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BOOK REVIEW: You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter by Carolyn Wilman "The Contest Queen"


When I attended BookExpo Canada in June, I briefly met Carolyn Wilman aka “The Contest Queen” where she was promoting her book You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter, a how to guide on being a winner.

As anyone who reads this blog knows, this isn’t the usual type of book reviewed here. And no, it wasn’t the shamrock green bracelet I got that swayed me to read Wilman’s book. I was curious to get a look at her system, since she enters several thousand contests and sweepstakes a month!

I don’t win much as a rule, the largest probably being the $50 in groceries I won at the fall fair when I was 14 – not something too thrilling to a kid I might add. But here’s this woman who has won trips all over the world, a year’s supply of pizza and loads of DVDs and books.

Learning more on how to win free books is something I’m always interested in. Winning a trip may not be too bad but I’m not sure about free weed whackers or a year’s worth of diapers.

This is a specialized book, of interest to those who love entering contests and want to become, or may already be, dedicated “contestors,” Wilman’s spelling for someone who enters contests daily. She works through her system for tracking and entering online contests, the best ways to increase your odds, attracting luck, links to contest sites and a great deal of other helpful information. The information is provided in a logical format with many personal anecdotes to illustrate Wilman’s points.

I visited several of the sites mentioned in Wilman’s book and entered some relevant draws, looking for contests with short entry time periods to increase my odds. So far I haven’t had any results but I suspect that’s due to the contests still accepting applications – rather than Wilman’s advice!

The internet has opened up the field for contests and if you’re wary about contesting online, then this is a great resource to help you differentiate between scams and valid opportunities to win something. Wilman also offers a free bi-weekly eNewsletter with news and tips for her readers, which you can sign up for on her website.

This is the Canadian Edition, the American Edition is due out in October 2006.

ISBN10: 1419613286

Publisher: Imagination Edge Inc.
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Trade Paperback
Author Website:

posted under contest, non-fiction

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