Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

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  • 102 Contest and Event Ideas for Authors

    January 19, 2014

    102 Contest/Event Ideas for Authors

              1.         Scavenger Hunt with other authors

    2.         Recipe Contest based on foods in your book-give a restaurant gift card or a cookbook

    3.         Goodreads Giveaway

    4.         Amazon Contest-write reviews, create listopias, vote on reviews, create tags

    5.         Live Author Chat-Goodreads, Ustream, etc

    6.         Surveys

    7.         Back to School writing contest-you write a paragraph and they finish it-prizes for most humorous, most romantic, most shocking, etc.

    8.         Vlog Contest-Fans create and post vlogs reviews, or talk about why they love your book

    9.         B & N Contest-Participants write reviews, vote on reviews, & “like” the book pages

    10.        Best Photo Caption-Post a photo that inspired your book and ask fans to create a caption.

    11.        Live Text Chat-on Facebook, Twitter, blogs

    12.        Offerpops on Facebook-participants leave comments under a “do you like A or B?” format

    13.        Solve online jigsaw puzzles featuring your new book cover or a picture that inspired you

    14.        Crossword Contest-create online puzzle

    15.        Trivia Tuesday-Post a five question trivia blog about your book every Tuesday and have fans submit their answers

    16.        Wordsearch Puzzle-Create online wordsearch for words found in your story

    17.        Art Contest

    18.        Poetry Contest

    19.        Design a (monster, dragon, hero) Contest

    20.        Valentine’s Design a Date contest-Describe your perfect date with the literary hero of your choice

    21.        Why Do I Deserve Contest-Give away international copies by asking fans why they deserve your book in that language.

    22.        My Dream Movie Cast Contest-Participants submit their choices a cast of your characters-movie prize pack

    23.        Slogan Contest-Fans come up with slogans to fit your series-example is “Let the Games Begin” (Hunger Games)

    24.        Book Trailer Contest-fans create their own book trailers for your book

    25.        Have an online Birthday Party for one of your characters

    26.        A Day In The Life Of-Have your editor, agent, producer, publicist, marketing director, and you, ect write a short summary of a typical day in their life and have fans vote on their fav

    27.        Make a Wish contest-Each person submits a wish related to your series and you grant one

    28.        Thankful Contest-Thank authors who have influenced you and ask fans to submit stories of authors who influence them. Give away a basket of books by your fav authors.

    29.        Trick or Treat contest-Which sections of your books “tricked” your fans the most and which parts are “treats” they read over and over again. Give away a basket of treats.

    30.        Picture Contest-Fan snap a picture of themselves holding your book

    31.        The “Guess How Many” Contest-post a photo online and have fans guess how many of something you have ie Steampunk boots, scarves, tigers, etc.

    32.        Mother’s/Father’s Day Contest-Talk about a mother/father character in your book and encourage fans to write about those figures in their life-give away a related prize

    33.        Guess Where Game-Post a picture of you somewhere and have fans guess where you are

    34.        Favorite Quote-Fans post a favorite quote and the one with the most “likes” wins

    35.        Storyteller Contest-Post three random pics and ask fans to come up with a short story idea tying them together.

    36.        “Like” Raffle-Fans “like” one of your comments to be entered in a raffle

    37.        Tweet-A-Pic Contest-Fans tweet a pic to you of interesting things or places and you can choose one to feature in a short story or a book

    38.        Merchandising Contest-Ask fans to submit ideas for what merchandise they’d like to have related to your book-good for market research

    39.        Tweet A Picture of Your Book-Fans send a picture of your book and you choose one to win a signed copy to give away to a friend

    40.        Patriotic Contest-Submit a patriotic photo or short essay

    41.        What I Would Most Like to Win Contest-Fans submit ideas for what they’d like to get, a signed book, a signed tee, a charm bracelet, dinner with the author, etc.

    42.        I Spy Contest-take an up close picture of one of your books, products, or favorite things and have fans guess what it is.

    43.        Unusual Holiday Contests-

    44.        Adventure Contest-Describe an adventure you’d like to go on with a character from your book-give a gift card relating to that adventure

    45.        Name a Character Contest-Names are submitted and one is chosen that will be featured in your next book or short story

    46.        Dress Up Contest-Participants dress up like characters in your book and submit photos

    47.        Submit a Song Contest-Fans submit ideas for your playlist-choose one as a winning song

    48.        Pick a Number Contest-You choose a number and let fans guess. They can only submit a number once.

    49.        Oldest Fan/Youngest Fan Contest-Prizes are given to your oldest and youngest participants

    50.        Ugliest Contest-Apply to your book, photos are submitted of the ugliest tree, dog, building, flower or whatever applies to your book.

