Jaynie has taken up this topic at her blog before and I think it’s a topic worthy of discussion from several perspectives – Contests and prizes not being open to readers outside the US.
Here’s the deal: I like to run contests. They’re fun and they’re a way for me to say thank you to my readers. I don’t think of those readers as greedy for wanting to win stuff. Who doesn’t want to win free stuff for goodness’ sake?
The attitude of some authors who refuse to open contests to readers outside the US is not something I understand at all. In the first place, it’s not like I spend millions of dollars on contests all the time anyway. In the second place, the chances that folks from outside the US will win contests on such a regular basis that it somehow breaks my postage budget are next to nil.
But the most important part is that it says on my part: “I don’t give a crap about you if you don’t live in the US. You are nothing more than a promotional opportunity for me so if you don’t live in the US, you don’t count.” And uh, there’s no way I’d say that even if I did think it, which I don’t.
It seems terribly self destructive to treat readers poorly. After all where would we be without them? I like my readers and I like that I send packages to Puerto Rico and Canada and Germany and Australia. I like that those international readers make the effort to read my stuff.
Contests are fun. They say, “thanks for being a fan!” so when you say, US ONLY, you’re saying in effect that you don’t care about readers who aren’t convenient for you. Tsk.