Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Extra Entries for Giveaways

 Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down is a newish feature on my blog. If you are a loyal follower of my blog, you know that I put a big emphasis on interaction and discussion and my favorite posts are the ones with a lot of interaction. I also like a good healthy debate where opinions are shared and respected. You may also know that I like talking about random bookish things. Put all of that together and you get my inspiration for this new feature. Every other week I will give a topic to be discussed. You can give your vote on whether or not it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you and then explain why. The topics will cover anything related to reading, blogging, the book industry, etc. etc. Basically whatever is on my mind! This feature is NOT intended to be a place to bash anybody or start a nasty fight or controversy. It is a platform for a mature discussion and sharing of opinions

On the last installment of TUTD, we talked about requiring a follow for a giveaway. It was an excellent conversation and I highly suggest you take a looksie–I got quite a few emails from new bloggers saying how helpful it was so perhaps you will find some of the comments from veteran bloggers to be useful.

Extra entries essentially are a way to give entrants better odds to winning the giveaway by way of having more entries into the pot while the host of the giveaway gets something in return– a new follow on the blog or Twitter, commenting on a post, promotion from the entrant on Twitter or blog, etc etc. Some are worth more extra entries than others.


As I said last week, throughout my six months of blogging so far, I’ve been experimenting and taking cues from bloggers that I respect and that I think run really great blogs. I have done extra entries. My reasoning, when I’ve done them (which isn’t often because I don’t really do too many giveaways) is that numero uno, and I’m being honest here, I really wanted more people to know about the giveaway when I didn’t have tons of followers on Twitter. I wanted people to tweet about it because I saw a direct correlation between the number of entrants and when it was tweeted by others.  The secondary reason was that it would give those who REALLY wanted the book a chance to have a better shot at it. I mean, I guess my thought process was along the lines of something that was ingrained in my head as a business major–“there is no such thing as a free lunch.”  So, *in my most caveman of voices* I give you book and you give me a quick plug on twitter. And I really didn’t mind throwing an extra entry to people who follow me. They deserve it for putting up with me 😛

I haven’t done an extra entry in a while because I’ve been lazy (I don’t want to count those things or stalk you to make sure you tweeted about it) and because I’ve been trying to simplify my life a bit.  However, when I do have extra entries I embrace the very sage adage that “less is more”….although I can think of a few ways in which that saying is certainly not the truth. (Like, please beachgoers, I don’t want to see it all. Really I don’t.) I digress. ANYWAYS, my extra entries are always simple and I don’t require you to count up your own entries. Sure, it’d make my life easier but as someone who hates math, I won’t make you do that, because I dread adding up entries when I am entering a giveaway. I’ll do that work for you because I’m just all sorts of nice like that. My extra entries might be one for a follow and one for a tweet or FB post about it. I won’t have you jumping through hoops to have extra entries. You won’t have to “like” my second cousin once removed on Facebook or plaster my face all over your blog.  Seriously, I’ve seen some pretty REDONK extra entry requirements–but hey–there is this beautiful concept called freedom in which I can choose to not enter a particular giveaway if I deem it to have too many hoops.  However, that’s just me and I do what I’m comfortable with doing on my blog. I tend to give up on giveaways that just require too much of me. Chances are I’ll find a bunch of other giveaways for the same book that don’t require me to spend 15 minutes on doing a bunch of tasks to probably NOT win a book. Aren’t I the eternal optimist?

That’s just my humble little opinion as someone who, on occasion has extra entries, but likes to keep it simple. What about YOU? Do you have extra entries? Have you in the past? What is your reasoning for having them? How much is TOO much? Etc. I want to know what you think!

Get your vote on.I think my vote is a meh (I know, not an option) but I’m ok with extra entries if they are uber simple. And a big ole thumbs down for complicated ones. Like Avril wants to know…”why’d ya have to make things so complicated…” Middle school nostalgia ends now. But in general, I probably won’t be utilizing extra entries for my own giveaways too often. I don’t know. I cared more when I first started blogging but now I don’t because I really want my readers to benefit rather than somebody who will never come back.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I voted thumbs down. 🙂 I had extra entries for the first giveaway I did and found it tedious as the host. For me, giveaways are a chance to give a book to someone who really wants it. And since I purchase most of the prizes to give away (in fact, I have purchased ALL of them), I just want people to enter who want the book. I don't want to make them jump through hoops to win. They don't need to "Earn" their prize, you know?

