Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Gather.com - American Idol for Books

Gather.com recently announced two winners in its charming "First Chapters Writing Competition" -- a.k.a. American Idol for Books. (Why didn't they dub it American Idol for Authors?) The competition received an impressive 2,676 manuscript submissions since its inception in January, and the community went through three rounds of judging.

In a surprise move, Gather.com and Simon and Schuster's Touchstone imprint announced two winners; both will get publishing contracts. Terry Shaw, pictured here, won the Grand Prize with The Way Life Should Be, the story of a modern-day newspaper editor who investigates his best friends death in a coastal Maine town. Geoffrey Edwards, the runner-up, submitted Fire Bell in the Night, a character-driven historical thriller set in the antebellum south.

Steve Rubel recently wrote a piece on The Flat Future of the Publicity Stunt, with some tips on Web-based stunts in a 2.0 world. Surely, Gather.com has given us a classy example of the best of stunt marketing. Bonus points for being so well aligned its sophisticated social media community.

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