by Marsha Ward
On my blog, Writer in the Pines, mixed in among my commentaries on life and writing, I post book reviews, interview authors, and participate in a lot of Blog Books Tours. Frequently, the tours--whether arranged by a blog tour promoter or the author him/herself--will feature some sort of added-value incentive for reading about the book, like a contest or drawing for a prize.
As a fellow author, I look forward to doing everything possible to drive readers to buy the authors' books.
So why is the prize often a copy of the book?
Not only does this puzzle me, but grates against the perceived purpose of the tours: to draw attention to and sell books. I've seen authors offer aprons, jewelry, dolls, and hand-thrown pottery as alternative prizes, instead of their books.
On the other hand, as a reader, I'm just as ready as the next gal to do whatever is asked of me to get my name "into the hat" for the book drawing.
Am I a hypocrite?
My real question is this: Do you think authors should give away their books on blog tours or other public appearances, or should they offer something else as a prize? Take either side. Be as expansive as you like in your comments. Thank you.