The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Clever marketing

There is an author named Max Barry who wrote a book called Jennifer Government. In an effort to promote the book, he created a free web-based game called NationStates where you can run your own country. The basic game is quite simple: each day you are presented with a political issue that you must make a policy on. For example, today the issue I faced was traffic congestion. I could implement a toll (thus encouraging people to use public transport), I could expand the road network (destroying many green areas), or I could severely restrict private transport (basically mandating public transit). Based on these decisions, your country's politics moves in a certain direction. There's no "winning" and no real competition, other than wanting to be on the top of they daily "best/worst" lists (my personal favorite so far being "Country with the Rudest Citizens"). There is a lot of role-playing in the forums, and there is a UN and "invasions" of a sort, which involve flooding a region and electing your own UN delegate. I don't mess with any of that so I'm just playing at the most superficial level. Come visit The Democratic Republic of Cyjon.

My point is that this is a clever, "outside the box" method of promoting a book. Regardless of what kind of writing you do, self-promotion is part of it and a part most authors dread. Finding a fun way to do it makes it easier.


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