Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ask Angela - About Contests


MORGAN MANDEL: I'm holding a contest to win a book at my blog. Anyone who comments is automatically entered that day. What's the best way to do this? Should I ask visitors to leave their e-mail addresses with their comments, or perhaps e-mail me separately with their addresses?

Morgan Mandel
Two Wrongs
Girl of My Dreams, A Cinderella Story

Morgan - Contests are a great way to drive traffic to your site and expand your brand - especially during a virtual tour. Many authors ask their fans to leave comments at sites. If they register properly, most sites will give accurate emails, from which a winner is chosen. Others ask fans to email them directly, or sign their Web site guest book for the duration of their tours.

Some use microblogs for contests. One company, Hooray Quick & Easy Photo Sharing, Tweeted that it would give Twitter follower No. 500 a free product from its site. The Tweeter says that contest alone equaled several direct messages from prospective buyers.

The best way to conduct an online contest is to use a free form, similar to the one here at Ask Angela. Simply visit, or Google "Free Web Forms" to find a service that suits your needs.

Ask them to submit their full name, snail mail and email addresses, and give them an opportunity to leave a comment. Pick a winner, but keep all of the entrants at the end. Add them to your promotional mailing list, both email and USPS. This will help you develop a fan base you can keep in touch with. Send an email to everyone, listing the winner's name, then invite everyone to your social networks.

Submission forms are clean, easy to create, use and manage, and will keep the headaches to a minimum.

Find Angela Wilson at:

How Do You Handle Your Contests? What do you like or dislike about some contests?
We invite you to leave a comment.


  1. Good article, Angela, as always. I forgot to tell you that I'm giving away three of my signed novels, A Village Shattered, following my virtual book tour, Dec. 1-15. Anyone who leaves a comment at any of the blog hosts' sites is eligible to win, including your blog site on Dec. 8. The schedule is up at: Everyone's invited to stop by and sign my virtual guestbook.


  2. Anonymous12:46 PM

    Great ideas, Angela. I'll have to incorporate this into my upcoming virtual tour with my latest novel, Owen Fiddler. Details are up at:

    Thanks for sharing today, Morgan!

  3. Great article Angela! I've run some contests at my blogs before. I like this idea.


  4. Great article Angela! I've run some contests at my blogs before. I like this idea.


  5. Just got spammed by temporary email service, so I had to delete 2comments. First time my comment section got spammed.
    Morgan Mandel

  6. Morgan -

    Thanks again for hosting me. I really appreciate it! And thanks to all who respond to the columns.

    Don't forget to submit your questions at

    Angela Wilson


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