Ever wanted to write a thriller? I stumbled across this Border's campaign which attempts to utilize the viral nature of the web, the power of the written word and the massive brand that is James Patterson.
AirBorne, apparently the "worlds-first online chain story" is a 30 day promotion, using social outreach to engage aspiring writers and fans of James Patterson alike. Personally, I don't think my writing style would lend itself to the thriller genre but full marks for the idea - which taps in to user generated content (UGC) megatrend exploding across the internet.
Consisting of email, web, twitter and facebook presence the promotion has already drummed up publicity on Fairfax and News Limited. Not to mention coverage on Radio National, ABC Radio Melbourne and Radio 2UE.
My take on it, I would have liked to seen a clear social media outreach strategy that engages one-to-one with the fans and writers, as this campaign fits perfectly with online writers and UGC based communities. Initial engagement appear low on Facebook and Twitter but the idle chatter suggests users and aspiring writers have warmed to the campaign. One writer/blogger even posted their entry - here.
According to Border's online Marketing Coordinator Jacqui Phillips, James Patterson will write the first and last of the 30 chapters with writers competing for the 28 spots in between. Judging will be completed by Random House who will also edit the winning authors content (insert legal grey area here...).
The first chapter is set to be released on the 20th March and the subsequent 29 chapters every day after. A similar release style to the Novel Idea campaign, a mobile optimised promotion in South Africa.
Customers will be able to download the chapters in an eBook format daily (or for a short time after last chapter is released). The book itself will not be published: only printed for competition purposes.