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I'm an opinionated mom, writer and lawyer. I'm not currently practicing. I prosecuted for nearly fifteen years, so my kids call me a drill sergeant. I hope to use the time off to finally finish revising my first legal thriller and I just completed the second draft of my second novel another legal thriller/domestic noir. I'd love to write an unreliable narrator next.

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CrimeSpace: A place for readers and writers of crime fiction to schmooze, booze and draw up plans for the heist to end all heists.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rafflecopter Alternatives & iPad Winner Announced

And The Winners Are...

The Winner of the iPad mini is...Al Diaz over at Father Dragon Writes.

The second place winner will receive a $100 Manuscript Coaching Session with Larry Brooks, which has increased to $150, so it's quite a prize. The winner of this awesome prize is, D.L. Hammons, over at Cruising Altitude. 

Emily Crider over at Newlywed Moments, is the winner of Larry Brooks' newest book, Story Physics.

Jessie Humphries over at The B-Word and Shell Flower over on Tangent Shell each win a copy of Jessica Bells'  awesome new book, Adverbs & Cliches in a nutshell.

There you have it...the winners.

I want to thank everyone who participated. I'm still not quite at 500 followers, but I'm delighted to be in the 490's.

I'm not, however, delighted with Rafflecopter. I'm pretty sure that I'm in the minority on this one because I run across at least one blog every day, hosting a contest with Rafflecopter. 

Here's my problem:

We are allowed to customize our contest/give a way. We all live and learn from every experience and I learned that it is far better to offer fewer entry choices. My mistake- offering too many. I figured that people would be more likely to enter a contest if they had more options to choose from. After reading up on the subject, I've learned, that not unlike every other area in our lives, too many options, often send us running

That's not my problem, though. See, with Rafflecopter, the contest creator is permitted to assign the number of contest entries for each category. You all know what I'm talking about- I'm pretty sure you've all seen a million Rafflecopter give a ways. You earn "X"amount of entries if you do "Y". It is usually something like 1 entry for a blog comment, 2 entries for following on Twitter and 3 or more entries for other things like a blog post or a shout out...

Sounds perfect, right? 

Unless you read the fine print...and I didn't. I know, not very lawyerly of me, huh? You see, the fine print tells you that the winner or winners are selected from Random. Unless, I am totally missing something, it appears to me that a random selection from Random.org, does not give anyone the extra entries that they are entitled to for doing the extra things like more shout outs or tweeting about the give a way.

The second problem that I encountered is that after, the winner or winners were randomly selected, then and only then was I able to verify whether or not they actually performed the task required for the entry. Thankfully, I didn't have any winners who didn't actually qualify for the contest.

The only way I was able to make sure that people were given the proper number of entries was to ask Rafflecopter to email a copy of the spreadsheet and then tally the entries myself and conduct a second drawing which would have defeated the purpose.

I'm not complaining about the turn out as I'm sure I could have done more to promote it. I do however, feel certain that some of you left blog comments or tweeted about the contest, yet I did not see your name anywhere on the spread sheet. Nothing I can do about it now. Like I said, live and learn.

While researching the contest options, after it ended  (yes, I know I should have done this before), I came across some Rafflecopter alternatives that I will try in the future, if I  host another give a way.

Here are some of the Rafflecopter alternatives that are worth looking into before you host your next give a way.

I haven't had an opportunity to look into the details of all the Rafflecopter alternatives, but I did spend a good amount of time reading about Punchtab and I like what I see. It seems to be the first loyalty incentive type program for contest and give away hosting. It works sort of like your local grocery store or pharmacy rewards program by rewarding users for performing simple actions on a blog or website. 

I know that Rafflecopter appears to be the main giveaway hosting platform for bloggers, but I'm curious to know if any of you have used any of the alternatives that I mentioned? If so, please share your experience. Are those of you who use Rafflecopter, pleased with the platform or do you have any complaints? Do you know of any other contest and or give a way platforms, that I didn't mention?

