In addition to running a terrific contest for her readers, Alison Kent has been conducting a unique marketing experiment via a viral blogging blitz for her latest release, Deep Breath.
The contest is definitely a dazzler, but I like the viral blogging experiment even more. I don't think I've ever seen an author try this buy-one-blog-one-get-one-free approach, but it makes all kinds of sense. Everyone who buys the book wins (something you simply can't do with a contest.) This is because Alison doesn't just think outside the box, often she tears it down and rebuilds it from the ground up.
I think it's a smart investment. To rephrase a comment I made over at Vanessa's, the best representation of any writer's work is the work itself. People usually throw out postcards, bookmarks and widgets, but books command a little more respect. Most folks pass along, trade or donate books, which creates another opportunity to snag a new reader (which is exactly what the resale of used books does, but that's a debate for another post.) It is more expensive -- writers get only a limited number of author copies, and shipping anywhere these days ain't cheap -- but I believe your work and your future readership are worth it.
Another thing that helps is talent, and in that department Alison Kent is a powerhouse. Oh, yeah, she didn't get that Quills nomination just for her pretty cover art; the woman can write like Indian Jones handles a whip. And although I'm extremely hung up on the hero from The Bane Affair, I think Deep Breath is her best work to date.
You know what's going to be very interesting? Watching where Alison Kent goes from here.
I'm also going to back up my rec for Deep Breath with the real deal. In comments to this post, name someone or something that leaves you breathless by midnight EST on Thursday, April 13, 2006. I'll draw ten names at random from all those who participate and send the winners an unsigned copy of Deep Breath by Alison Kent. Names of the winners will be posted here on the weblog by noon EST on Friday, April 14, 2006. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.