On Facebook Contests

Yesterday, GalleyCat released an informative article about how Facebook is restricting contests on author pages. The reason why I wanted to point this out to you is to let you know that while this is not a new initiative, they are cracking down on this. Facebook first introduced contest rules restrictions back in November 2009 and they evolved a year afterward. Not following their guidelines will get your page canceled without notice. Why?

BlogHer has a really good article from 2010 called Keep Your Company and Your Blog Out of Trouble: The Scoop on Facebook Contests that examines what this means from a liability perspective.

So what is new? Two things: a release form and the further clarification has to be hosted on a tab or an app. What’s happening now, is that the popularity of Facebook (and the fact that it’s free) has caused many authors to flock to the tool. This time around, the changes in this policy are an amalgamation of what already existed.

What’s the bottom line? I would keep the new guidelines in mind. As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, you always take a risk whenever you use a tool you don’t own. While many free tools are highly-trafficked, in part because they’re free, you might want to consider looking at what you do have control over — your own website — first.

If you are looking for places to run contests besides your own website, there’s several excellent sites out there devoted to readers that would love an author’s support. I know Facebook is important to a lot of people, but there are other ways to reach your fans, too.

if you operate a contest, create content, or use functionality on a site you own,



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

Want to Interview or Hire Me? Send Fan Mail?

Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

Want an interview? If you’d like to interview me or request a guest blog post, please connect with me via the contact page, too. Due to time constraints and other communicative concerns, I typically don’t follow up on requests via social media.

Keen on sending fan mail? I am also happy to engage with readers and fans. Please note that I am unable to reply satisfactorily to certain types of queries related to the companies I work for due to the agreements I typically sign. If you have a question about a TV show or a line of books, the best way to get your answer is to contact the studio or publisher directly.

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