Why I'm Done With Blog Tours, But Will Keep Reviewing Craft Books

02 May 2014

new books

Image by Megan, via Flickr

So, Spring book-release season is upon us, and I've been receiving invitations to join blog tours. I love craft books and I want to support authors and publishers where I can. So I'll always review books on this blog. But I'm giving up on the blog tours.

I thought I'd share my reasons here, partly so I can point people to this link instead of explaining myself over and over. And I also hope that, by sharing the ways that the blog tour model is too labor-intensive and broken for me as a blogger, maybe we can come up with better ways to spread the word about new books.

Let me break down my biggest blog-tour pain points:


Image by C/N N/G, via Flickr

Those Crazy Link Lists

So, when you join a blog tour, the publisher will generally send you a long list of links to the other blogs that will be in the tour. The purpose of these lists is twofold: they're supposed to give the reading public a way to follow a blog tour around and get more detail on the book in question. And supposedly, these links also bring all participating bloggers lots of new traffic.

These lists are, to be a little blunt, a waste of time. (Okay, maybe a lot blunt. Sorry.)

As a blogger, I never, ever see a bump in traffic for participating in blog tours, and I've participated in a whole lot of them. As a blogger, there isn't any concrete benefit for me in being part of a blog tour. I blog about books because I'm also a craft book author and want to support the craft book industry.


Image by Wayne Keegan, via Flickr

…And the idea of readers being able to follow the blog tour around via these links? Nope. When those lists are sent out, the links all point to the homepages of the participating blogs – not each blog's review. So if someone comes to my blog tour post, say, three months from now, not one of those links will point directly to the other bloggers' coverage – they'll land on homepages, and my reader is forced to go hunting for the book post. And not all bloggers have a search box installed on their blogs, so that hunt becomes too time-consuming, and most readers drift away.

Many times I've asked publishers to update the list with permalinks to each blogger's coverage and re-send it out after the tour, but no one has ever followed through on this request. I get it - the tour is over and everyone's on to the next one. But seriously, why bother with these lists, then?

Longleat Maze

Image by Jon Candy, via Flickr

One other small peeve about the link lists and I'll shut up: the other way they waste time is in formatting. Book publicists nearly always send these lists out in the form of a rich-text email, which means I have to do a whole bunch of work to convert them into an HTML format that my blogging platform will read. I've tried requesting the list in HTML in many cases, but not everyone understands how to generate that code. Frustratingly, reformatting this link list (which, as we just established, brings me no traffic benefits) can take upwards of an hour.

I know that's a lot of angst to spill over a harmless link list, but honestly, they're 90% of my reason for giving up on blog tours. Although there are others...

Skeeball & Prizes

Image by debcha, via Flickr


I've noticed that publishers' invitations to blog tours have increasingly emphasized giveaways over the past year. To my mind, this has harmed blog tours greatly. What publishers have done (not intentionally) is to train the public that Blog Tour = Giveaway.

You know what that does? It draws a readership who cares only about getting a free book. Increasingly when I participate in blog tours, I get lots of comments, and most of them say things like "Great review! Thanks for the chance to win this book!"

…Except that I don't do giveaways on this blog; I stopped that several years ago. But people who've been trained that Blog Tour = Giveaway aren't reading my review; they're assuming and entering. My favorites are when I put in bold at the top of my post: "I am not doing a giveaway" and they all still try to enter a giveaway. Oy.

As a blogger, this all becomes a huge pain in the patootie, and a big reason to avoid blog tours. It's tempting, I think, to consider any traffic as "good traffic," and to assume that giveaways bring more eyeballs to a book. But as both a blogger and a book author, I would much rather have people taking a thoughtful look at my content than doing a drive-by giveaway entry.

chuck heel

Image by Rachelle, via Flickr

OMG, So Much Overuse

I feel like it's high time that we (meaning bloggers and publishers) starting playing around with this blog tour thing a little. The traditional model (if you can call something less than five years old "traditional") has been repeated with so many new books, it's gotten fomulaic. Line up bloggers, set post dates, send link lists, rinse, repeat. It's become boring to create and boring to read.

I do agree that having some kind of formal launch period, in which we make an effort to get a chunk of online coverage, makes sense for building good word-of-mouth about a new book. But does it always have to be one week or two weeks long? Does it always have to involve a blog post every day?


