A New Vodnik Contest and Promo Extravaganza

It’s time for another contest to give stuff away. But this time, I’d like to give more stuff away to more people. None of this “many will enter, one will win” garbage. I’m in a giving mood. I’m also in a brainstorming mood, and I’ve come up with something that will hopefully keep things interesting around this event for the next while.

How interesting?

I’m going to do a kind of “tiered reward system,” similar to what they do with Kickstarter. In other words, I’m going to set up a number of tiers. Once certain thresholds are met, then new tiers of prizes are awarded.

I’ll use Twitter and Facebook-metrics to keep track of which tier we’re in. Points are awarded for Twitter followers or Facebook page “likes.” Maybe this will make more sense as I describe the various rewards.


Tier 1–The entry tier. We’re here right now, without having to do anything. As of today, the Facebook page has 95 likes, and I have 110 Twitter followers. 95 + 110 = 205, so we start the game at 205 points. The reward is that I will give away an electronic Advance Reading Copy (eARC) to one of the participants. If you participate (“like” the Vodnik Facebook page or be one of my Twitter followers), then you’re automatically entered in the drawing. So right off the bat, you know that somebody’s going to get an eARC. Yay for that.

Tier 2–If we can get to 300 points (total number of FB likes and Twitter followers), I will add in a second eARC. I have two to give away, anyway (in addition to the one that’s being given away over in my NCAA Tournament Challenge), so I set the bar for this quite low. 95 more points than we’re at right now (and that includes extra credit–see below).

Tier 3–If we can get to 400 points, I will post chapter 5 of the book onto the Facebook page. (Chapters 1-4 are available on scribd even as I type this, so this will give everyone one more chapter to read.) You’ll have to “like” the page to be able to read it, but that makes sense, doesn’t it? I’m really optimistic we can get to this point. We’ll see. (It’ll also help that I’m allowing for extra credit–see note below.) Everybody wins with this one, not just a select few.

Tier 4–When we hit the 500 point mark, I’ll give away a signed hardcover of the book. Yup, I’m even ponying up the postage. Will we hit this? I have no clue. It means 295 likes or followers (or less, depending on the extra credit.) To me, that seems like a lot. Having never done something like this before, I’m not sure if I’ll set it all up, only to see us never crack the 250 mark. But hey–nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

Tier 5–Once we reach 600 points, I’m going to work on releasing chapter commentaries for the entire book. My friend Brandon Sanderson has done this for all of his books, and I think it would be a fun thing to do, too. It’s a ton of work, though. Vodnik has 33 chapters. Think of chapter commentaries like the special features on a DVD. They’d include discussions on how the story was shaped, what decisions I made, and extras like deleted scenes or pictures of places in the book. Whatever’s relevant to each chapter. And once again, all fans of the book win–not just the people lucky enough to get the eARC or hardcover.

How do you get extra credit? Easy. Share this post on Facebook nets 5 extra points. Retweeting it gets the same. (Limit of 1 share and 1 retweet per person.) That basically boils down to just 80 shares and/or retweets to hit Tier 5. If 40 people both share it and retweet it, we’re set. From my blog stats, I know way more than 40 people will read this post. You can do it!

Once you know that, then you see that I really do want to giveaway all of the above. The Tiers are just a fun way of keeping track of how it’s going.


I also like a really good challenge, and so I’m going to add in another tier. One that has something I don’t want to do. I’m not afraid to embarrass myself publicly for the sake of a few likes and followers.

Tier 6–Enough with the book-related tiers. No extra credit allowable for this tier. We’ve got to reach it by cold hard numbers–followers and likes. If and when that ever hits the 1000 mark, I hereby formally commit to doing the Truffle Shuffle (Hawaiin shirt, plaid pants and all), videoing it, and posting it here for the world to see. (If you’re lucky, my dieting will have been going quite poorly at that point.) Not only that, I’ll do my best to recreate the following scene from The Goonies, ideally using Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells as special guest stars to fill in for Corey Feldman and Sean Astin. (I haven’t talked to them about this idea yet. Also, I live on the opposite side of the country. But if they’re up for it, I would be. Dan? Brandon? How ’bout it? Or would there be too big of a fight over who gets to play whom? Or do I need to rope other authors in to do this, because you guys are too cool. What do I have to do to get you to agree? The Truffle Shuffle?)

Note that this final Tier is a long-standing commitment. If I ever hit 1000 points, I will follow through on this. Maybe I’ll wish I hadn’t decided to when it comes time to film, but oh well. This is my past self telling my future self to suck it up (or in, as the case may be).

So start retweeting and liking. Participate by March 21st at midnight to qualify for whatever rewards are unlocked by then. Other awards will be doled out as they’re reached, to whoever qualifies for them at the time.

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