Confessions of a Twitter Contest Addict: What You Can Learn From My Addiction
Hello, my name is Janet. And I am addicted to Twitter contests.
I swear I haven't always been this way. Sure, I'd entered a contest here and there if the prize was particularly enticing (I really wanted that all-expenses-paid trip to the Super Bowl that one year), but I always was the stereotypical “I never win anything” type. I equated entry forms with lost causes, and therefore, generally avoided them. Why waste my time?
When I started tweeting, the many contests populating the Twitterverse began to catch my eye, and they started to become too hard to resist. Some were as easy to enter as retweeting a phrase, while others demanded a more clever response that sparked my creativity.
And then something strange started to happened. I started to win. For example, by completing and tweeting the phrase “I can't wait for the season finale of Mad Men because ...” (because you can never have too much Don Draper, by the way), I won a Mad Men calendar and soundtrack—particularly exciting because I adore that TV show and can't get enough of anything associated with it. And by simply retweeting a sentence about the season premier of the TV show Southland, another favorite of mine, I won the opportunity to spend a morning sitting in on radio interviews with one of the show's stars, actress Regina King—truly a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
When it comes to television, movies and music, I tend to gravitate toward contests involving my well-established favorites. But when it comes to books, I find that Twitter in general, not just Twitter contests, is a great way to acquaint myself with new authors and titles.
A few months back, I threw my hat into the Twitter contest ring to win a copy of the book, “You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation,” by Susannah Gora. I hadn't heard of the book until I saw the contest on Twitter, but as a huge fan of John Hughes and Brat Pack movies, I knew I had to have the book. Even though I eventually lost the contest, I purchased the book the next day and quickly devoured it. I'm now a one-woman marketing team for this book: I posted on Facebook that I was reading it. I've given it as a gift to a friend, and recommended it to at least a half-dozen more. Thank you, Twitter, for acquainting me with this title.
My latest Twitter win came just last week. I won a signed copy of Belinda Carlisle's new memoir, “Lips Unsealed,” from Crown Publishing, the same publisher of the Gora book. I've begun to associate Crown with publishing books that I'm especially interested in, and I always pay particular attention to a tweet when I see their logo next to it. For the first time, I'm becoming a fan of a book publishing brand, rather than just individual titles and authors.
So what can you, as book publishers, learn from my rampant Twitter contest addiction? While I'm sure many of you already are, if you're not on Twitter, you should be. It's yet another way to acquaint readers with your titles, your authors and your brand, and foster interaction around books. If it wasn't for Twitter, I may never have learned of the Gora book. There are so many titles vying for consumers' attention these days, that it's important that you're active in as many places as possible where your readers live, connecting them to books that will enrich their lives. Isn't that what this business is all about?