Image by Jari Schroderus, via Flickr

…And I totally agree that it helps to create some kind of structure where bloggers commit to actual post dates. (I know how easy it is for an unscheduled review to slip down the To-Blog List.) But do we have to always make that into a kind of pageant? Heck - does book promotion always have to involve blogs? Can we find promotion events based in social media, or Amazon, or Goodreads?

I think we could also benefit by thinking about the point of all this coverage (to encourage book sales), and then asking ourselves: what information do crafters want and need in order to make an informed book-buying decision? Is a single project excerpt enough information? Is a review that only uses the three publisher-approved photos enticement enough? Have we thought about the different craft-book-reader niches, and what coverage each one might appreciate? (For instance, a deep technique craft book delights me, and many lifestyle craft books leave me a little flat. Plenty of people feel the opposite. So what kind of online coverage would appeal to each group?)

I'd love to hear your thoughts. There's gotta be more interesting and effective ways to do online book promotion – right?

(And let me reiterate: I'm always open to blogging about your new book. Just please let me do it outside the bounds of your tour. If you're experimenting with a fresh form of tour, then let's talk about it.)



THANK YOU! As a consumer, I am totally TURNED OFF of buying books by blog tours. If I see the same book review over and over in my feed, I just ignore the blog posts and in most cases will not buy books when I find them this way. It's on the same annoyance level of seeing the same ad repeated on Hulu over and over again. I would much rather see reviews that seem like they were created because the blog writer actually bought and liked the book on their own. Thanks for opening this discussion, and for everything you do for the crafternet.

Thank you so much for sharing your perspectives as a book reader, Tricia! That's so helpful, and I hope other consumers will share their thoughts, too.

Definitely agree - one of the downfalls of the "traditional" book tour is that it's repetitive. I've had exactly the experience you describe in my Feedly - a book shows up on multiple blogs all at once, and I balk at reading all that coverage.

THANK YOU for writing this. As an avid blog reader and struggling blog writer, I see so many bloggers who promote books either through tours or just posts. As someone who has written mostly for myself, I find these posts exhausting....so many of them seem like back scratching to me. The books are always promoted by other bloggers who claim they are all "BFFs" or "dear dear friends" but the book itself is NOT the focus....the relationship is. I'd like to hear about the book! Clicking through a tour is time I cannot afford....I read in feedly for time savings since I have young kids. Clicking through to leave comments is a big enough commitment to me, and I often find myself bookmarking posts to go back and read/comment later...which never happens because I come back about three months later.
So what would make it more useful to me? Maybe a tutorial? An interview with the author? Information from the editor regarding choosing the contributors and projects. These would get me interested in the book. And free books are nice, but I'd rather get a free tutorial that will inspire me to go out and buy the darn thing!
Great topic!

Thank you so much for your comment, Kym - most especially, because your time is at a premium!

You raise a great point with the "BFF Model" (Heh! For want of a better term.) I struggle with this as a blogger/reviewer - when friends of mine release books, of course I want to help spread the word. But then again, because they're friends, I have a harder time writing the review. I mean, I only review books here that I can say positive things about, but I do like to point out when there are qualities of a book that didn't satisfy me as much. Reviewing friends' books, can I really do that? It never feels right. But nor does a lightweight kind of review.

...And you are right: it's 100% transparent to consumers when a review is written out of friendship rather than a desire to share thoughts on the book, and I do think that sort of diminishes the authority of the review.

I can't begin to think of a good way to navigate all that. I want to help my friends, period. Perhaps craft publishers rely a bit too much on these friendships to promote books, and more actual benefit could be had by approaching bloggers we don't know, but who reach the market our book needs to reach. Hmmmmm...

This is a great topic, Diane, and one that poses such a quandary for me as a blogger and craft book author. I'm sure what the best answer is, but I've been trying to listen to the issues that are raised in my mind each time I commit to being on a blog tour and let that guide me to make changes in what I allow.

First, I just don't include the list of other bloggers in the tour. That list is not part of my review and I discard it. And second, my most recent answer is to stop accepting free books. Going forward, when you see a book reviewed on my blog you know that I bought it with my own money, even if it's part of a blog tour. I feel like buying books has freed me from some of the reciprocal obligation you're referring to and it supports my friends who are authors, so win win.

