The Art of the Giveaway: Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth @mroth_author

Well hey there! Welcome back to another Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth. It seems like it’s been ages, but… nope. Only a week 😉

So now that we’re done with the whole “What’s Next” thing, I thought I’d talk a bit today about marketing yourself through giveaways. Because we do that, ya know. We have to market ourselves. You’re the sole representative of your own personal brand. (As annoyingly pretentious as that sounds.)

First, let’s talk about the type of giveaway that you’re planning. I’ve seen authors do blog hops, rafflecopters, and Facebook parties, mostly. While all of them are successful at generating traffic.. because, hey. Who doesn’t want to get free shit, right?

Not all of these are successful in getting people to take an interest in your work. You’re giving them stuff, and they might win it.. but is there anything you’re offering them beyond a chance to win something they don’t already have. If they win this thing, will they bother investing in you by buying your books in the future?

Sad to say, but … probably not without some other reason for doing it. I’ve found that most people who attend these giveaways not only want your free stuff but want to know you. They want to feel like they’re a part of your secret author world. You do an interesting thing and people want to know more about it. They want to know where you get your ideas, who your sexy inspirations are and how your mind works. Giving away a purse or a blanket or free books or whatever isn’t the important part.

Live chat tends to work best. That’s why I feel like Facebook parties are so successful. You get a random group of authors together, split the time up however you’d like, and then talk to people. Do a couple of contests. Let people who you don’t otherwise talk to, talk to you. It’s great for exposure and usually pretty fun.

Blog contests are really one sided. Sure, people comment.. but essentially you spew words about whatever you’re talking about until you’re done. There’s not a huge draw for people to interact unless they either feel obligated by some rule you’re put on the contest or you’ve said something really, really profound that touches them. Both can happen but one happens more than the other. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Rafflecopter is a cool little contest platform, but you’re not delivering a message with them, you’re not sharing about yourself. You’re not engaging people. You’re giving them tasks to do in order to win your free shit. You can embed these on your Facebook page and all, but … I feel like you’re not adding enough value to make the free item you just gave away worth it.

I guess what I’m saying is that every contest or giveaway you run shouldn’t just be about you giving a thing away. It should be about sharing yourself in a way that makes people want to approach. Sure they may win the thing, but they should also leave feeling like even if they didn’t win that they didn’t waste a ton of time entering.

I’ll stop waxing poetic about this. Till next time!


Michelle Roth

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About Michelle Roth

Michelle Roth is a novelist from the Great White North (Toronto, ON). When she’s not disappearing into foreign lands, or making two perfect strangers that she invented fall in love, she’s probably curled up somewhere with a glass of wine and a good book. In her spare time she is typically hanging out with her awesome boyfriend and their two equally awesome cats. She likes taking road trips to nowhere in particular, cooking elaborate meals then making other people do the dishes, and being nerdy on the internet. Her books are currently available on

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