Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.


Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Hi Everyone! Natalie here today. Before I get to our fantastic tip, I want to mention that two of my blogger friends, Robyn Campbell and Sharon Mayhew have declared today International Be Positive Day. It's a day to spread the word through Twitter, Facebook, and however you want by spreading positive and kind thoughts.

It's got me to realize that there's always things in life to be positive and grateful for. Always no matter what challenges you're forced to go through. I'd been a bit blah last week and definitely needed to reconnect with this important point. I have so much to be grateful for--my family, friends,s a job for now where I can help others, this blog, and all my kind, wonderful blogger friends who support me by coming by. Thanks so much for being there for me. I appreciate it.

And of course my heart goes out to everyone in Oklahoma today. I am hoping that everyone there is touched by kindness and help through this challenging time.

So lets all spread some positive and kind thoughts in the universe today.

Today, I’m excited to share a tip by author Maria Dismondy. Her most recent book is THE POTATO CHIMP: DISCOVERING WHY KINDNESS COUNTS. She also shared Tip Tuesday #125. Here’s Maria to share about setting online giveaway contests.

Getting Started with Giveaways

Giveaways online can be a great move for an author of any genre. Just imagine, if your giveaway generates excitement and is shared on a number of blogs, all those blog readers will be exposed to your book! Best yet, giveaways are often shared on social media sites, which means your book and brand is then shared with even more readers. Giveaways allow your book the chance to go viral. Here are some simple tips to help you dive into the world of giveaways with ease.

1. Choose Your Audience
I write children’s books, though children are not my audience when it comes to giveaways - the teachers,
parents and other adult caregivers are. Think about who your audience is and choose a few bloggers that write to your audience to host your giveaway.

2. Free or Paid Giveaways
If you are offering a giveaway on your site, it’s a good idea to purchase a product to giveaway as your prize. For instance, I have given away a Kindle and many gift cards. I view these prize purchases as an investment in advertising, and the larger the prize value, the more attention your giveaway will receive. You can also offer free products, such as your books, which should be no out of pocket expense to you.

3. Time Frame
The ideal timeframe for hosting a giveaway is one to two weeks, though I have seen Pinterest giveaways last up to a month if they are giving away a very large prize. The key is not to let your giveaway go on for too long or participants could feel discouraged and as if its ‘not worth it’ to enter. By keeping the chance to win within reach, it’ll be more enticing to participate and garner more sharing on social media sites.

4. Entry Requirements
Think about what will be required for entry and try to keep it simple. For instance, I skip giveaways that require participants to do a long list of tasks. I like to pick one or two tasks, such as asking contestants to comment on your blog, pin an image on your website or blog, follow you on Twitter, follow you on Facebook or tweet about the giveaway.

Be sure to add contest rules. I usually limit my giveaways to the US for shipping purposes and I keep it to participants that are 18 and older. You can manage a giveaway with an awesome tool called Rafflecopter that keeps track of who entered for you. (https://www.rafflecopter.com)

5. Choose a Winner
You can choose your winner with the tool I mentioned above, Rafflecopter, or another tool called Random Number Generator. (http://www.random.org)

6. Follow up
Once you notify your winner, be sure to get your prize out right away. Track the success of your contest by analyzing the entries as well as hits to your blog/website via Google Analytics.

Maria Dismondy Bio:
Maria Dismondy is an award-winning children’s book author. She is a dynamic speaker who in one month alone, spoke to 10,000 children at local elementary schools and other venues. She speaks on a number of empowering topics such as bullying, building character and reading and writing for young authors. Maria continues to write books and blogs regularly. Find out more about Maria on her website at

Blog: Be the Difference www.mariadismondy.com/blog

Here's a blurb on THE POTATO CHIP CHAMP from Goodreads:

Champ and Walter Norbert Whipplemoore are about as different as two kids can bewell, except for their love of baseball and potato chips. Champ had everything, but always wanted more. Walter had very little, but was never seen without a smile on his face. In the end, it is Walter and some crunchy potato chips that teach Champ a lesson about character that can't be taught in school.

Hope to see you tomorrow when interviewing debut author Dorine White about her book, THE EMERALD RING and giving away a copy of it.


Jemi Fraser said...

Great advice! I tend to skip contests with all kinds of steps too.

Love Be Positive Day!

Stina said...

Great advice. I only participate in contests that don't require that I do all the steps to participate. I've had discussions based on what is the best prize to give away. I'm not a believer that giving away Kindles and expensive gift cards is the best way to go. It's not necessarily the people who will read your book (or at least be interested in your book) who are going to enter. Sure you'll get a lot of traffic to your site because of tweets and Facebook messages, but it won't be quality traffic that will result in sales.

Summer Ross said...

I've only done one giveaway, but hope to do more in the future. Sharing.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Natalie, Hi, Maria,

Great to be positive today! So far the sun is shining and I have time this morning to blog for a while! YAY! Thanks for the tips!

Such a cute cover and premise. I enjoy coming of age type books. They are great for kids to learn about life in an entertaining way.

Kristin Lenz said...

Maria was a good author to combine with your be positive and kind message, Natalie. Her books share the same message.

Brenda said...

Lots of wonderful advice, I have yet to do a giveaway. In honor of Positive Day a quote from Roald Dahl's Matilda ..."If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

Heather Villa said...

Thank you, Natalie and Maria!

I certainly will check out The Potato Chip Champ.

Thank you to Robyn and Sharon for helping make this day internationally positive.

Heather Villa :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Thanks for the shout out on Be Positive Day...it's kind of hard doing it in the aftermath of the tornado in Oklahoma.

Wonderful tips on doing giveaways. :)

mshatch said...

Give aways are great fun.

Maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria said...

Let me try that again. It is helpful to get feedback from your audience as to the prizes they would like. Kindles and gift cards are what the moms and teachers that read my blog have suggested. Thanks for your feedback!

Cherie Reich said...

Great tips about giveaways!

Robyn Campbell said...

Thanks for that lovely shout-out my friend! I believe that in the wake of the tornadoes, we need this day.

As to doing the giveaways, I am making a doc with your wise words inscribed therein. That's so I don't mess it up when I do them. Hahaha. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Great tips and I enjoyed Maria's book.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Great tips, Natalie. I have done just a couple of giveaways. I am going to bookmark this post for future reference.

The Potato Chip Champ sounds like a super fun book. I would love to read it.

Rosi said...

As usual, a very useful Tip Tuesday. Thanks.

Cynthia said...

I remember when I had my very first giveaway, my blog had so few followers that for the longest time, nobody entered! Fortunately, for my second giveaway, there were more entrees.

Thanks for the giveaway tips. I might come back here if I were to host a giveaway again on my blog.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I really enjoy giveaways - when they involve too much, they lose me. Happy International Be Positive Day! I love that idea!

Mart Ramirez said...

Yay for Be Positive Day!!
These were some great tips! Thank you for sharing!!

Tracy Campbell said...

Great tips, Natalie.

Jocelyn Rish said...

I tend to be a glass half empty kind of gal, so I always need a reminder to be positive. And these are great tips for giveaways!