That's a really admirable practice for reviews, Abby. I've done tours and refused to include the list too. But it seems to require more effort than I want to expend, constantly explaining this to publicists who organize those tours.

So.. I love craft book blog tours! I just recently started putting actual time into blogging, but have long read craft blogs and have found some of my favorite books via them. I'm simply not "in the know" to find out about new books any other way. I also always google craft books I'm considering in the hopes of finding a blog post about them- Amazon reviews aren't always helpful.

With that being said, I've never participated in one. The link list thing sounds obnoxious, especially when it would be an easy fix.

I've thought before that I'd love to review some books I like on my blog (even though I bought them myself, or they were released a while ago) but haven't received much response when I have emailed and asked for permission in using a photo of the cover, etc.

At any rate, I don't blame you for stopping.. but I'm sad you are! For every fly by night giveaway enter-er, there is someone who actually cares (like me!)

Well, I'm only stopping tour participation, Stephanie - not reviews. If you're subscribed to my RSS, or follow me in any of my social media spaces, there'll be a notice each time I cover a craft book. So I don't think you'll be missing anything!

...And on the subject of getting permission, I'd say don't bother! If you really want to write about a book, please do - take your own photo of the cover, and go for it. You'll be doing the author a favor with the coverage, and they'll appreciate it!

Oh sure! I was just speaking generally. I actually don't think I've seen many book reviews that weren't because of a blog tour - so that was where my comment was stemming from. I already subscribe so I'm not worried about missing anything you post ;)

Oh I love your role as a conversation starter in our blogger world. High five, leader. Can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts. The best part of all of this for me is your question: isn't there a better way? Love all that truth telling. (just grabbed a copy of your book. so exciting! woohooo!!!!)

Thank you, Ginger! Hope you enjoy the book!

My main objection to book tours is that the reviews all seem to say the same few things - on a recent sewing project book tour I saw the same images over and over again. This may be due in part to the reviewers being chosen more from friendship than for particular expertise or perspective on the subject. I can appreciate the link list problems too, though my low expectations of the value of reading reviews I don't see naturally (due to following the blog in question) means the homepage vs review post problem doesn't really come up. The only thing I could see making me want to click through to new blogs (unless I'm just feeling curious that day) is if each person were asked to review a different portion or aspect of the book in depth. I don't know exactly how that would work, of course. And spreading them out so it isn't nine+ consecutive days of same would help too.

I love deep technique craft books too. I keep very few project-oriented books. I agree those probably warrant different kinds of promotions - making sample projects or sharing tutorials might not be relevant for a technique book, but they're highly useful for a project book.

Anyway, I think your critiques are fair and well-explained. Perhaps if book blog tours changed I would start paying attention to them!

That's a really interesting idea, Rebecca - having bloggers covering different sections of aspects of a book. That really would create some impetus to visit more than one blog. Thanks for sharing that!

As you know, I've been learning the ropes about the craft book/blog arena so I guess I'm not tired of the the same-o-same-o, nor do I know about what works and doesn't - so thanks for explaining how it's broken! Unfortunately most readers are traveling at warp speed, getting overloaded, and thus actually showing they are not the serious target market.

I think Amazon and GoodReads are great sources of referrals, and blogs are like listening to your friend say "patootie", so I'm glad you're not stopping your well written and insightful book reviews!

Abby Glassenberg explains how her first book by Interweave was well marketed while her second by Lark was not, and how that shows in the numbers. Perhaps we can study how Interweave does their marketing?


True, Interweave has historically been one of my favorite publishers to work with. Many thanks for your kind words about the reviews, Cecelia!

You're right on so many levels. As a blog reader (you should see my feedly feed!) blog tours actually annoy me because like I am going to be seeking out the next day or so which blog now has their day on the tour. No, unless I happen to already be following another blog on the tour, I do nothing further with it. Hey, I do like to enter giveaways, when it is actually something I am interested in, but blog tours don't do that for me.

Thank you, Carole! Consumer perspectives are extremely helpful to this conversation.

Well said, Diane! As a shop owner (brick and mortar and online) I appreciate the business that a good blog review or mention can drive to us when a consumer reads about us. A big peace of mine has been the constant giving of giveaways to bloggers of books by publishers (fabric from fabric companies, etc…)for a mention, yet we who SELL their goods and make direct money for them get nothing tossed our way for promotion. We have all kinds of demos and events, have our own blog and social media, and the customers can see and touch the book in person and are more likely to buy it when it is in their hands!

