Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Contest Contest

So it just hit me that I'm closing in on only two months from The Shifter release, and I haven't done any contests yet. I really wanted to do some, cause they're fun, so I need to get cracking. While I have one idea I love (and you'll see it on August 1st on The Healing Wars blog), I'd like to do three total--August, September, and October--and give away three signed books.


This is an unofficial contest for contest ideas. Winners will get their contest chosen, and if you want to do the intro and say why you thought it would make a cool contest feel free. (You don't have to if you don't want to). Let's leave it open for two weeks, so the deadline for this will be:

August 12, 2009.

I'll announce contest winners on the 14th.

To submit, just make your suggestion in the comments section.

EDIT: Anyone can enter this contest, and future contest suggestions should be things anyone can also enter. Quick reminder that the intended audience is for readers 10-14 (though even us grown ups can read it) so things that would also include them would be good as well. I had planned to run the contests on the official "Healing Wars" blog, but I might do some there and one here for my loyal blog buddies :)


  1. What sort of contest are you looking for? What kind of parameters? Or is it wide open? Just curious.

    Sounds like a great idea. I would love to win a signed copy of The Shifter!

  2. Umm...can I suggest a contest where I automatically win?
    Before you discount such an idea, consider its benefits:
    - I get to read your book
    - You don't have to go through the hassle of running a contest
    - I will get to read The Shifter before anyone else
    - You won't have to pick impartial, unbiased judges
    - You get the satisfaction of knowing your book went to a truly appreciative fan
    - You won't have to create a marketing plan to promote a contest
    - Did I mention that I have been wanting to read The Shifter since I first found your blog months ago?

    Really it's a win-win situation, wouldn't you agree?

  3. Are people in the UK allowed to enter the contest?

  4. Contest: Best true adventure story, told in 100 words or less. (Can you tell I'm about to embark on a road trip?)

  5. Ooh cool!

    The best author contests that I've seen (in my opinion) have been the "spread the message" contests. If you have a book trailer, get people to embed that or post a link to that; alternatively you could create a button (or get someone you know to create one - a web-button, I mean) and get people to post that. A good idea for this kind of contest is to get people to link back to your contest post as well; that way, you REALLY spread the word.

    Situation 1. Post a trailer. Person A posts the trailer. Person B sees it and thinks, Hey, that looks cool. Person C, who knows B but not A, never hears about it.

    Sitch 2. Post a trailer with link to contest post. Person B clicks through A's link, sees the contest and wants to win one for themselves, and posts it on their own blog/Facebook/Bebo/whatever. C sees B's Facebook, hears about book, wants to win, posts trailer on her blog. D reads C's blog....

    A web-button can be good cos people can post it in a blog sidebar, whereas a book trailer can only be posted in an actual post which will be viewed much less often. So it could be a good idea to have both, and give one contest entry for every place either one is displayed (hence giving people incentive to post it on Facebook AND their blog AND Twitter and... etc).

    I would also recommend opening the contest to international readers for two main reasons: 1. I don't think shipping would cost THAT much more, and it's only a potential one-off cost to reach people globally; and 2. That way I can enter. *grins*

  6. Wow, that was a long comment.

    Anyway, thought of another contest suggestion: Have something that relates to your book in some way. Maybe post the opening paragraph of a chapter and the winner could write the best/funniest continuation (you could limit the continuations to 100-500 words or something) - or you could do something else relating to your book.

    I guess what you're really wanting to do here is generate public interest and attention, so I really think a spread-the-word contest would be a good idea. But you have three contests to run. Hmm.

    One author contest which I've seen (which I DID NOT like as I couldn't enter) was to send in the best fan-art of a character. People can have lots of fun with that and come up with some really creative and well-drawn pictures. I don't know how much you've talked about The Shifter on your blog, though? If your readers don't really know your characters, they might not be able to do this one.

    Trying to think of more ideas.... :)

  7. Cool idea!

    Contest: Enter a creative and catchy title for the Bob/Jane/Sally/Zombie novel in the comments section. Judge = Janice, or a judge of her choosing. Best title wins.

  8. Ruth!!! I was thinking the same thing about the continuation of the first few lines...awesome idea!

    Giving extra points for linking on our blogs/twittering the contest is good too. For example, say I enter the contest, and that's 3 points. I twitter the contest with a link- another point. And I do a short blog post about the contest, providing a link to this post on Janice's blog- another point.

    So I have 5 points and a better chance at winning than someone who just entered the contest and has 3 points, and (hopefully) my twitter/blog promo helped draw a few more into the contest.

  9. Oh, one for October you could do (again, I've stolen this idea from another author contest a while ago): once your book's been released, get people to take photos of themselves beside your book - whether in a bookstore/library or holding their own copy of your book - and just pick a random person from that.

    Although then Person A could go out, buy your book, send in a photo, and... win the book they already have.

    Although now they'd have an autographed book (much cooler) and could probably sell the other copy on e-bay. But still. Just another idea, anyway. :) I'm out now!

    @Michelle: Great minds think alike! ;) I like your ideas - and I LOVE the idea of a Bob/Jane/Sally/Zombie contest! I only found this blog a few days ago, and read some of the entries, but I already love that storyline :D

    Hey, you could also link to reviews of your book for another spread-the-word contest entry.

    Do you have a book trailer? You should totally make one, if not. :) Or see if you can get someone else to make one - do you know any art/video/photog students? Otherwise Pam Bachorz's website has a good page on how to make a low-budget book trailer: http://www.pambachorz.com/blog/2009/7/14/making-a-professional-book-trailer-on-a-budget.html

  10. Everyone is allowed to enter. (I don't mind a little shipping for a book or two)

    I'm looking for any type of fun contest, and if it's something that will also appeal to my intended audience (10-14 year old readers) that would be good too. I certainly don't want to exclude them!

    Ruth, I don't have a book trailer, and I'm not sure if I will or not. It's not something I've talked about with anyone :)

  11. You could have a book trailer contest! Whoever makes the best one.... :)

    Although maybe not, as you couldn't guarantee that everyone would use copyright-free music and pictures.

    I loved being creative when I was 10-14ish so maybe the fan art/character pictures would be good for that age group.

    (I'm now sort of tempted to see if I can make a book trailer. It just looks kind of fun. But probably stressful too....)

    Maybe you could ask on your blog if anyone could help you in the realm of book trailers? If you do actually want one, that is. If not, ignore the rambling book-trailer girl in the corner. :)