Today was "clean out old emails day" and, going through 1400 emails, I came across four different giveaways that I have won in the last couple months. I remember my jubilation upon 'winning' these books, as all of them were ones that I very much wanted to read, either based on a review I had read or previous knowledge of the book. I will give the benefit of the doubt to one of the giveaways, as it has only been a month since I won, but the others are well in excess of that, and I have not seen hide nor hair of them. Giveaways won: 4 - Books received: 0.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not really upset over the issue since I can walk, quite literally, 4 blocks and be at the Union Square B&N in under five minutes. That said, it is a matter of principle that when you hold a giveaway, you should actually send the book to the person who won it! Given the anonymous nature of the internet and the potential traffic giveaways can generate, I understand that it is pretty easy to get away with these things, but come on!
So, that said, who is to blame? No one really. I understand that there are generally two types of giveaways, and please correct me if I am wrong. The first of these is these is run by many of the smaller blogs where the blogger will actually mail the book herself. The second is run by a publishing house or publicist or what have you, who is ultimately responsible for sending the book out to the winner once the contest is completed. This second type of contest is generally easier on the book blogger since he need not bear the cost of shipping.
I don't think the books that I won went deliberately unsent, I think better of the book blogging community than that, so my assumption is that something got lost somewhere along the 'giveaway chain'. It may be that the publishing house simply misplaced the email or that the blogger hosting the contest forgot to send it, in brief I can think of a number of things which went wrong, including pressing time constraints in the real world. Human error happens, and I understand that.
Have other contest/giveaway 'winners' had similar things occur? I have sent emails to the bloggers whose contests I won, but there really isn't a need to mention them by name here. I will do a follow up post if the email replies merit it, but I doubt there will be anything truly revelatory in them. To celebrate the potential of the giveaway, and the fact that you have read this post in its entirety, I will send the first two people to post a comment any book they want--yes, you heard me correctly, any book at all--as long as you live in the continental United States and the book is not ridiculously expensive, just email me your address and the name of the book through the link in my profile.
3 hours ago