We as shop owners need to make samples from books, patterns, fabrics etc.. to sell it. Bloggers are given freebies to review and giveaway long before we can see them to prepare to market and sell! As an author, I would think you want the consumer to buy your books, not just try and win one. I know this sounds grumpy, too, but we all want to see our businesses thrive, the economy as a whole grow, yada yada. You spend a lot of time blogging and formatting (those fabulous photos) and I am sure you and the thousands of bloggers out there want their efforts to be read, not just a quick stop on a hop. I applaud you, Abby and the others who are making their blogs quality, read-worthy. I read my feed with my coffee every morning and hope to see something interesting every day. The hops are exhausting and boring to the reader, too.

Keep up your quality, fabulous blog that has integrity. It is appreciated by many of us!!

Johanna, I've been thinking about your comment all morning. It has never even occurred to me to think about how I might help brick and mortar shops promote a book (except for setting up events in my own city). But there really IS opportunity here to connect with shops outside where I live! I could totally see producing a PDF excerpt that has information shop owners could use to produce a demo or sample project. That would be so easy to do, and could be useful.

Are there any other tools or materials that would be useful to you as a shop owner? And thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. I think you've opened a lot of eyes!

Hi Diane, great article! I was trying to start to understand how blog tours worked (too many, too lazy to really look into it) and you summarized it so well. I guess I'll just skip another blog related time consuming activity! :-)
Thanks for everything.

Diane, I've been reading your posts for some time now and I really appreciate how honest you are about some of the issues facing craft bloggers. As someone who used to sell books professionally, in a bricks and mortar situation, I can tell you that customers would remember they saw a new book on a blog, but couldn't remember the name of the book or the author. Sometimes they would recall the blog they saw it on, and that would help, but that leads me to believe that readers are not jumping around looking at all the reviews of a title, but more what their favorite bloggers had to say about the book. I do see people in my social media circles sharing reviews of books they want, and I think that's probably a better benefit to the reviewer as it becomes a "trusted voice" in the blogosphere. It makes sense to me that you would also not find a traditional blog hop to be useful for promotion either. And as someone who has just figured out her niche, and started a blog, I keep finding myself referring to your excellent advice as I go along. Thank you!

Thank you, Carolyn - that's a really interesting perspective. Definitely points to how much information people take in online in general, and how hard it becomes to remember much of it specifically. Publishers really may be way overestimating online attention spans!

If there's anything that "sticks," it's perhaps that trust you mentioned in specific bloggers we've read over time. And that trust is a delicate thing!

I really love hearing these retail perspectives - your comment and Joanna's really have my wheels turning! Thank you so much for adding your thoughts here. And thank you for your kind words!

Fascinating. I hadn't ever heard the term "blog tour," so that alone edified me. Thanks for taking outsiders like me inside the craft-book marketing world and the blogging world. And thanks for the chance to win—I love books! JUST KIDDING.

I giggled my head off at that, Katie! :-)

I think I followed a couple blog hops in the beginning about a couple books I was really excited about, but never since then. I thought they were boring and repetitive. You know what would get me to buy a book now? One or two really good blogs reviews with some depth (like yours- yours are the best) and then some Instagram shots of people I follow showing they'd bought the book, drooling over it at a bookstore, or making a project from it. This may not make bloggers happy, but I've gotten more ideas from Instagram lately for books. As for the shop owner comment above - they should totally get more swag. I know that when my local boutique Instagrams about the lastest Uppercase mag being in the shop, I want to hop on down.

Thanks for sharing that, Elizabeth. You know, I'm interested in how big a role Instagram has played in building word-of-mouth for Quilting Happiness. People have shared projects they've made from the book, and it's been awesome to get to see and comment on those. I agree with you - social media has to play a much bigger role in these things now. Thank you so much for the kind words about my reviews!

Yes, the more I think about it, the more I think seeing a book in different social media streams, therefore showcased differently by different people is more appealing. That said, related to your spring/fall onslaught rant - I think some of this has to do with the books themselves -there are SO many now. And avid crafters are hard to impress. Avid crafters who have also already seen every craft under the sun on social media sites - even harder, I'd think.

