On August 24, 2006, Avon began a round robin sort of fan lit contest in which writers would submit chapters which were voted on by readers. Two winners were chosen, one at random and one which was an “editorial” selection. Sara Dennis (I think she’s commented here before) was the editorial winner and received $5,000 cash and a 12-month development deal with Fox Television Studios. The random winner was Eva Ortega who will be flown to New York City to spend a day with Avon, including a meeting with an editor, a visit with the Avon art department, and will learn how books are promoted. The News Release can be read here
There were 1,705 chapter submissions, and more than 147,000 votes and 47,000 comments, more than 7,100 romance fans who participated. Wow. There were some other interesting statistics. According to a blog post by Carolyn Pittis, SVP, Global Marketing Strategy & Operations, HarperCollins, provided these numbers:
- A third of all visits, and 17% of all registrations, came from fan-generated promos.
- Author-generated marketing–"newsletters, onsite promotions–"contributed 12% of the registrations.
The complete AvonFanLit novella, entitled “THESE WICKED GAMES,” which includes the six winning chapters, profiles of the winners and a host of writing tips from Avon authors, editors and publishers, along with submissions from big name authors (whose pieces I guess did not always win the fan vote) will be published as a HarperCollins e-book. For those who participated, it will be free as a momento of the event. (I think that is cool). The general public will be able to purchase it beginning December 12, 2006 at all the major ebook retailers.