I Have Giveaway Guilt! Let’s Discuss.

Posted October 6, 2016 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 38 Comments


I absolutely love giveaways. I love hosting them AND I love winning them. There’s just something so exciting about the feeling you get when you’re the winner!! But I’ve noticed that, while I adore giveaways, I also feel a certain amount of guilt over them—both the ones I host and the ones I win. What’s that about? Giveaways are fun, so why am I stressing myself over them?!

Well, it turns out that I pretty much just have a guilt issue that spans all sorts of different subjects—giveaways is just one of them. Don’t worry, I’m not losing sleep over any of this stuff, but there’s always a little twinge that I can’t seem to get rid of.

I thought I’d share some of the things I get those twinges over and see if anyone else feels the same!

Guilt Over Giveaways I Host:

  • Taking a long time to send winnings out. Lord knows I’m not the most organized of people. This malady occasionally rears its ugly head when it comes to sending out giveaway winnings. I’ve been known to go through my email and say, “Shoot! I still haven’t sent out that book!!” I try to send winnings within a week, but there are times it’s taken longer!!
  • Awww … too bad they didn’t win. Every once in a while I’ll have a giveaway where some people participate in LOTS of ways. They tweet about the giveaway often, comment, visit the posts that are being promoted in the giveaway—just generally give their all. Then I pick the winner and it turns out to be a random person who had one really basic entry. I know it’s Rafflecopter who makes these decisions, but I can’t help but feel bad that there was someone trying so hard who didn’t win. I swear, sometimes I’m tempted to give them a consolation prize! (But that seems unfair too, so I don’t.)
  • Not enough entries for an author/publisher sponsored giveaway. There’s nothing worse than being really excited to promote a book with an author or publisher sponsored giveaway and then having almost no one enter. Poor, sad little giveaway. 🙁
  • Giveaways are looked down on. I know that some people just generally look down on giveaways and think that they’re just a ploy to get more followers. I used to feel a little bad about that sometimes, but I’ve pretty much gotten over that one now. I love giving my readers a chance to win a great book, and I don’t feel guilty about gaining some followers in the process!
  • Sending books in old packaging. This is a weird one. Every time I win a giveaway, I notice that my books tend to come in pristine packaging, obviously purchased just to be sent to me. Um, I don’t do that. I reuse envelopes (mostly ones I get from Amazon), sticking new labels over the old and taping the envelope closed. This makes me feel a tinge of guilt (especially when I get a pretty package from someone else), BUT I can’t bring myself to buy padded envelopes when I have like 5,000 of them from Amazon. The thought of throwing all those used envelopes in the garbage just makes me cringe—such a waste. So, if you win something from me, I’m warning you now that you’ll get a re-used envelope. I don’t foresee me changing this anytime soon!

Guilt Over Giveaways I Enter/Win:

  • Entering a giveaway on a friend’s blog. Am I the only person who feels a little bit guilty when I enter a giveaway on a blogger friend’s site? I almost feel like the friend is going to think, “Oh, she just came by for the giveaway.” Or, I feel like I shouldn’t win a giveaway on a friend’s site because they’re my friend and I shouldn’t take stuff from them. (Weird, I know.)
  • Not reading a book I’ve won. I have SO many books already, and then I win a new one. When am I going to read this new book? Often, the answer is not for a long time. And, of course, I feel guilt over this. Why did I bother entering if I wasn’t going to read the book right away?! Oh, and if I know the person I won the book from, I feel doubly guilty—like they’re constantly wondering when I’m going to read their book.
  • Made a mistake on an entry. Rafflecopter used to allow you to fix an entry if you made a mistake, but no more. So, every once in a while, I’ll click the wrong thing or hit enter before I’ve filled in my full Twitter address or something, and then I stress over the fact that the person running the giveaway is going to think I was cheating. Which, is seriously like a horrific thought to me.
  • Entering a giveaway I wasn’t eligible for. This is very similar to that last one. Have you ever entered a giveaway and then read the rules more carefully and realized it was only open to people who live in Australia or something (assuming you’re not Australian)? Um, oops! How embarrassing!
  • Entering a giveaway with low entries. I also feel a small twinge of guilt when I enter a giveaway with a low number of entries—almost like I’m taking advantage or something. This makes no real sense, I know (since everyone knows that giveaway hosts want more entries), but I never claimed to be logical.