    51.        Embarrassing Contest-Talk about your most embarrassing moment and ask fans to share theirs

    52.        Worst Date Contest-Fans share their worst dates with you and you pick one for a prize

    53.        Limerick Contest-Choose a theme or use your book as a theme

    54.        Joke Contest-Submit a joke that one of the characters in the book would say.

    55.        Character Interview

    56.        Blog Commenter Contest-Tell fans you’ll give a prize to the person who comments most frequently on your blog that month

    57.        #1 Fan Contest-What extremes have your fans gone to? Ask for a report and select your #1 fan.

    58.        Celebrate Your Inner Child Contest-What were your favorite books as a child?

    59.        Fan Fiction Contest-Fan fiction chapters are submitted and judged and a prize is awarded

    60.        A Picture is Worth 100 Words-Let fans write 100-300 words about a picture you post.

    61.        Vacation Getaway Contest-Readers write an ad describing a vacation destination from your book

    62.        Name the Chapter Contest-Participants submit possible names for a chapter

    63.        Book Cover Contest-Fans submit possible book covers-best one wins a signed copy

    64.        Back Story Contest-Readers pick a secondary character and write a short paragraph describing his/her backstory.

    65.        Collage Contest-Fans create a collage inspired by your book and then submit a picture of it.

    66.        Romance Contest-Ask readers to talk about their favorite literary romantic couple other than your own.

    67.        Career Change-If you could have the chance to go back again and get your dream job what would it be?

    68.        Favorite Books of the Year-Fans create a top ten list of favorite books they read this year.

    69.        Survival Kit-What would readers pack in a survival kit if they had to live in the world of your book

    70.        Paranormal Faceoff-Would you rather date a shifter, vamp, werewolf, fairy, angel, etc. and why?

    71.        Audiobook Giveaway-What was the first audiobook you listened to? Why do you like audiobooks?

    72.        Shifters-If you could shift into any creature what would it be and why?

    73.        Genre Contest-What is your favorite genre and why?

    74.        Bad Boys vs Good Guys-Which do you like better and explain your reasons

    75.        Change the Book Contest-If you could change one thing about my book what would it be and why?

    76.        Savor the Danger-Which scene of the book had you on the edge of your seat? What scared you the most?

    77.        Talent Contest-What talent do you have that you wish you could loan to a book heroine?  Which skill of any of my book characters do you wish you had?

    78.        Reading Quiz-What time of day do you do most of your reading and where do you like to read?

    79.        Pick a Partner-If you were to go on a paranormal adventure what five traits would you like your traveling companion to have?

    80.        The Major Game-Fans list what your characters would major in if they went to college

    81.        Inspiring Women-What women have inspired you?

    82.        Overcoming-Describe how you overcame an obstacle in your past.

    83.        Pack Your Bags-If you could have an adventure with a handsome stranger where would like to go?

    84.        Worst Gift Ever-What was the worst gift you ever received from a boyfriend, a husband, for Valentine’s etc.

    85.        Traveling Author-If you were an author packing for a trip what is the worst possible thing you could leave at home?

    86.        Based on a Book-What is your favorite movie/television adaptation of a book or series?

    87.        Relationship Tips-What’s the best tip you ever heard about making a marriage/relationship work?

    88.        Battle Contest-If you had to fight a monster, demon, villain from one of my books, which one would you choose and why?

    89.        Find the Cover Contest-Hide your new cover on your website somewhere and ask fans to find it.

    90.        Weapons-If you could fight as a superhero using any type of a weapon, which weapon would you choose and why?

    91.        Create a Character Contest-Describe a new character that would fit into my book. What do they look like, act like, do?

    92.        Name a Nail Polish-If you could create a series of nail polishes reflecting the themes in my book what colors would you pick and what would they be called?

    93.        Dystopia or Paranormal-which type of book would you rather live in?

    94.        Skype Visit-Teachers, book clubs, bookstores, even individuals why would you want to host a Skype session with me?

    95.        Guess the College-Fans guess where you attended college and prize pack is a college themed gift pack

    96.        Book Scavenger Hunt-Take a picture of yourself holding not your copy of a book but another one in a library, at a bookstore, or with a friend. Key your friend, the bookstore manager, or the librarian must be in the picture with you.

    97.        Design a Cake/Cupcake/Cookie Contest-that matches the theme of your book

    98.        Dress a Character-Fans would pick a character from your book, select clothing for them, and explain why they chose it. Prize gift cert to a clothing store.

    99.        Flag Contest-Design a flag that would fit the theme of your book.

    100.      Door Decorating Contest-Fans decorate their bedroom or library door and send a picture.

    101.      Retweet Contest-The person who retweets my tweets the most in the month gets a prize.

    102.      Password Contest-Fans search for letters or clues left in different places on your website or social media sites to put together a password that unlocks a secret fan page.




    This entry was posted in Articles, Bonus Material, Contest, Top Ten Lists, Writing Advice.

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    Author Bio
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.