Friday, January 29, 2010

How to win fame, fortune, and free stuff!

Okay, maybe there isn’t much of a fortune involved. But fame and free stuff we’ve got. This is your chance to snag a little piece of literary immortality … or at least some impressive bragging rights.

Right now, Masks is in consideration with publishers. I’m not really supposed to talk about the details, so I’ll just say that the better Masks looks online, the better the odds it will get published, and soon. Since Facebook apparently passed MySpace in the coolness stakes some time ago, that means building up the ol’ Facebook fanbase. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet figured out how to invite total strangers to join my page on Facebook like I did on MySpace—the only way to add fans is to invite personal friends. I only have about a hundred friends myself, so we’re well past my social circle by now. Which means Masks keeps growing only if you guys invite your friends.

Now, I hate friend-spamming as much as the next person who only has a hundred friends on Facebook. And the fact that I’m not actually selling anything—because the book is not yet published, there’s nothing for you to buy—does not, in my well-mannered mind, fully excuse the annoyance I’m asking you to inflict on others. So I’m going to bribe you. All of you.

It works like this. During the month of February, I’m going to ask you guys to invite as many friends as you can find to join the page. (There’s a handy link right under the profile image that lets you invite anyone on your friends list.) The trailer goes up on Monday (woo-hoo!), so you’ll have an entertaining way to share the magic of Masks with newcomers, and I’ll be posting lots of neat stuff during the month to keep everyone amused. (New action plushies, anyone?)

Ask your friends, when they join the page, to leave a message on the page’s wall nominating the person who invited them to join. I’ll keep a running tally of who gets name-dropped the most and who does the name-dropping. The contest ends February 28 at midnight Pacific time.

The person who recruits the largest number of people wins the grand prize—the right to name a character in Masks! I’ve got a couple of new characters waiting to be inserted in the current draft of the book, and at least one of them will also make an appearance, by name, in the Free Comic Book Day story being released May 1. The named character will get face time and dialogue with at least one of the two lead characters, and will be instrumental to the plot. I will accept any name that isn’t obscene, profane, or a violation of either libel laws or someone else’s copyright. So you’re not allowed to name someone Mickey Mouse, Clark Kent, or Britney Spears … but you’re more than welcome to name a character after yourself, or your dog, or the third-grade teacher who told you comic books would rot your brain.

But wait! There’s more!

Each person who nominates the winning entry … that is, all the people the lucky winner has recruited … will get a sneak peek at the short story in question! And so will the grand-prize winner. That’s right, you and your army of Masks recruits will get to read the FCBD story a full two months ahead of the rest of the planet. The whole text, beginning to end. There will be lots of special features in the finished FCBD zine that won’t be done yet … but you get to find out what happens to Rae and Trevor two months before anybody else does. Including the part with the duct tape.

For those of you who have ALREADY spammed your friends lists, feel free to post the name of the person who invited you … unless it’s me. I’m not allowed to win, obviously, and the people I invited directly will just have to be happy with the regular freebies—unless, of course, they can recruit enough people to win the grand prize themselves.

So fire up your friends lists and start recruiting! Tell them that undying fame and a completely awesome use of duct tape await! If this works well, there will be more contests in the future. And someday soon, perhaps I’ll be giving away copies of the book!

Oh, and my promise to post a free sewing pattern and instructions for a Masks plushie that can be made for less than ten bucks still stands. That happens when the friend count hits 200, no matter what. So everybody gets something …

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