The Ease of a Contest

I’ve decided to end the monthly Books & Whatnot display contest.

When I launched the display contest in January, my main purpose was to show how easy it is to execute a contest. Putting the beautiful displays together took some time, but to submit them for the contest, it was a matter of taking a photo and sending it in. I even encouraged you capture the image with your smart phone and send it to me… just to make it a little easier on you.

This contest lasted 8 months. Some months there were no winners. Some months our judges would award two winners. I awarded less than $1000 in prize money, but I was rewarded with a peek into some fantastic bookstores, a trove of display ideas, and some fantastic new friends.

If you’ve been considering contests at your bookstore, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Determine and post the rules. Post them in the store and on your website.
  2. Make it easy. If it’s a photo contest, consider allowing submissions through Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Just read up on any “contest rules” for each platform to make sure you comply.
  3. Post a “contest ends” date.
  4. Solicit prize sponsors. Contests can have very low overhead costs, but if you want to offer large prizes, consider partnering with sponsors who can offer great prizes in exchange for publicity.
  5. Solicit judges. It’s good to have an unbiased opinion. My judges were professional display designers who had no idea who you were.
  6. Promote, promote, promote!
  7. Post the winners. Post the winners in the store, on the website, and through social media.

Thank you to ALL of the bookstores who submitted displays for the contest. Please continue to send your display images to me. I’ll continue to feature them in the display gallery and in the newsletter.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she’s a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type.

@BethGolay