    If I could, I would give everyone who enters a giveaway a book, but financially I can't. And I don't want to make it any more difficult for my readers.

    Anyway, that's my two cents. 🙂

  2. Allie– I'm with ya. TOO MUCH WORK FOR ME. lol. I don't like it. I think that I cared MORE when I first started because I thought it would get people to my blog. Now I just don't care as much. My priorities have changed I think. And I'm totally with you..I want to give everyone books! lol

  3. I'm okay with offering extra entries to followers, both blog and twitter, and for spreading the word, but I agree that too many are really off putting. I get annoyed.

    I don't have any problems with offering extra entries for commenting on the review of the book though. I think extra entries that are specifically designed to familiarize people with other aspects of you and the blog are great. 🙂

    And, this might come out wrong, but I hate reading blogs where every other post seems to be a plug for someone else's giveaway. The occasional- Hey check this out!! Is okay, but I've read blogs where the posts about someones contests were the only constant…

    I'm okay with a few extras, but when there's more than the one or two, I'm turned off.

  4. Ashley– I've done that before..having an extra entry for commenting on the review. For my birthday giveaways, as you might remember, since they had a theme to them every day I had a themed question that was an extra entry and I thought that was really fun and I made the questions really easy and interactive. I felt like we all got to know each other better by talking about favorite vacations, music, etc.

    And I agree..I hate reading those posts in excessive. I like when people have a big list to plug a bunch of giveaways but not a bajillion individual ones.

  5. I voted thumbs up just because I believe in giving extra entries to someone who follows the blog or follows your twitter account. That being said, I wouldn't offer extra entries to promote my giveaway. I feel like as a blogger I should be the one promoting my blog/giveaways. I should also note that I haven't done any giveaways yet but I think I would like to. I am a new blogger (the last 3 months) and I'd like to expand my following. I guess only time will tell. BTW I really like this segment. It gets a lot of discussion going and I always look forward to reading it.

  6. I voted Thumbs Up. I'm ok with a few extra entries.
    When I was new , I used to have many extra entries – I stopped doing that because I know how annoying that can be and also,I am too lazy to count all the extra entries 😀 Now I don't require anyone to be a follower (unless it's a follower giveaway). I only offer extra entries for sharing the giveaway on FB or Twitter.

  7. i am kind of "meh" on this as well. since i live in the middle of nowhere, in terms of shipping books here, i tend to ignore all giveaways – even those that ship internationally don't tend to ship to macedonia. (where?) but like you say, whatever – a person has a choice about whether to give a plug on twitter, comment on a review, or do whatever other things to get a better shot at winning a book. it's only when that sort of stuff is required – when you HAVE to follow a blog in order to enter a giveaway – that it annoys me.

  8. Lu @ Regular Rumination says:

    I accidentally voted thumbs up, but I meant to vote thumbs down, but it's not really a big deal because I'm more of a sideways thumb here. I don't mind a twitter plug AT ALL. That's totally fine, doesn't disrupt anyone's life, takes two seconds. But I don't use my facebook for blogging related things and I don't like to write a throw away post on my blog that no one is going to read. I don't like anything that requires me to jump through Blogger hoops because I am on a wordpress blog. I don't like the absolutely outrageous requirements. When I have a giveaway I just ask for a comment.

    But like you said, I'm free to choose not to enter those giveaways and I won't judge anyone for doing a giveaway like that!

  9. I don't mind if others have extra points, as long as they don't go too crazy, but I don't generally have them on my giveaways.

    That is mostly because I'm lazy and don't want to deal with them. I've also decided that I just don't care that much how many people enter. Sure, it's nice to have the traffic, but only one person can win. I'd rather have that person be somebody who is a regular blog reader anyway.

  10. Theresa @ Fade Into Fantasy says:

    I had to vote thumbs down on this one, also. I don't mind one or two extra entries as long as they are simple, but like others have said… I hate jumping through a dozen hoops just to enter a giveaway. I have had extra entries on my giveaways before, but they are always super duper easy, and definitely not mandatory.

