I've entered a story in the Ether Books Halloween Contest. It's my first foray into publishing solely for mobile devices, in this case, exclusively for Apple devices (the Android version is coming soon). The rules are simple - whichever story is downloaded the most times before the end of the day on 31st October (next Wednesday, and - spookily - Halloween) wins the prize.
The stories were all released together at lunchtime yesterday, and now the various authors have until Halloween to get the message out there and encourage people to download the free Ether Books app from iTunes, find the "Halloween Contest" in the genres section, and download our respective stories, again for free. The QR code above should take you to the app.
So, if you have an iPad, iPhone, or other Apple device that can download content from iTunes, please get yourself a copy of my story, Hotel Subterraneana. Thank you!
It's been fun thinking up ways to promote this story, which is more in the Twilight Zone mould than about grisly gore or ghostly goings-on. Facebook and Twitter are the most accessible outlets, of course, and this blog, but it's hard to make sure the post gets noticed in the torrent of information that everybody is faced with everytime they log in to a social network these days.
I've designed a simple promo poster, which I'm pleased with:
The drawback is that with this being a competition where marketing skills and pester-power are more likely to result in success than plain old writing ability, it's difficult to know where to draw the line. I don't want to annoy anyone, but to do well in this contest I'll need to persuade lots of people to download my story in a relatively short time. It won't cost them anything, just a few moments of their time, but it's still awkward to have to prompt people to do it soon, not just when they get around to it in a couple of weeks.
I'm lucky that I have people around me who are supportive and willing to help out, and I'm hugely grateful to them, but the likelihood is that I'll have to win over strangers as well, who may have no existing interest in my work and no real incentive to read one of my stories, regardless of whether it's free or not.
So, please accept my apologies if I stray too far into mindless promobot territory, and if you can help by downloading my story, know that you'll have my undying gratitude. And by all means, let me know you've dived in and got yourself a copy - I'd love to hear what people think of it and I'm more than happy to owe a few favours by the end of the contest.