Let's talk about international giveaways - a handful of tips for bloggers!

You might have heard all this before, but I just wanted to give a tiny little bit of advice to those of you who just started blogging and organising giveaways.

As a blogger and a book reader outside US/Canada I feel the pain of all these wonderful giveaways that pass us by every bloody day *grinning* So from my side I'm trying my best not only to keep my giveaways open worldwide, but keep them pretty painless.

So here is a couple of tips I want to share with you, guys.

1. Rafflecopter.

For the love of all that is holy, have all the important information about the accessibility of the giveaway available outside the rafflecopter. There are only 2 things that really must be mentioned (the rest is up to you):
a) which countries the giveaway is open to
b) when does it end.
That's it.

The reason I'm saying this, is because Rafflecopter is not visible through Google Reader which most of us use, so we have to click through to your blog, log in to Rafflecopter and then see if there are Terms and Conditions available. Sometimes there is no mention who giveaway is open to, then I personally don't risk entering it.

Sometimes Rafflecopter also refuses to cooperate when you're trying to embed its html to your blog. All you need to do then is open Internet Explorer and do it through that browser, It works for me every time for an html related problems on Firefox.

2. The problem that is TBD aka The Book Depository

You would be amazed how many countries are not on TBD's list. There is a great alternative to The Book Depository out there which ships for free absolutely everywhere, -  Fishpond.com.*

90% of winners of your giveaways will be from US, maybe 1% will be from a country not on TBD list. In that case the book from Fishpond will cost you the same price as book on Amazon, maybe cheaper if it's on offer. If you want to ship it somewhere obscure they might even charge you *gasp* a dollar. That's what happened to me when I had to send a book somewhere in South America, but the service is excellent. You can pay with a card or Paypal and they've got a tracking system and estimated delivery dates - perfect.

I actually bought some absolute bargains from this website (under £3-4) and all I'm saying - keep your giveaways open to everyone with a valid mailing address, don't limit it to TBD. The chances that you will have to use Fishpond are very slim but it's nice to include everyone, who otherwise is often cut off from the giveaways on most blogs. I know how it feels not to be able to get the books you want and I don't want anyone else to feel excluded if I can help it.

* - I haven't been compensated in any way for recommending Fishpond services to you.

3. Ebook vs Paperback.
 If territorial rights don't prohibit it, ask the author/publisher who provides the book to give away an ebook as an alternative in case your winner is international. Heck, if you want to give away the book, and you yourself live in US you can always gift it as a kindle ebook to anyone with Amazon account anywhere* in the world. No postage, no hassle, instant gratification.

* - Hannah pointed out, that if big publishers didn't include your country in territorial rights of the book, you won't be able to receive it. There seem to be no problem with small publishers and indies. Thanks, Hannah!

4. Gift Cards.
Gift Cards don't have to be limited to US/CAN as well. Any country with Amazon will work. All you need to do is log in to Amazon in that particular country and buy the card from there for your winner. Then they can use it. I've done it before and it works. *wink* You can also use Fishpond again for gift vouchers. As far as I know they don't have limitations that Amazon has.

5. Social Media
This is my personal thing, so feel free to ignore it. I don't use Twitter and I'm ashamed of my little... disability. I tried, and I just... can't. So when someone is limiting the option of spreading the word about their giveaway to only Twitter I'm upset - there are gazillions of ways to spread the word: your blog, Facebook and all sorts of weird and wonderful social media platforms that seem to be multiplying overnight. So sometimes it pays off to maybe add one more option to your giveaway, n'est-pas? Again it's entirely personal, and feel free to ignore me.

Here it is. I can't think of anything else. Maybe you can share your tips for the giveaways as well?


  1. I still haven't used Rafflecopter on my blog ... well, I kind of like Google Docs I guess ;-)! What I've never heard about is Fishpond.com so I really need to check this one out. Oh and thanks for pointing out that your Amazon login works on all Amazon sites thus allowing you to send GC from all the sites (well, maybe the Chinese one could be a bit problematic with reading and understanding everything, ha). I've often asked whether it's possible to receive a GC for Amazon UK instead (I buy there too, and Amazon Germany might be too much of a bother for those who don't speak the language) and so far no one refused to send the GC through the UK site.

  2. "I don't want anyone else to feel excluded if I can help it."

    That's nice. I hope everyone feels the same way. Haha! I can't help but groan when I read the "limited to" phrase in giveaway posts. X)

  3. Great post!
    I'm one of those "lucky" ones who are excluded from TBD, I live in Turkey and they don't deliver over here. I didn't know about Fishpond.com that's great info. Thank you!!

  4. Ooh I hadn't heard of Fishpond! Thanks for the tip. :) The prices don't look amazing from a quick glance but I'll bear it in mind.

    As for the ebook tip, be careful with it. I've had 3 books now gifted to me through Amazon.com that I couldn't claim because of my country. Indie books seem fine but traditionally published books tend to have a fit and then there's a load of hassle with getting the buyer a refund and.. ugh it's a pain.

  5. You are actually right, Hannah! All the book I've received so far were from small publishers or indies through Kindle, and I had no problems with claiming them. Maybe when a big publisher limits countries where the books can sell that's when he problem arises. I'll modify my info.
    As to Fishpond, I've noticed a pattern here. A lot of books that just came out a month-two months ago they put on limited promotion forcouple of weeks, and the reduced price is usually slashed by 40-50%, but you have to find them. I have a wishlist on there which I check from time to time, and it really pays off. Sacrificial magic I bought yesterday was £2.95. I also bought about 4 new releases in the past 2 months with price ranging from £2.99 to £3.50! SO it's well worth checking them when you check the price on Book Depository and Amazon.

  6. Maybe I am of topic, but I wanted to give little feedback (hope it is okay). I love your blog and read it regularly. One of my favorite features is your list of international giveaways. But after blog design was changed, the links stopped changing color after clicking on them. So now it is hard to follow what giveaways you already visited and what are new ones :(((

  7. As a new blogger who is participating in her first blog hop next week, I thank you. I have never heard of the fish pond but will look into it.

  8. Personally I just wont bother when there are too many rules. Like friend me, spread it here and there, and the list goes on. I want it easy

  9. Thanks, Sofija! I will try to tweak html on links so they could change colour after you've visited them. :)

  10. Never heard of Fishpond so i'm checking it out!
    What you mentioned about Giftcards and Amazon it annoys me too. There are times that i saw people have Am Giftcards open to US/Can. only? Why? Everyone can buy from Am.com.

    It's feels good that i actually do most of those things! Ha! Great post!

  11. Great post! I too won't click on a giveaway in Google reader if it doesn't specify if it is an international giveaway.

    Reading back the comments I'm so surprised to learn that TBD doesn't deliver to somewhere like Turkey - bizarre!

    I'm off to check out Fishpond - I love finding new online book options!

  12. Hi,

    I am curious about fishpond actually. I've heard about the site last year, but haven't found anyone who has actually bought from the site so I was reluctant to try. Are they reliable? How long did it take for your order to arrive?

    Would really appreciate your thoughts on them. Or perhaps a review post on fishpond? Thanks!

  13. Hi, Layen! Yes, they are very reliable. I had 7-8 orders from them in total so far. Each time the book arrived within the allocated delivery times. They give them to you straight away. Plus you can track your delivery. So yeah, I woud say, I had no problems with them. Delivery is 2-2 1/5 weeks usually.


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