  11. The Book Vixen says:

    When I first started blogging and doing giveaways, I went a little crazy with the extra entries. But then having to calculate and add up and verify all those extra entries was a PITA. Now I give ONE opportunity to get extra entries and I keep it simple – Tweet about my giveaway. It's simple because I have a 'tweet' button on the bottom of my posts. All you have to do is click it, tweet it and get your tweet link. Easy as pie. And it helps spread the word about my giveaway. I was giving +2 extra entries for tweeting but for my next giveaway I'm going to bump it up to +5 to see if I can get more people to tweet about it.

    Now on the other hand, when I enter a giveaway, I'll tweet and post a link on my sidebar and that's usually about it. I'm not about to jump through hoops to enter at a chance to win a book. If I want the book that much then I'll buy it. I don't enter may giveaways now a days.

    My BIGGEST pet peeve about giveaways is the requirement to enter in my mailing info upon entering. Why on Earth would you need potentially hundreds of addresses??? How do I know you're not going to do something with that list? As soon as I see this, I'm outta there. I will NOT enter a giveaway that requires me to give them my mailing address. Just ask for the mailing for your winner(s). If they don't respond in a timely manner, pick a new winner.

  12. Book Vixen– I hear ya. I always make it optional to give it now or I can email for it. I think the reason people do it is to send it out quickly but I completely understand why people don't give it out. For me, I end up deleting the forms so buhbye addresses. I wonder what other people do.

  13. bibliophile brouhaha says:

    I'm fine with extra entries so long as a follow is optional, not required. I am not really fond of contests that gives extra entries for for blog posts, side bars, etc. – I think that's asking a bit much and making a giveaway a bit inonvenient to enter. Then again, like you said, people to have a choice as to whether they want to do that. I think keeping it simple is best – no follow required requred, but extra entry if you do, and an extra for a tweet or something simple like that.


  14. I've only had one giveaway, and I didn't do extra entries – mostly because it was my first one, and I wanted to keep it simple. When I sign up for a giveaway, I usually don't do the extra entries, except for the "follow" or "follow on twitter." I have so few followers on twitter it seems pointless for me to twitter about a contest I entered! Like you said, I'm not going to do anything too complicated. I always wonder, when people ask you to add your entries, don't they check it anyway? What if I gave myself extra entries that I didn't deserve? I never understood that one – the host has to add the entries anyway. I'm not sure what I will do in my future giveaways – but I lean towards no extra entries – and I don't think there's a right or wrong here, just opinions.

  15. Actin' Up with Books says:

    I love hosting giveaways on my blog because I want to share my favorite books. I don't require anyone to follow my blog to enter my giveaways. I want readers who are truly interested in what I have to say rather than those who just follow my blog to enter my contests. The extra traffic would be nice, but I don't want to pimp out my giveaways just to get it. Sometimes I do offer an extra entry if they do follow my blog, but that is the only thing they have to do. I like to keep it simple.

    I also like to enter giveaways just as much as I like to hold them. I mean who doesn't love winning free books? But when the entries get too complicated, I pass. (Well I do have one exception and that is if the books is signed by the author, I may do a little more for those) I figure that if I really want the book so much, I can go out buy it myself.

  16. I voted thumbs up as I have "found" many blogs to follow through tweets, so I feel as though Twitter allows you to gain more followers and extra entries would encourage your readers to share.

  17. I voted Thumbs Down because I hate spending 10-15 minutes entering a contest. It's off-putting and I don't have that kind of time on my hands. For my first contest, I did have extra entries (blog follower, follow me on twitter) but adding the extra entries was a pain in the arse! And because I am lazy, I doubt I'll ever do that again.

    Because I hate jumping through hoops to enter a contest, I don't make my readers jump through hoops. I don't have any extra entry requirements. One day maybe I'll go back to having an optional extra entry but right now I don't see the need for it.