YES! You nailed it, Diane. I almost never participate in blog tours (then again, I'm almost never invited to), but a few weeks ago at the marketing meeting for my upcoming book, I believe I said something like, "Well, there's the ubiquitous blog tour. Which pretty much suck, but the idea of concentrated blog coverage doesn't suck, so if we could figure out a way to do a blog tour that doesn't suck I think we should give it a shot." Then we figured nothing out. But here's what I really think: Aside from the annoying bulleted list, I think blog tours suck because they utterly lack in substance. It's not just photos that are used over and over, it's also snippets of text and topics covered. Read one post and you've pretty much gotten everything there is to get. That's not helpful to me as a reader, and it's certainly not helpful to me as an author. From blog tours I want what I want from anything: something that makes me think. Shallow posts don't make me think Beautiful images do. So do well-written think pieces like this post of yours. And so do the opinions of people I respect. I respect the bloggers whose blogs I read, or I wouldn't read them. I'd like to learn what my favourite bloggers actually think about a book. No book is perfect. As an author, I'd much prefer a thoughtful review that covers the negatives alongside the positives than a shallow cheery recitation of marketing copy. (And as a blogger who tends to write about books when I'm angry about them, I know that my readers have bought books I've ranted about, and I know they've bought books I've raved about. I like to think this is because my writing about these books made these readers think. That thought led them to act. I'm like those readers.)

That all said, a thoughtful review is no small task, and it may be unrealistic to line up a dozen thoughtful reviews. Then again, I'd rather three people say yes to that proposition than a dozen to shallow cheerleading.

The blog tour where every blog features the same content is not appealing to me. I buy quite a few craft books every year, and tend to follow the same scheme I do with movie reviewers: do we have similar taste in style or content? Past that it's all in the details like what skill level is the book written for and how useful the content will be for me. Fewer and more thoughtful reviews are my preference.

That's an excellent characterization of why I never read blog tours anymore, Kim - nobody can manufacture genuine enthusiasm, and nobody can manufacture thoughtfulness. I'd love it if a book visited fewer blogs and received deeper coverage on each.

You're right - it takes a lot of time and energy to write a deep review. And here's where the current Spring-and-Fall heavy book release calendar comes into play (if you'll pardon a short ancillary rant). As a blogger, in these seasons I receive far more review books than I can ever hope to cover well. And I hear from many publicists who hope I can squeeze in just one more review or tour. It's a silly twice-a-year critical mass, and I always end up not covering a bunch of books because I can't risk boring my readers with too many reviews all at once.

I doubt the publishing industry would ever change their scheduling, but dang - I could do way better coverage if books didn't all come out at once. If craft publishers really need to rely on bloggers so much for publicity, a release schedule that works better for us seems to make sense.

That's a really good point. I'd love to have a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the book publicity landscape these days, what with "formal" review pages disappearing and reliance on blogs increasing. It's a very ingrained thing, the spring-fall seasonal split, but I do wonder if/how publicity should change to accommodate a review landscape that is no longer what used to be status quo.

And I wonder what we as authors can do. The real truth of it is that we're the ones who provide our publicists with the list of bloggers to contact, anyway. I rely on my (amazing) publicists to do all the schmancy things I can't do, like reach out to formal news and magazine outlets with whom I have no contacts. But bloggers are *my* contacts. And they're all the other authors' contacts, too. So I wonder if we as authors can break out of the spring/fall onslaught by approaching this kind of "less formal" (though no less time sensitive nor labour intensive) coverage in a manner that's more fruitful and enjoyable for all involved...

I read this post on Friday but had the thought on reading these comments today that the most annoying blog tours for me are the ones that show that the blogger hasn't even received or had time to read their copy of the book. In those cases, the review turns out to be a summary of the table of contents, which I could have read and flipped through on amazon. I appreciate when the blogger has actually followed the directions for a project, or can highlight where the book is filling a hole in my existing library.

This is a thoughtful discussion. As someone with a book coming out in August, I didn't really know how these blog tours worked, but I'd rather have people review my book thoughtfully than provide a set of links to other bloggers' reviews on the tour. I don't know - maybe I just read blogs differently than some, but when I see a long list of links I generally don't even click on them.
Along these lines....not even with books...I don't know that I see a big benefit of blog hops in general. Lots of people do them, but I've wondered if the traffic they bring in is quality traffic or mostly people on the "hop."