So, there you go. I know most of these things aren’t worth feeling even a twinge of guilt over, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it anyway. Maybe sharing with all of you will help to dispel the last shred of self-condemnation and I’ll be able to enjoy my giveaways guilt-free!

Do you feel strange, unnecessary guilt over giveaways or am I the only one who stresses about these things? I want to know!



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38 responses to “I Have Giveaway Guilt! Let’s Discuss.

  1. I get where you are coming from with a lot of these. I wish Rafflecopter would allow you to fix mistakes, because I do this sometimes and I feel so bad. I don’t want them to think I did it on purpose to get a free entry or something. It’s just easy to do! I think it’s quite fine to enter your friend’s giveaways – most people realize this will happen, and it’s still supportive!


    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: Picture Book Review: Bedtime for Batman
    • Yes! Why did Rafflecopter take away the ability to fix something if you make a mistake? It’s so frustrating! And, considering that there really are people out there trying to win giveaways without actually fulfilling the entry requirement, I always get all stressed that someone will think that’s what I’ve done! I know you’re right about the friend thing, too. I actually LOVE it when one of my friends wins a giveaway, so it makes no sense that I worry about doing it the other way around. But I never claimed to make sense!

  2. Don’t feel bad. I have so much giveaway guilt that I’ve never entered a giveaway. I’m a broke student. I can’t afford to host a giveaway, so I don’t feel like I should enter them. I’d feel guilty about taking something from the community when I can’t give anything back.

    Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted: September Wrap-Up
    • Now, see, I totally want you to enter all of my giveaways because I feel like your giveaway guilt is completely unjustified! (Why I can’t transfer that thought to my own is beyond me.) Seriously, enter away!! You give lots to the blogging community with your blog–giveaways is just one little aspect of the blogging world. And the idea that a broke student is winning my giveaways would make me very happy! 🙂

  3. I only have hosted giveaways when it is a blog tour and it is provided. I want to host more but $$$ issues. BUT I do feel guilt at entering on almost all the ways you mentioned. Especially doing an entry wrong and not being able to fix it or entering one with a low turn out. But I have won a good about of books and I feel like I never read them. I need to get on that!!! Love this post!!

    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted: Monthly Rewind ~ September 2016
  4. I use used envelopes as well, I am not going to pay for new ones as long as I have some that won’t fall apart when in the mail!
    I sometimes do ‘comment’ giveaways on my blog or on Facebook. Yeah, it might sound weird, but I don’t really care. It’s a way for me to really give back to the people who interact with me, and I can still use Random.org to have everything be randomly decided.
    I have won some books I haven’t had the time to read yet, and I don’t really feel bad about that anymore. I buy books I don’t read straight away, too.
    Great post, Nicole 🙂

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted: Audioreview: It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover
    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who re-uses envelopes. I thought that was a completely normal thing to do because it just seems so much less wasteful, but then I noticed that none of the giveaways I won seemed to come in used envelopes. Some of them have even come in really special “pretty” envelopes! Not mine.

      The comment giveaway is a good idea to reward people who are active on the blog. It especially gets me with something like my wrap-up round-up giveaway where I really try to make the entries so that they encourage people to read everyone’s wrap-ups. And then the winner will be someone who just read mine and no one else’s and I’ll feel all guilty! 🙂

  5. Sam

    I do make a best effort to read the books I won, but you know, too many books, too little time. Confession: I really feel bad when I win, but it was a giveaway for several things, I won something I did not want.

    • Yes! I didn’t think of that one, but that’s definitely happened to me. Where there’s a giveaway for several books and you REALLY wanted one of them, but then you win another random book and think, “Gee, I guess I should probably read that.” Glad I’m not the only one who’s had that happen!

  6. I don’t feel guilt over any of them…I hope that if I have a give away (which is not often) all my blogger friends feel like they can enter! That’s why I do it. It makes me so happy when someone I know wins. I don’t feel bad about asking them to follow either, because if they came to the blog, I am like you, I want followers, and if give aways allow for that then YAY! I do feel bad once in a while when someone who only did the free entry wins, but they came and they did what was asked and that has to be enough for me. You crack me up. I don’t always get RIGHT to the books I win either. I can only hope that I will get to them 🙂 hehe.