  18. Liz @ Through the Pages says:

    I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. I usually won't enter a giveaway if I need to do a bunch of extra things, unless it's for a blog that I genuinely like following & want to promote. But I can see the appeal of giving extra points to followers (although not requiring it) b/c it seems like they "deserve" to win something from you (you in general, not "you" specifically 😉 if they actually visit your blog. Then again, plenty of people follow just for the giveaways & could care less about what you have to say any other day of the week. It seems like this would be even more appealing as a new blogger since it can be difficult to get traffic to your page if no one really knows it exists, so I guess for that reason, I think giving extra points for tweets is fine.

    I saw a blog where each month the host offers prizes for those who comment on her blog throughout the month (she keeps a tally & gives a prize to the person who commented the most (actual comments, not just comments saying "I agree"), as well as prizes to a couple random commentors using I thought this was a great way to promote interaction without readers feeling pressure to do a bunch of random things to win something. And it gave prizes to those who actually care about what the blogger has to say. It seems like it would also make the blogger think about what they're posting more instead of just posting a bunch of memes (nothing wrong with these as long as there's original content on the blog too – IMO).

  19. Thumbs down if it is complicated.

    Thumbs up if it's simple.

    My first few giveaways had extra entries. Not anymore.

    For random winners just your name/email/blog-if you have one. We print the names, cut them out, and put them in a "hat." My brother pulls the name.

    For non-random winners, I add in something fun like "what would your mermaid name be" for a mermaid book giveaway. Then, my brother chooses the winner based on his favorite.

  20. I've never done extra entries, and am not really a huge fan. I don't know, hard to explain. I guess because I don't use my blog or twitter to 'advertise' and by tweeting or blogging about a contest it seems like advertising. Which I feel might turn people off. I don't NOT enter contests just because people do it, but I'm not going to friend you on facebook or follow you on GFC or anything extra just to get extra entries. I want my friends and followers to be, well, friends not people who just want extra entries in a giveaway!

  21. I agree with you that extra entries are okay as long as they're simple. If I see a giveaway with something I really want but the extra entries are just ridiculous, I just won't even bother entering.
    I'm just hosting my first giveaway right now and I just wanted to keep it super simple: everyone just gets one entry. If ever I figure out how to use those Google Docs then maybe I might make a few extra entries available in future giveaways but I definitely plan on keeping it simple always.

  22. I am not a blogger so I hope it is okay that I post my 2 cents. I enter a lot of giveaways. Some of my prizes stay here at home, but I also give a lot of the stuff away to friends, family, those in need etc. I voted thumbs down on this one. I do not mind in the least doing a couple of extras like tweeting, facebooking or answering a question. However, when I go to a blog and see 15 extras, I usually close and go to something else. I just get too bogged down jumping through that many hoops.

    Oh and I also don't mind voting for the host. I feel it is the least I could do for the opportunity to enter.

  23. I didn't have the opportunity to really join in on the extra entry discussion but I definitely don't do that. Besides the fact that I think it's only used as a way to fraudulently inflate your stats I think it's a lot of work for the blogger to keep track of it all. For me, giveaways should be easy to enter and easy to manage. The point is to give someone a good book or prize it's not about *me* and what I can get out of it.

    But anyway, to the point you're making here I don't think extra entries are necessary. I tend to be an "all things being equal" girl and want to give every entrant the same opportunity to achieve success. Allowing someone to stack the deck in their favor is like opening the giveaway only to them and what's the point in that?

  24. Debbie's World of Books says:

    I offer extra entries for advertising the giveaway (tweet, posting a link, etc.) to help get it advertised. I figure if someone is willing to put the extra effort for the extra entries why not?

    I don't give extra entries for any sort of following because I rather people follow me because they want to.

  25. I understand there can be an extra point for new vs old followers because older followers deserve it for being loyal. But having to like, tweet or follow other blogs just to participate in your giveaway/contest is too much to ask. I am a follower of your site because I like you, don't tell me I have to follow your friends too. For example this xmas came across a giveaway where you had to join 10..yes10 different blogs, plus tweet and comment on each of their pages..that was just too much time!

  26. Chrisbookarama says:

    I wish I could vote 'meh.' I will do extra entries if it's easy because of extreme laziness. If it's a drawing with a million entries, does all the extra work make it worth it? To increase my odds of 1000000:1 to 1000000:2? Meh.

    I wouldn't do it on my own blog because I think it's a pain in the rear to keep track.

    Boy, I sound lazy.