Thank you again for participating and for reading my blog. 


  1. I'm excited that I won second place (YAY ME!)...but disappointed that you experience such a problem with Rafflecopter (never use it myself). Thank you for my awesome prize!!! :)

  2. I've never used Rafflecopter myself but it is good to know what your experience was.

    I'm dumbfounded, honestly. So much going on in my life right now that learning I won gets my eyes misty and a knot in my throat. Thank you for this amazing news, Melissa! What should I do now, aside from getting all emotional over it?

  3. I have never done anything that sophisticated while blogging. So I have no real opinion. Congrats to all the winners though. I just wanted to stop by and say Hi...since I have been gone so long! :)

  4. That is so cool Al and DL won those prizes!!!
    I just go the old fashioned leave a comment. Not a big fan of the Rafflecopter. It also delays the loading of the blog page. But I'm sure there are better options out there.

  5. Huge congrats to all the winners!

  6. Congrats to the winners! Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of bloggers! :)

  7. I haven't done a giveaway yet but I've always been pretty confused about Rafflecopter - I'm never sure whether you're supposed to enter in all the ways possible to qualify, so I usually just do, or I give up and leave the page! Thanks for the links to the alternatives!

  8. Wow what great prizes and congratulations to the winners! Thanks for visiting my blog and the follow, Melissa. I look forward to getting to know you and your blog better.

  9. Congrats on the followers...and to the winners. Interesting about the rafflecopter.

  10. Hi Melissa - Thank you for including PromoSimple in your list of alternatives. If you're looking for help in setting up giveaways in the future please feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to help and provide information on managing the giveaway process.


  11. Congratulations to the winners! I recently discovered that about Rafflecopter too. Thank you for the alternatives. I'll have to give one or two of them a try.

  12. Congratulations to the winners. I'm especially pleased for my blog buddies Al Diaz and DL Hammons.

  13. Wow what an awesome giveaway this was! Congrats on all the lucky winners.:) Never heard of these other contest platforms but I'll have to check them out. thanks for the links.



  14. Yay to the winners and thanks for another prize, Melissa. Sorry I'm late on responding. Summertime is crazy. Hope you are enjoying school being out and all that. I agree about Rafflecopter and the overwhelming amount of choices. Interesting that it doesn't really calculate all the extra entries.

  15. Sorry I'm just getting back to my blog. It's been an intense coupe of weeks. D.L. Did you read my email alternative options for you. Congrats to you and thank you for participating.

  16. Hi Al,
    Your iPad mini is shipped and in route. WHEW! Shipping to Mexico was something, but you are so worth it. Congrats on winning first prize and sorry for any delay in receiving your prize. I added a a little bonus in the box for the delay. In Louisiana we call that "Lagniappe"- a little something extra.

  17. Hi Chuck. Thanks for stopping by. It has been a while. Glad you're back

  18. I'm fed up with rafflecopter, some of the other ones offer some reallyy nice alternatives.

  19. I agree, D.L and Al, a winning combo, huh? Definitely!!

  20. It is a bit confusing. It was even more confusing on the other end.

  21. Thank you and I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog and getting to know you better, as well.

  22. You're very welcome, Dan. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by my blog. I'm very interesting in learning more about PromoSimple and I will contact you very soon. I like what I saw on your site.

  23. Thanks Christine, let me know if you end up using one of the alternatives.

  24. Me too! Way to go Al & D.L.!!!!!!

  25. Sorry Alex, been away from my blog. Thanks so much for your help. You went above and beyond (as usual). You really are super-human, I think. I am so very appreciative of you and I know that Al is as well. You are the best!

  26. You're very welcome and thanks for stopping by.

  27. Yea! That makes two wins for you when I host contest. Aren't you lucky! Congrats, again!.

  28. Would be awesome if you could add Gleam.io to this list :)


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