A Writing Collaboration & Contest (Initial Concept)
Over the years, many of you know how much I have stressed the need to find new and innovative ways to encourage more reading as it leads to more success for us authors. This doesn’t just apply to Baby Boomers, but to ALL generations. Statistics show that each generation is reading fewer books. We as a community of writers NEED to change that.
Seven years ago, I had an idea to bring more readers into the mix. Over the weekend, that concept came back to me in a more refined idea which I am now presenting to you for comments and feedback.
One of the biggest impacts of today’s internet world is the way viewers can get involved in individual lives, projects and contests from their homes via the internet. And they are willing to pay money for this. Therefore, I think we, as authors, should utilize this concept for a writing contest that would involve readers and authors, or aspiring authors. I am giving a working title of “We Fiction”
I would like to propose a writing contest which would involve teams of authors/writers in a specific genre where they compete against each other for prize money or other prizes of great value.
On a set date, an internet conference would be held where readers would pay a certain dollar amount to participate on a basic entry level. (See suggested list of donation levels below.) It would cost the authors nothing to participate. The readers would be asked to suggest characters, story themes, plots, even locations for the creation of the stories. A database would be created to compile all this information. The writing teams would then use the suggestions from the database to create a Novella or a full novel.
The author/writer teams could only use the prompts given to them by the readers but allowing for slight leeway to make the story flow properly. Once teams have created their project, an editor would then get the novel cleaned up and ready for publication. Texas Authors/IndieBeacon would help get a graphic artist for the cover and book layout. There would be a very strict time limit to have the projects completed, suggested 90 days.
Along the way, we would post chapters for the readers to enjoy so that they feel they are on the journey with us and are not ignored or forgotten during the process of creating the books. Once the book was done by each team, the readers would be able to join in a live internet conference to talk with the authors about the story created as a follow.
Each of the participating readers would receive a free eBook of the book they helped to create (Or if they requested, another book of their choice). The book (eBook & Paper) would also be available exclusively for sale in the Indie Lector Store and with enough interest shown, an audio book could be created. All the readers would have the option to purchase any of the above as extras. We could also do layers of entry fees, for example (suggestions)
Give a Location = $10 Create a character = $25 Have a Character named after them = $50 Create a Plot Twist = $40 Create a story line = $100
The books would be judged by an impartial outside source, and the top three winners would receive either a cash prize or some other valuable gift in honor of winning. ALL authors would receive royalties from the work. It would be split among the authors on the team, editor, graphic artist, etc.
The objective here is multi-level. First, the authors would promote their participation in the event to their followers. This would benefit each author by gaining more readers through their team members’ followers. And at the same time, this would encourage more people to read by introducing them to other team members’ books they may not have heard of before.
Finally, this would be done as a fund raiser for Drop Everything And Read Indie, a nonprofit that supports Indie Authors and gets books into Title 1 schools and libraries. This provides another incentive for readers to participate and help support a nonprofit with their tax-deductible donation (entry fee). It is also an incentive for authors to participate as their books would be promoted and purchased first for the schools & libraries.
All this money would go towards the nonprofit, production of the books and prize money. The more readers who participate in the online session, the more money available to the winning author teams.
There is a lot to this concept, but as a national event, it has the potential to bring each participating author more readers which equates to more sales.
This type of program could also create national press interest that benefits everyone.
Please let me know your thoughts on this potential project. IF there is enough interest, I will move forward with creating the program and having it operational by late Spring early Summer.