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.