Unlock the Curse: Why Readers, Writers and Book Bloggers Should Be Playing

12 Apr

Note to readers:  This article was originally published early in 2010 as one of only three articles posted on my original blog.  I’m reposting here so that you won’t have to jump to my old, and defunct blog.

So some of you have been following the online contest/game, Beautiful Creatures: Unlock the Curse, featuring challenges designed around Beautiful Creatures and six other amazing YA novels: Wicked Lovely by Melissa MarrTithe by Holly BlackCity of Bonesby Cassandra ClareShiver by Maggie StiefvaterThe Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Rampant by Diana Peterfreund.

Now I was planning (and still am) to write more in depth about this promotion when it’s complete. But in the meantime, I just had to say something to those of you who are, for one reason or another, not playing Unlock the Curse.

You should play.

Even if you don’t care about winning the prize, (the amazing, magical locket that revealed the source of the curse to Lena and Ethan in Beautiful Creatures), you should play. Really. I mean it.

Wow. I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Now I’m going to tell you why everyone who likes even one of these books should be playing this game:

Are you ready? Alright… here goes.

Because it’s fun.

It’s fun on some pretty serious levels: It brings you into contact with other readers in interesting ways; It gets you to think; It gets you involved the worlds of other books you might not otherwise read, but you will now; And did I mention it’s fun?

How do I know that it’s all of these things to the players of the game? Because that’s what the game is designed to do. And because the players say so. They tell me and each other. That’s actually part of the game.

I really believe that this sort of engagement is one of the ways that we can effectively involve readers, putting great authors together to support one another’s books, creating channels of fiction grouped by writers’ and readers’ natural preferences. It’s a little blog-o-system, and it allows books to catch on in a contagious sort of way. It does things an advertisement could never do, and creates results a randomized contest drawing just isn’t designed to do.

I’ll write more about this when the competition ends, but in the meantime, if you want to get more connected to readers and look at new ways of engaging their interest online, play this game. NOW.



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