  7. So…this afternoon I sent a prize to someone who won my one and only giveaway.

    In June.

    Yep, it took me over THREE MONTHS to send out my prize. For most of that time, it was sitting in an addressed padded envelope in my house, then it spent a few weeks riding around in the back seat of my car.

    I don’t think I”m going to have any more giveaways!

  8. Hahahaha I totally feel the same way. I’ve never hosted any giveaways because I can’t afford to do them myself, but I’m also too afraid to host any author sponsored ones because I’ll feel terrible if there doesn’t end up being a lot of entries.

    As for the one I enter, I feel a little guilty too when it’s a friend’s blog, but I also feel a little guilty when it’s a blog I don’t visit regularly? So basically I feel guilty regardless, haha, which is ridiculous. But like you, it’s not like I’m losing sleep over this. I also feel guilty about the books I’ve won but not read yet. And I feel guilty when I’ve already read the book and enter a giveaway because I feel like I’m potentially robbing other people of the opportunity? But if I don’t own a physical copy and really liked the book, then I want one! And I also feel about the mistakes and whatnot.

    But you really shouldn’t feel bad about taking too long or using old packaging. When I won your discussion challenge giveaway, you sent that book out super fast! And people are just happy to win free books and really shouldn’t be concerned about how pretty the packaging is!

    • How funny! I hadn’t thought of it, but actually you’re right – I feel guilty if I enter a giveaway on a friend’s blog OR a stranger’s blog. I guess I need to find bloggers that I kind of follow but am not friends with them and then I need to make sure not to interact with them too much so I can enter all their giveaways guilt-free. Makes total sense, right?

      I’m much better about sending out the discussion challenge giveaways because those come from Amazon and all I have to do is click a button and it’s done!

  9. OMG Nicole, your discussions have been ON POINT lately, I am laughing so hard! Because THIS IS ME TOO! (Sometimes I feel like we might be the same person!) Especially the winning ones! Like, if I am hosting a giveaway, I feel much less guilty because hey, I am giving someone a free book. Though I DO get the Rafflecopter guilt! And the author/publisher sponsored one, that is hard! (Though, to be fair, I DO always use new envelopes because I am too lazy to peel off all the stickers and junk, and they’re $5 for a box of 25 at Sam’s Club hahha- and I am generally pretty good about getting them out promptly- though again, I don’t lose sleep over it because well, free book for them.)

    Now, the winning giveaways. YES. Yes to all! The friend thing is so true! I worry that people will think my friend cheated or something! BUT I love when a friend wins my giveaway, like when you won the Shattering Stigmas one 😀 I also panic about the mistakes too! That is the WORST feeling. OH! But I DO love entering ones with low entries because YAY more chances for meeee! That’s called being selfish, but I can live with it 😉 OH and I always feel bad when I don’t read the book right away for sure. Or even worse, if I somehow end up with a duplicate after I’d already won. It happens to me and I don’t know WHY. It’s just my weird, generally not great luck hahah.

    Oh, and those people who look down on giveaways? I am SO over them, too. I like giving away books sometimes, it is NICE. And yes, if I grab a few followers, yay to that too. I have found awesome blogs that I may have not otherwise found because of giveaways, so why not? I love everything about this post, Nicole. LOVE ♥

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Review: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati
    • I’m so glad I’m not the only one who suffers from this! And I was really excited to win the Shattering Stigmas giveaway, but that’s actually a perfect example of a time where I kind of felt guilty entering. Every time I entered, I couldn’t help but have this little niggling voice at the back of my head that said, “But what if they think you’re only reading their really profound mental health posts for the sake of the giveaway? How selfish would that seem?” Obviously, I got over it and entered anyway. (And YAY! now I get to read Made You Up, which I know from your blog is awesome.)

