Sometimes I get questions about our weekly free drawings so I thought I would answer some of them here today.
Quite a few people want to know how I pick the winners every week and how they can increase their chances of winning. I don’t pick the winners. I use a free website called Random.org and just enter the total number of entries for the week and it picks one automatically. It truly is random.
Somebody wanted to know why he never sees his name when he enters the drawings. There are a couple reasons why this might be happening. One is if you enter your name in the comments section of the regular blog (this page) instead of following the links provided to the contest page. I have no way to move them from one place to the other, nor do I have the time to contact people who do that to tell them to enter it on the correct page. If it’s on the regular blog page I just delete it. If you have entered before and enter your name on the contest page, it is usually posted automatically. But sometimes it can take up to an hour before your name appears. And sometimes it goes into a pending file, waiting for approval. This happens to prevent spam. If you don’t see your name right away and enter it again, thinking it did not work, it can kick both out because only one entry is allowed and it thinks somebody is trying to cheat. Also, if you don’t enter with your name, or use some made up name like Donald Duck (yes, I get that at least once a month) you get sent to the spam folder and any future entries from that e-mail address automatically go there.
Occasionally people ask why they can’t enter more than one time each week. Simple, that’s the way I have it set up so that everybody has the same opportunity to win. This means somebody with a lot of time on their hands can’t sit at home and enter over and over and over to increase their chances of winning.
A recent winner wanted to know if she could continue to enter the weekly drawings, or if once she won she was no longer eligible. We don’t limit it to one prize. As I said above, the winners are chosen by random drawing, so if you are lucky enough to win a second time, good for you! Lady Luck must be smiling on you.
Where do the prizes come from and do we pay for them? The prizes are all by donation. I solicit my author friends for audiobooks, I use my own audiobooks, we give away copies of Terry’s RV cookbook, and businesses like Living the RV Dream, Boondockers Welcome, and RV Overnight Parking offer us prizes. Why do they do this? First, because they are nice people. And secondly, this blog has a tremendous readership and having their book or company listed every day for a week or so gives them a lot of exposure. So it’s a win – win for everybody.
Another question I get asked is if we share the contestants’ information with anybody else. Sometimes, when the gift is a membership, like to Boondockers Welcome or RV Overnight Parking, or if it is an autographed book, I do give the company or author the winner’s information so they can contact them directly to arrange for delivery of their prize. But nobody else ever has access to contact information for our readers or subscribers. We frequently are approached by companies wanting our mailing lists, but we never have and never will sell your name or contact info to anybody else. We don’t like to be pestered with junk mail and spam, and we know you don’t either.
And finally, and yes, surprisingly I do get asked this every so often, a winner will tell me they don’t really want that prize and ask if they can exchange it for something else, like a different audiobook, or for the cash value. No. If it’s something you don’t want, sit that week’s drawing out and wait until there is a prize you do want. If the current prize is something you have no interest in, don’t be selfish and enter. All you are going to do is inflate the number of entries.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my mystery set in a small Midwestern town in 1951.To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.