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Saturday, June 15, 2013

What Do You Think About Giveaways?

No, it's not Christmas in July, or June for that matter. I've simply got a snarly ball of thought wadded up in a corner of my brain, kind of like the horking gob of Christmas lights when you pull 'em out of storage. Let's unravel it and see what we find. I apologize in advance if it happens to be mouse droppings.

All the trendy kids are doing giveaways lately. Even my editor asked if I wanted to do one. Of course I said yes. If my publisher wanted me to ride a pony backwards through Times Square in a bikini, I would (sorry for the visual). But honestly, I'm not super convinced giveaways are effective. Oh, they're fun and sparkle like disco balls, but how much bang for the buck does an author really get?

That's assuming, of course, that the giveaway is of value. No one really wants to win my grandmother's dentures, even if they are signed by Johnny Depp. So...

What constitutes a valuable giveaway?

Recently I won a Nook from a blog giveaway. Wowzer. Value city, dude! I certainly struck the jackpot. But not everyone can afford to deal out electronics like candy. In researching the giveaway trend, I came across some basics that should go into choosing a geegaw to award a lucky winner:
  • Branding (item should reinforce the author's niche)
  • Worth (don't stick the recipient with something stupid you pulled out of a junk drawer)
  • Unique (in a positive way...something they're excited to tell others about)
  • Memorable (long lasting & durable to remind recipient of you/your books)

Do giveaways sell more books?

From what I've read, the answer is no. So why do a freakin' giveaway in the first place? Because it's a way to get your name out there in the public realm, more so than if you don't do a giveaway. And if your name is seen on Twitter, Facebook, the inscription on the cover of your book sitting on somebody's coffee table who won it, the more chances a victim person will eventually want to find out what the hype is about and they'll finally buy a book. It's not necessarily the giveaway in and of itself that will sell you, but the cumulative name recognition.

Convinced? Apparently I am, because I’m doing a giveaway this week over at Writer Off the Leash. Stop by and give it a whirl. You just might win!

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas…professionally, however, for the past 10 years. Her latest release, A HEART DECEIVED, is available by David C. Cook. You can find her at: 


  1. Love this, Michelle. And signed by Johnny Depp?! I'm entered to win! ;)

  2. I'd say your chances are pretty sweet since so far you're the only one who really wants that prize.

  3. Will be getting the word out. Times square in a bikini...don't think I'd do that even if the pubs begged me to...hee.

  4. What about if they asked you to do it with a Viking warrior at your side?

  5. How much is the bid at this point. Been looking for something to get me on that show about the "Weird and Bizarre" If I win do I have to pay the postage, it may the deal breaker...If I get a signed book I may at least read the first page, at least if it is in genre I like.


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