Bookish Ramblings part 11 – is there still a place for facebook blog contests?

After all the fun of the fair last week, I have had my joy come crashing down this weekend with what can only be described as a “freak accident” I’m currently sat here with my left leg raised and heavily dressed and bandaged following a horrific hot water bottle incident.  Trust me when I say that it’s not a pretty sight.  As a result I don’t have many fun things to talk to you about today but it has got me thinking back to something I used to do all the time on the blog but have stepped back from in recent time, I would love your views as to whether it’s something to start up again.

When I first became involved in the Indie book community nearly 3 years ago it was down to just one author that I loved, I quickly became involved in their “street team” in order to help get their name out there.  For those of you alien to Street Teaming (as I was) it pretty much involved the ugly word of “pimping” by entering contests on facebook blogs.  This would afford the winner promo such as the blog updating their profile picture or cover photo to promote their works.  All well and good, however, the same authors were winning all the time and it often felt like a thankless task.

When I set up my blog it was a very different beast to what it is now.  I saw that there was, in my view, very little in the way of blog contest opportunities for the sci-fi, dystopian and fantasy genres and I started this as a way to offer those contests to those authors, I was resolute that I would not be catering to the contemporary romance crowd.  However, within a week one of my contests got shared in a general pimping group and I was descended on by the romance street team masses.  Friends tried to help by telling people that it wasn’t that sort of blog and I kind of lost my rag in the end.  I ended up with private messages having a go at me for not being inclusive, people trying to argue with me that heavily romanticised urban fantasy fulfilled the “fantasy requirement element” – in essence what I had started had become twisted out of all recognition because of one careless post share. The damage had been done, I had been bad mouthed around the street team community, I had lost page likes and I wanted to throw the towel in.  I never realised that strangers en masses could be so cruel in private messages.

However, I then realised that these weren’t the people I started the blog for anyway and their loss wasn’t really a huge loss in the scheme of things.  Yes, it was a shame, but what sensible person looks at a blog called “post-apocalyptic playground” and thinks that it’s isn’t genre specific?  I carried on with the contests (I added the word “high” before fantasy) and I had a small but loyal crowd entering blog appropriate authors into the mix but as they filtered out so did my enthusiasm and I haven’t posted a contest since June.  I just don’t know whether to start them up again, whether the glory days of street teams have gone and really whether I have the heart for it.  I have 569 likes on my sister facebook page which is small fry in comparison to the thousands some blogs have and I wonder whether my reach is enough to get to the authors that matter to me.  As you know I have tried to make this blog more personal over the past months but maybe it’s time to find a balance?

If you’re still with me this far (wow it really is a ramble today) what are you thought on this phenomenon?  Did/do you ever enter these types of contest?  If you are author would you like to see more of them? Would anyone want me to start them up again?  I would love your feedback so please don’t be shy!

Until next time, when I hope my leg isn’t such a mangled mess and I have some fun stuff to talk about again – after all it must nearly be time for my fairyloot box to be dispatched 🙂

2 thoughts on “Bookish Ramblings part 11 – is there still a place for facebook blog contests?

  1. I'm in the same boat with you. I often get messages of the same nature and the love for blogging is being sucked out of me. In February, I will be making some hard decisions regarding Bibliogal Book Blog and its future. I wanted a geek centric blog where people felt comfortable posting memes and discussing their favorite television and book fandoms. It's not going quite that way and when I have contests the participation is EXTREMELY low. I think, since June, I've only posted 2 articles and those were reviews. :/

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  2. It's hard isn't it – I have been making such an effort to post regularly as there I so much out there it is easy to get lost. I don't get the abusive messages I mean – 95% of the blogs (on Facebook) are geared towards romance so why feel the need to takeover those remaining? I certainly have found blogging for my own well being is the way forward!

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