  10. UGH I AM WITH YOU. Giveaways are actually the worst sometimes.? I feel sooo bad if I enter a giveaway on a friend’s blog. Like if I win, maybe other people will think it’s rigged?? And I also feel bad if I win a giveaway for a book I didn’t really want! Like sometimes I just enter BECAUSE WHY NOT and then afterwards I’m like “why did I enter for this omg someone else probably wanted it more”.
    But recently I had this hoooorrible giveaway experience where I literally won a giveaway in February and finally received it in September. That’s really not okay. And it was because the host NEVER SENT IT. I had to ask twice and I felt like the worst needy whingey person in the world.? But I really wanted the book! And I actually don’t have a lot of money to spend on books so I needed it hahha. But anyway. I kind of feel SO BAD about that that I literally never enter giveaways atm. So yes. I have such giveaway hangups I don’t even know. ?? I do wish I could host more of them on my blog, though, because I DO think giveaways are awesome rewards for people…who..don’t have so many giveaway hangups like me?!? Omg I’m stopping. This comment is a trainwreck.?
    But least to say: EXCELLENT and very relatable discussion!

    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted: Beautiful Books 2016 ~ Introduce Your Novel
  11. You’ve nailed it with a lot of these! I feel especially bad when a super loyal blog follower and reader who I know would love the prize doesn’t win, and some random person I’ve never heard of gets it (probably with a free entry), and I’m not sure they are going to read or appreciate it.

    And it cuts both ways — I need to make sure I only enter giveaways where I’m actually going to READ THE BOOK. I myself am prone to giveaway frenzy!

  12. YAS! All the things you wrote here plague me! I feel bad when people don’t win my giveaways, and I feel bad that I can’t host more of them. I feel bad reusing packaging too, but hey that box was just sitting there. I feel terrible entering giveaways, especially since I don’t comment as much as I want to. I always try to comment on everything else while I am there. I read most posts in my email and I forget to comment half the time (that’s terrible!).
    Thank you for posting this!

  13. Ahhh me too! I LOVE to enter giveaways, but I have tried to tame it down a little bit and ONLY enter ones that I really WANT.. which is like almost ALL giveaways! Hahaha

    The bad thing about this is when I DO WIN, and I get notified that I won… but I don’t receive the prize! ???? it makes me all kinds of sad and I’m too shy to ask the host for my prize! Sigh* sooo yeah, I have let some of these slide.

    I also get guilty about sending stuff when I host giveaways because going to the post office is sooooo exhausting! No matter that the post office is less than a mile away from my house.. LOL which is why I prefer book depository or amazon so J don’t actually have to mail stuff myself.. ?

    Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA recently posted: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund | Book Review
  14. I don’t think giveaway hosts should ever feel guilty about anything – you’re giving away free books! You get a free pass for everything! 😀

    But yeah, I once entered a giveaway where I was THE ONLY ONE who entered. *cringe* And I won. And I haven’t read the book yet. That’s pretty horrible…

  15. Oh great post! I do a lot of these too. With giveaways I host I mostly feel bad that I don’t do them as often or can’t giveaway amazon gift cards for example and think people might not like to win a physical book as much. Or I feel bad that all the others didn’t win. I want to make everyone happy.

    With giveaways I win I feel guilty because another person didn’t win. Especially when I don’t read the book and then I wonder if someone else would’ve been more happy about it. And then if I deserve to win or just shouldn’t enter as someone else might want the price more and if they do I want them to win. I know I probably should think too much about it and I am really happy when I do win a giveaway, but a bit guilty too. I always try to enter giveaways only that I do want to win, but some giveaways are a bit on the line. I would like it, but not that badly and then i feel even worse when I win one of those. And I have done the wrong entry too and the entering and then didn’t realizing it was US only or something like that, even though I always try and check that first.

    Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #199
  16. Jen

    Yes, everything you wrote is SO me! What I feel the guiltiest about is not reading the books I’ve won. If I win a book directly from an author then I try my hardest to read those asap. But if it’s from a tour company or another blog then I sometimes slack ack. I created a list of books I’ve won on Wunderlist to try and help me read them, but yeah. I feel so, so, so, so guilty over this! I’m so happy to know I’m not the only one that feels this way!

  17. Wow. A lot of these ring true for me. I’m especially bad about sending out giveaway prizes on time. A rafflecopter will end and it’ll take me a few weeks to getting around to sending out the prizes. Sigh. That’s probably my biggest guilt. I hardly ever enter giveaways anymore myself because of the guilt that I can afford a lot of the prizes on my own, which I’m very grateful for, so I leave the winning to someone else who may need it. Then I hear about people turning around and selling their prizes on ebay and I get all upset again. So giveaways have become an unhappy topic for me in the last few months. Sigh again.

