What the Funk?

Last week I may have mentioned something about an essay contest — one that had an actual prize. It was a spur of the moment thing and now that I think about it it probably could have used a little planning. Just a smidge. Maybe.

Seth Harwood, a San Franciscan crime writer by way of Boston, released his second book, YOUNG JUNIUS, last Monday and called out to his friends to help him rush the Amazon charts. I consider Seth a friend and I’ve been helping him promote his endeavors whenever. Helping him push YOUNG JUNIUS would be no exception, only I already had a copy for myself. Easy solution, I’ll buy a release copy and give it away. Perfect.

Then the wheels started turning. Probably could have used a little grease. I could smell burning from the friction. But the wheels they turned.

I had seen another author give away a copy of his book by getting his fans to write an essay. Twist here is I’m not the writer. I’m just a friend and a fan. So the idea came together that I would get people from my circle of influence to submit an essay on why they deserved a copy of Seth’s new book. They had to post on their blog or publicly and include links to both Seth’s site an the site of the publisher, Tyrus Books.

Crazy thought was this contest would generate enough buzz for Seth and Tyrus Books, through the links from the dozen or so submissions, that maybe both could see a sale or two extra.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I had the bird, I was hoping to shake that bush.

Unfortunately there wasn’t a contest. However, there was a winner.

I’m not sure what I did wrong. Was it timing? Do I have absolutely no influence? Maybe I should get that book on influencing enemies? Maybe everyone would would have wanted the book already ordered it? (if so, I’ve got a happening set of friends)

Probably a little bit of everything. I’m a writer and a programmer, not a marketing genius.

Maybe I should have consulted Matthew Funk: a social media consultant, professional marketing copywriter and writing mentor. He’s all that and a bag of chips. Matthew has been around the block as genre editor for FictionDaily and contributor to Spinetingler Magazine, as well as having contributed to just about every crime fiction website.

So Matthew knows his stuff and more than likely knew that a copy of YOUNG JUNIUS is most definitely worth 300 words.

I deserve a copy of Young Junius because I am special, just like Young Junius is—at least Dr. Rubineck told me so, before what happened to him. Dr. Rubineck would know what special is, because he used to always tell me I could trust him. After what Dr. Rubineck did to me, I suspect he was probably a special person too.

Dr. Rubineck was put in charge of special people at my school, not because of how warm his hands were, but because he was a doctor. When I was first sent to him after I broke the globe over Mrs. Beaker’s head, Dr. Rubineck told me that he got into the business of helping special people because he could not stop himself from loving us. I wanted to fit in with someone who loved me, just like Young Junius does, right from the start of the book you should give me. I fit with Dr. Rubineck really good, or so I thought.

I thought a lot of bad things, and even had bad dreams, like Marlene in the book, except that they did not come true on their own—I had to make them come true. For instance, when I had the bad dream about DeShawn kicking me in the stomach, it did not come true until after I hit him in the face. That is why I ate those mice, too. Mr. Rubineck understood. He showed me he did when he made my bad dreams about him come true in those special sessions after school. Later, I made other, worse dreams about him come true.

Young Junius is really a story about a special person making special things come true, just like me, and that is why I deserve a copy. They have me locked up in a place where they make us all wear the same jumpsuit and eat the same thing, so we forget we are special. People need to read stories like Young Junius so they will never forget how special we all are—especially me.

Good stuff Matthew. You are special and you helped me find a home for YOUNG JUNIUS.

Enjoy! And if you have any tips for future contests and challenges, shoot them my way.

Young Junius Essay Contest

Remember way back when you were a kid?

You know a smaller version of yourself?

Back in grade school?

No? Pretty old, huh?

Anyway, if you do, remember those essay contests you could enter where you wrote an essay on why something was your favorite or why you deserved something or about your favorite historical figure? Then you’d win something really cool like a bike or meet the President or maybe a whoopi cushion? All you had to do was write a short essay, of course as a kid it seemed like a novel? Remember?

No?

Me neither. I’ve seen it used a plot on a bunch of TV shows though. So it must be legit. Of course.

Today is YOUNG MONDAY. Sadly that might not mean anything to you. Yet.

YOUNG MONDAY is the official release of YOUNG JUNIUS by crime writer Seth Harwood. And to celebrate Seth has asked his friends and their friends and their friends and well just about anyone who can to go out and buy a copy of YOUNG JUNIUS from Amazon starting at 12 noon EST/9 am PST and push it up the ranks.

I was lucky enough to order one of these bad boys in a limited early release from Seth and Tyrus Books and can’t wait to crack the spine on it. Since I did this, I didn’t think I could participate in YOUNG MONDAY. Seth is my boy, but my book collection is starting to look like a hoarding problem. But you know what I’m going to order a copy anyway. So to save space and to save my marriage I’m going to give away my newly ordered copy.

You’d like to win a book right?

Well all you have to do is write an essay. Just like when you were a kid. Remember? Sorry, not going to go down that road again. Promise.

YOUNG JUNIUS can be yours for a mere 300 words. Make it serious. Make it funny. Make it a crime for you not to win. Make me believe you deserve a copy of YOUNG JUNIUS.

The Rules

  • Write a 300 word essay on why you deserve a copy of YOUNG JUNIUS by Seth Harwood.
  • Post your stellar essay on your blog.
  • Include a link to http://www.sethharwood.com and http://www.tyrusbooks.com.
  • Post your essay link in the comments below.
  • Must be 18 or older and have a mailing address in the United States. Sorry my world wide buddies.
  • Deadline is Monday October 25, 2010

Not sure YOUNG JUNIUS is worth your 300 words? Well you can download the PDF and give it a read. Here.