As you may already be aware, my last contest (Tell me what Forget What You Can’t Remember is about, and win a prize!) didn’t reach as many people as I’d have liked, didn’t have as broad a response as I’d have liked, and didn’t give me as many well-thought-out answers to the question as I’d have liked. There was a lot not to like about how it went. Since that time, I’ve been thinking about what to do about it. I’ve only recently responded to the two winners, letting them know they’ve won and requesting their information so I can send them their free books.
Now, I’m going to try to turn something disappointing into something a little bit better. I’m going to change the nature of the contest, and the reward. The idea now is to have an open-ended opportunity for anyone who reads my books and wants to try another. Anyone, at any time, for any of my books, who can provide something to help me sell my books that’s better than what I’m currently using can win a free paperback of one of my books of their choice.
If that’s a better answer to the question “What is this book about?” – great! If that’s better marketing copy, a better “elevator pitch,” a blurb from another author that I can put on the cover & the website, or even an entirely new cover image – wonderful! If that’s an insightful blog post, or a detailed review (not necessarily positive), or a thoughtful analysis of character, theme, plot (or lack thereof) – I look forward to it! Be creative! Write a spin-off or sequel, a short story in the same universe, a song or a poem, shoot a video, or create any other derivative work (automatically allowed for non-commercial uses, since all my novels are available under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license) – and you’re a shoe-in!
As before, simply email your entries to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – perhaps containing your entry, or perhaps linking to your blog / a review / a video – and I’ll consider all entries using my personal judgement as to whether you’re doing a better job marketing my book than I am (which shouldn’t be hard – Marketing is not one of my strengths). Every time I receive an entry that I believe will help sell books, I’ll send out a signed paperback copy of one of my books (their choice) to the entrant, and I’ll get my marketing efforts updated to incorporate the new materials. So go, read or listen to one of my books, and think about how you might let someone else know about them.
Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary: You can read the eBook or listen to the podcast for free. Officially open to US Residents only – but only because I don’t want to deal with shipping books internationally. You can still enter from anywhere and, if you’re willing to help me with international shipping, get your free book. Winners will be selected by whatever method I want – probably I’ll just pick the entries I think are best, but I’m not ruling out asking people on Twitter or some such. Contest runs until I don’t feel like it anymore – which probably means it never ends, since when wouldn’t I want to sell more books? By submitting an entry you are granting me an unlimited, nonexclusive right to use your entry and any derivations thereof for any purpose, including commercial – ie: the point of having better marketing material is to be able to get more people to read and/or buy my book, so I need the right to use the best entries to that end. If you create a derivative work & would like to license it for commercial use (ex: you want to be able to make money by writing a sequel and selling it yourself), we can talk. I’m open to that, too.