Friday, May 16, 2008

Question For You All... Authors And Readers

Okay, you enter a contest on a blog. You wait to find out the winner and bingo! You see that you've won. You're excited, and you email the author just as they requested giving them your snail mail address, they email you back letting you know they received it and they'll be getting your prize (s) in the mail to you.

Here's my question... How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait for a prize to arrive? A week? Two weeks? A month? Two months? Should you just be grateful you won a prize and not even consider time a factor?

I'm curious to see what you all have to say. Feel free to post anonymously if you want, or even email me off- blog at annejg24 @ gmail.com

Thanks for your opinions!

14 People Gabbed:

Marg said...

I am struggling with this a little myself. I have been waiting for ages for a couple of things, but then I am making allowances for things like it is being sent from America, maybe they sent it the cheapest rates, so it might turn up eventually. Or maybe I just didn't get the notification from the post office.

Some of them are actually from publishers as well, which I think is a little unprofessional, because I know at least one of them didn't post something to me until I reminded them for the third time. If they had of just said we don't want to post to Australia I would have been fine with that (after a moment or two of 'that sucks' at least!)

Amie Stuart said...

I'd say a month. We forget; we're all human. Speaking of which, I have some ebooks to send out *g*

Anne said...

I agree, Marg. Totally. See, I was over on Jaci Burton's blog and she was talking about contests and whose responsibility is it to do the contacting after you win a prize, and I say the winner if so stated in the contest.

Anyway, I was thinking about a book I'd won and it seemed like a while ago, but I hadn't checked exactly how long. I asked Jaci her opinion on how long should a winner wait before contacting the author to let them know the book has not been received. She said a month, and I whole-heartedly agree with that.

So I went back and looked at the date I won the book and it was April 1st, so now I contacted the author. We'll see what comes about.

It'll be interesting to see if anyone responds to this post. I sure hope they do.

Anne said...

Amie- To me???? *BIG INNOCENT GRIN*

shilohwalker said...

I'd say about a month.

I make it required for my contests (thru my blog, group)that the winner has to email me in order to claim the prize. I don't have time to chase people down via email so I figure if they want the prize, they need to make note to keep an eye out to see if they win.

Once I hear from them, I try to get the prize mailed out within a week, but if I'd already made a post office run that week, it will probably be the week after.

Still, that generally is only about two weeks. Since I'm forgetful, I give myself an extra week, and I try to let readers know it will probably be a couple of weeks before they receive it.

Anything beyond a month without word, I'd say you're perfectly within your rights to a friendly email.

Although some contests, like those run thru Writerspace, have it in the rules that prizes can take 4-6 weeks.

Stacy~ said...

Good question. I'm pretty patient, and I don't usually mind waiting, though I have one book that I won several months ago, and I haven't followed up. Sometimes I figure I'm being greedy because I've won my fair share of prizes.

And Shiloh's post is reminding me I owe her a review.

Rosie said...

Yeah, I'd say a month is reasonable. Maybe I've just always been blessed by the prize gods, but I've never had to wait more than a couple of weeks.

I did want to add that I've contacted people who won books on my blog and never heard from them to claim books. That's happened twice when I had multiple give aways. Weird.

Anonymous said...

i am happy to win, i want to say about 2 weeks is good.

Holly said...

I don't really enter contests very often (I know I'm the minority, but I always feel weird entering them..like, what have I done that I should get the prize..eh, I have issues), but I can answer as someone who hosts a lot of contests (a lot being subjective, naturally):

I'd say two weeks is on the reasonable side. Though I can see stretching it a month, depending on what the circumstances are. For example: W/ Marg being in Australia, I'd say a month is reasonable. From the States to the States? Probably two weeks.

I got an email from someone who won a contest on our blog back in Feb. who still hadn't received her prize...It was sent, but it never arrived. So it was good she contacted us to let us know.

Which brings up another point..

I really like to hear from the winner once they've received whatever prize was sent out. Just a thought for those of you who have won things. Maybe drop the person who sent it a note to let them know?

Anne said...

Thanks for your responses my friends. I appreciate it. :-)

byrdloves2read said...

Perhaps because my memory is so questionable, I think 2 weeks is a reasonable time for a prize to be mailed. Quite honestly, if it takes longer than that I've probably forgotten about it myself.

Holly has brought up a good point, though. We should contact the author once we've read the book. For those of us who have review blogs, we ought to review it. BUT. I hate the idea of giving a lukewarm or possibly negative review when someone has given me the book as a prize. It seems less than gracious, like telling someone you don't like their gift. It's a dilemma, and I really don't know what to do.

Holly said...

Well, obviously I'm not an author, but I have had many say they prefer a review, regardless of it's good or bad.

And I suppose I look at it like this:

One man's junk is another man's treasure..meaning just because you hated it doesn't mean I won't love it. And how would I know about it if you didn't post a review?

AND, I'll go one step further and say more often than not, as a reader, I buy books that got bad reviews, simply because I like to be contrary or because the premise sounds good (that and because it's rare that I feel the same as everyone else about books).

Then again, I'm NOT an author and they could hate seeing negative/lukewarm reviews of freebies.

Mechele Armstrong said...

I'd say two weeks on ebooks and a month on snail mail items. I've had a case or two where I sent the ebook and it got lost in cyberspace. I've had cases where the mail never delivered a package that I mailed. When that happens, I want to know.

I usually try and be prompt but sometimes life prevents me from being as prompt as I'd like.

As for the review question, I can only speak for myself. When I give away a book, it's the person's. Whether they like it or not, is up to them. I'm not going to say, "Well I gave it to them for free and they posted that lukewarm or negative review." Just because I gave it away, doesn't mean the person is obliged to like it. I don't think it's less than gracious. Just my opinion though.

Mechele Armstrong said...

I'd say two weeks on ebooks and a month on snail mail items. I've had a case or two where I sent the ebook and it got lost in cyberspace. I've had cases where the mail never delivered a package that I mailed. When that happens, I want to know.

I usually try and be prompt but sometimes life prevents me from being as prompt as I'd like.

As for the review question, I can only speak for myself. When I give away a book, it's the person's. Whether they like it or not, is up to them. I'm not going to say, "Well I gave it to them for free and they posted that lukewarm or negative review." Just because I gave it away, doesn't mean the person is obliged to like it. I don't think it's less than gracious. Just my opinion though.