subscribe without any form of bribery.

    I very rarely host giveaways, but when I do, I don’t offer any extra entries for being a subscriber/follower.
    Ashley recently posted…DNF Review: Love and Other Theories by Alexis BassMy Profile

  2. Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    I see exactly what you mean. Sometimes authors/publishers give books to the bloggers to giveaway, but sometimes the blogger spends money to buy books for giveaways on their respective blog. Giveaways are a way to thank you followers and attract new ones. At the same time though, it attracts lots of people who follow JUST to win books. And it kills me when that happens -_- Followers and subscribers are VERY misrepresentative. Followers mean nothing, page views and hits SHOULD mean much more. Great post!
    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books recently posted…2 Top Ten Tuesdays on a Saturday ~ Oh YesMy Profile

    • Vlora


      To be honest, if an author or a publishered offered to host a give-away for a book I genuinely enjoyed or that I know a lot of people would want to win, I’d probably say yes. I just don’t see the point of getting people to follow you because of that give-away since, as you said, that leads to very misrepresentative numbers. Thanks! :)
      Vlora recently posted…Semicolons and SuperpowersMy Profile

  3. Jackie

    I used to be guilty of following blogs just for an entry into a giveaway. But then every couple of months I’d spend hours cleaning up twitter or feed readers. Now a days, I will only enter giveaways for blogs that I follow (because I love their content). Or, if I happen to stumble through a blog hop, I only enter if I choose to follow someone because I’m genuinely interested in following them– this means, i’m only entering one or two giveaways though…
    Jackie recently posted…Weekend Review: Books[tube] & TeaMy Profile

    • Vlora


      Oh, I used to do it as well for a couple of weeks and then I went naaah because I grew tired of all the give-away advertisements and in my feed. If a blog I like anyway hosts a give-away for a book I really want, I’ll probably enter the give-away though. :P
      Vlora recently posted…Semicolons and SuperpowersMy Profile

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    Great topic! I don’t really host at on of giveaways, and if i do, I don’t usually add a lot of follow options. Makes it easier for me to keep track of entries, unless I do rafflecopter or something, and I figure most people will follow but not stick around after entering. I think follow entries work well for those blogs that mostly do reviews/giveaways, but when it comes to book blogs or entertainment blogs…it has to be more than that!

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Review: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha ChristieMy Profile

    • Vlora


      Thanks, glad you think so! Well, there is that; it might be more convenient to do it via follows – I can’t really say because I’ve never done it before! Yeah, if a blog’s main focus is on giveaways I can sort of understand it, but most blogs I’ve come across have a mix of things.
      Vlora recently posted…End of the Year Book Survey 2014My Profile

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