1. Run it for only a short period of time.
I announced my raffle back on the 10th of November with an end date of the 15th of December - too long!
At first I was energetically blogging and then I got so busy I had no time to update the blog. I actually forgot that I had a competition going on! But never mind, I had a lot of entries anyway. So I wrote out all the names on little slips of paper and put them in a Chinese hat.
Now all I needed was somebody to pick the winner.
2. Do not entrust the name picking to someone named Nick.
Specifically number one son who happened to be home from Uni.
There was an unseemly scuffle between Nick and his sister for the hat of names -
And then lo and behold, he mysteriously picked a name just like his own -
But when he picked yet another Nick, I smelled a rat.
Sorry, Nicky S and Nick C, it weren't you. We had to do a re-pick.
3. Ask people who have no idea what's going on to pick the winner.
Hugo and his friend happened to knock on the door at this point to see if we still had Hugo's Playstation controller. I asked them to pick a name without cheating and they obliged.
And here's the winner!
Congratulations, Dave Cousins! BTW Dave's debut novel Fifteen Days Without a Head will be out in January 2012! Dave wins the UK end of our raffle - the prize is the illustrated Filipino version of Tall Story published by Cacho Publishing.
I had one more hatful of names to go - this time the names of entries from non-UK people.
We asked the sibling not-named-Nick to pick the winner.
And the winner is: Jan Markley ... out there in Canada! Jan's second book, Dead Bird Through the Cat Door - Nancy Drew for the Ipod Generation, Jan says - has just come out and I'm sure you're all eager to buy it. Jan wins a UK edition of Tall Story.
Thanks everyone for joining my experiment in blog competitions. I will try to do some more in future but next time, I will definitely be more careful about who I pick to pick the names.
And sorry to the Nick-namesakes who might have been disappointed not to be picked. We put your names back in the hat. We did.