New Contest, Review, and Swag Policies - Melissa Schroeder

New Contest, Review, and Swag Policies

Hello all! This summer when finalizing all the stuff for the website, Brandy and I had some discussions on how to handle things. After almost a year of self-publishing, I felt I needed to reassess some of my policies.

First, contests. I run a lot of contests.  On my site, on my Harmless Addicts page, twitter and on my Facebook Fanpage, I run regular contests, and then I get asked a lot to participate in other contests off site. I love to do them, BUT, it is getting insane for Brandy to mail stuff. So, the rules are now this: We will do mailings on the 1st and the 15th of the month. No more often than that. If you win a prize on the 2nd of the month, do not look for it to be mailed until the 15th. If those days fall on a weekend or holiday, it will be the first mailing day AFTER the set mailing date.

Secondly, review list. We are no longer going to have readers on the review list. While I always expect readers to give me an honest review, and we do not penalize people for saying they did not like my book, there have been complaints about it on Amazon. In fact, there have been a few nasty episodes because of it. In my pursuit to remove as much stress from my life, because of that pesky high BP, I am just suspending that part of the review policy. Also, the list of reviewers just got too long. So, we are starting over.

If have your own blog, or you review at a review site or blog, and would like to be considered please email Brandy Walker at Include the name of the blog or review site you work with. Also, I know that review sites are always looking for reviewers. If you are a reader, you might want to contact a few of them to see if they are looking.


Now something I want to start doing more of is getting swag out. I have some wonderful swag designed by both Brandy Walker and Kendra Egert but I rarely get to send a lot of it out. I take it to cons, give it out in contests, etc, but I would like to do some mailings too. If you have a blog, review site, or a convention (reader or writer) or if you have a bookstore, please contact Brandy about it. Let us know what you want it for, and please, don’t try to punk us. In the past I have had people who contacted me to get swag for a “blog” then they never did anything for it. This is new to us, so please be patient as we work out the details on how we will do this.

Also, readers, would you be interested in getting swag sent to you? I am playing with allowing people to send SASE in to get things like book marks and trading cards. Let me know what you think.


Categories: Miscellaneous

8 Comments on “New Contest, Review, and Swag Policies

  1. First I would like to say I think this is all wonderful. I understand the stress of mailing things and setting two mailing dates a month is fabulous and something I might consider as well. Otherwise you are at the post office every other day *sigh*

    Second, would like some swag for giving out to friends. I have a monthly book club that I run and would love to spread the love about your books. I will contact Brandy about that.

    Third, the SASE is a great idea. This will help you keep the addresses straight and not forget anyone. I might enforce this as well. Thanks for he great idea and best of luck with you.

    Take care of youself.


  2. Yes I would like to get some of your swag . The SASE is great for those of us who can’t make the Con’s and things. Thank you for that.

    1. Daune,
      And, I am not sure how many more cons I am going to attend. Moving to Seattle (or Hawaii) will make that very hard because most of the cons are on the other side of the country.
      I think we might do a test case of the US first and see how it goes and then open it up to others. But, I have to talk more to Brandy about it.

  3. The changes are not something that will deter me from reading because I truly love the books and Melissa is my favorite author. I am just a little disappointed that regular readers keep getting a bad wrap because we don’t have a blog.
    I, and I am sure others, talk about the books whenever I get the chance. I don’t know how or why Amazon is the way it is, but it is disappointed. Unfortunately, I love my Kindle too much to cut ties.
    I do like the option of getting swag. I know I have a few people who would steal mine if I turn my back too long!

    1. I am going to still do some giveaways, but some people are abusing the review process, meaning other authors. Just today there was an article in the Guardian about an author not only getting people to leave him good reviews, but trash his rivals. I have a feeling that it is about to start to turn into a witch hunt soon.
      It was also getting to be too much for Brandy. At one time I had 40 people on the list. She was having to chase down all the folks ask them about their reviews. People don’t always do the reviews right away, and so she was spending too much of her time scouring the Internet for reviews.

      1. Very understandable… and we know you both work hard to keep the books coming. I just hate how people ruin it… but I’m a fan regardless!

  4. As I mentioned in other posts before the idea of having something to hand out to friends would help, because it is tangible. I do talk about your books and send out emails with links to your blog and website, but I find people don’t have time or they get so much email, that it slips their attention. So I am thinking that if they have a bookmark or a card and they use it it will be right there in front of them. I think SASE is a great idea, but how would I do that from Canada? I use PayPal, so that would be a way to pay for postage. I also would like some for myself, signed by you Melissa… 😀

Comments are closed.