Help me run a contest giving away a book

I’m not sure if this is the right forum, but it involves my book and my fiction website, so I’m taking a stab that CS is the proper home. There’s no money or purchases involved, so it’s not an ad or anything like that.

I recently had a book published – it’s a novelty item that runs about $50 including postage. (Not my pricing, by the way! I don’t value my work that dearly. :D) Anyway, I have the publisher’s permission to give away a copy of this book to one of the readers of/visitors to my website, which is home to a free serialized work of fiction. Anyone on my mailing list would be able to enter by emailing me their entry.

Since I’d like to use this contest to promote / encourage reader participation and feedback, I was thinking of instituting some “point” system or other method so that anyone can send in an entry by email, but a reader can submit additional entries by doing stuff like posting on my message board, posting on the mailing list, writing a review on varioius fiction directories, and so on. Then I’d add up the entries and pick randomly. Obviously, people who have multiple entries will have a better shot of winning.

I’m not sure if this is a good idea, or even exactly how this would work. What do you guys think, is this too convoluted? I also need a way to pick random numbers; if anyone knows of a script or website that might be good for this purpose, please let me know!

I am on several authors’ fan pages on Facebook and they occasionally have contests to win books that involve solving puzzles or answering quizzes. You could have a quiz for which at least some of the answers are available on your web site, and they’d have to read your work to find the answers. That’d get you traffic and make sure they’re actualllly looking at your work.

Re random numbers, google “random number generator.”

Thanks, Sigmagirl! I’ve actually done a quiz and survey in past years, actually, and they are really enjoyable (and certainly worthwhile for me). This year I want to make it a bit more open, so that it takes a little less work on the audience’s part, but still encourages a variety of feedback or interaction.

Though maybe that’s another way people could enter. Hmmm.