  18. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who has these feelings! And you’re not the only one who sends prizes out in old packaging. I do that too! 🙂 I often feel guilty when I win books but don’t get around to reading them right away, but again, like you say, they’re on the shelf with all my other TBR books to read. I will, I promise! Great post!

    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted: Review: Deity (Covenant #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  19. Dudette, your discussions are SO on point!

    Taking a long time to send winnings out. YES, which you currently have first hand experience of! :-/ I always have amazing intentions, but this is also why I struggle to sell items on eBay, because the thought of doing something as simple as arranging the postage just makes me tremble with fear. Sigh. A lot of the time I cheat and send it to the winner direct from Book Depository or similar because there’s less hassle. BUT I do prefer making up a proper personalised little package.

    Not enough entries for an author/publisher sponsored giveaway. This just happened to me recently, and I felt SO bad. Especially because the book on offer was genuinely AMAZING.

    Giveaways are looked down on. Not going to lie, there was a time when I did giveaways as a method of increasing engagement and followers. Of course I discovered, as most people do, that it may increase numbers, but doesn’t really increase meaningful engagement. That being said, I still like hosting giveaways from time to time, and usually make being a blog follower a stipulation, because I want to thank/gift someone who does actually engage. I like sharing the book geek love.

    Entering a giveaway on a friend’s blog. I only feel odd about this if I subsequently win, because I don’t want anyone to think that’s why, and I’m the same when a friend enters one of my giveaways and wins. I know it’s all above board, but sometimes people have lots of opinions.

    Not reading a book I’ve won. YES. Like I will get to it, and there’s lovely memories and sentiment attached to it now, and I will read and review it one day… But reading takes time, and *oh, look at that new shiny book*

    Entering a giveaway I wasn’t eligible for. I’ve done this once or twice, but then thought if I won, maybe they would let me send it to one of my US friends? Or maybe they just disqualified me. I’ll never know. Lol.

    Actually, this has totally inspired me to write a response post – would you be OK with that? It’ll be the same subject, and I’ll link back to your original for inspiring it. I haven’t wanted to write a discussion in ages and now I want to write ALL THE THINGS! Lol

    R xx

    Rachel recently posted: Review: The Opposite of Loneliness
  20. I’ve only done audiobook giveaways (2 of them), so I don’t have a lot of the issues that surround actually sending the items. However, my first giveaway was really early on and didn’t have a single entry. And the one successful giveaway I did was won by someone who just did the free entry. So I know how you feel about several of these.

    Again, since I do audiobooks I don’t enter a lot of giveaways. But I have won a couple and not read the books yet. So I totally get you on that one.

  21. Yep. I’m currently hosting a giveaway and was alerted by a Twitter user that it was a sick ploy to drive traffic to a post she found offensive. I don’t mind she found the post offensive. (Though it might have been useful to talk TO me about it rather than ABOUT me. …Or to my co-blogger, who is the actual author of the post.) But the giveaway was certainly NOT meant as a traffic driver. I sincerely just want to give someone a book. It’s pretty demoralizing and makes me want to just save my money next time.

    I’m also mildly disappointed when I host giveaways and people who have been loyal followers for years don’t win. I mean, that’s definitely the point of having a random drawing–so anyone has the chance to win–but I’d love to see someone who loves my blog and is really interested in the book get it, not someone who just enters every giveaway they come across. 🙂

    Briana @ Pages Unbound recently posted: Four Contemporary Authors With Beautiful Prose
  22. I don’t think anyone should feel guilty entering a giveaway, especially a bloggy friend giveaway! A blogger won’t put up a giveaway or host one if they don’t want to give away the book, so how can anyone feel bad winning that book? I have lots of giveaways because I can’t keep all the books that come into my house otherwise I’d be the next feature on Hoarders! I’m happy if I can pass on a book to another reader, and even more thrilled when it’s a bloggy friend that wins! Also, don’t feel bad about re-using packaging. Recycling is a good thing. Good for the planet. I can’t imagine anyone would have an issue with reusing those bubble packages. What a waste not to. Great discussion post, Nicole! 🙂

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