I'm still a fan of blog hops as group-based creative exercises. The traffic they bring is definitely uneven, but the fact that the posts are all themed together AND interlinked in perpetuity at least means it's easy for people who find the theme interesting to explore more deeply. And for bloggers, a good hop is an opportunity to stretch your creative muscles a bit.

Absolutely, though, the blog hop model may be suffering from overuse as much as the blog tour model is. Once too many people start using them as a means of gaining traffic, well... then there are too many blog hops and less attention to go around. This is a storyline that's played out in every single online space I can think of.

I can't help feeling like anything we do purely for the traffic isn't all that worth doing. That's just my opinion; nothing universal!

Wow, fantastic post and great discussion. I'll have to revisit it when I have more time.

Thank you!

I think like other commenters before have written blog hops at first were quite novel and fun but are now probably over used. As an author of a recently released self published book trying to market my book is an interesting experience! I've found so far that giveaways haven't actually resulted in any sales but perhaps the idea is just to get your book out there, but a well written review where the blogger took the time to make a project from my book resulted in sales.Hopefully I can find some more great ways to get my book out into the world!

I tend to find new craft books not through blog tours. I find them often through Amazon, when they suggest other people who bought X also bought Y feature, i.e. I'm looking at a book title that I've heard about somewhere else (someone's blog whom I know or read or a friend's referral) and then I look at other books in the same subject area. Rather how I would sort of shop the public library books shelves in the non-fiction books, I find the book I'm looking for and then look at the other things around it in the same subject area. The other way I find out about books is browsing my local quilt shops. I really like doing this in person as I can open the book up, skim parts, looks at the projects and how they are presented, and see if seems like its worth my time. In fact, one my favorite things to do is actually look through a book see the photos, and written content. Since books are so expensive I really want to be inspired when I buy a book, not just do a few projects from it. In fact, my favorite craft/quilt books have been ones that offer me a new way of thinking about the craft, give me some starter projects and a way to then design my own using the techniques presented or give me insight to the traditions and history of a craft/art.
Just some thoughts.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, LynAnne!

I was doing a Google search, and came across this great post! I know it's been nearly a year since you published it, but wanted to leave a comment anyway, as I can definitely relate to your reasons for not doing blog tours anymore.

You see, I've been participating in blog tours for quite some time now, and I've noticed something about them that REALLY bothers me: most of the time, NO ONE comments on my blog tour posts.

I am a very conscientious blogger; whenever I sign up for a blog tour, I make sure I have my post published on my assigned date, usually by midnight. I work hard on my posts, although, of course, the tour company sends me the materials they want to have included in the post. However, my blog has a certain look, so I have use their material in my own way, to fit the blog's style. So these posts do take some time to put together.

And I can definitely relate to what you say about the link lists! I've had formatting problems, too, so what I'm doing now is using the blog tour company logo and attaching the link to their own tour post to it. But, as you have pointed out, the links on the list do NOT take a reader to the tour post, but to the blog's home page, instead. So VERY frustrating!!

There's more to the downside of blog tours, though. From what I've gathered, it seems that a LOT of blog readers consider them spam, and simply don't bother to read the posts. Besides, I've discovered that most authors (who are, for the most part, indie authors) don't even have the courtesy of dropping by my blog and thanking me for hosting them and their book. So, I end up with a blog post that has NO comments. After all my hard work, that is VERY disappointing!!

Recently, I began adding mini-reviews to my tour spotlight posts, to make them stand out from the crowd. Spotlight posts usually include an excerpt from the book in question, so I write my mini-review based on that. I figured that having some original content would make my spotlight posts more interesting. Still no comments!

I cna also relate to what you say about people thinking blog tour = giveaway. So yes, people will come over JUST to enter the giveaway, and not give a HOOT about the post itself.

So now I'm thinking VERY seriously of not doing any more blog tours (OR regular giveaways, for that matter). Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You may have given me the final push I needed to stop signing up for blog tours!! : )

Thanks for stopping by, Maria! I've been pretty happy not doing blog tours over the past year. I wish I'd also seen more publishers using other models than this one, too, but maybe the more bloggers reject this rather tired model, the more we might begin to see innovation.

I also stopped doing giveaways a few years back and have not missed them one iota. The people entering were never my regular readers, they were always folks who swooped in for the freebie and never returned. At the end of the day, that isn't the kind of traffic I blog for, you know?