In the lead-up to publication of what Merlin Publishers are calling “the publishing event of 2011”, Merlin are running an e-postcard competition on Facebook. Designed by artist Pierre Portelli, a set of ten e-postcards are being released weekly, each postcard including an image, a line of text and a date.
People are being invited to tag themselves or any number of friends on the postcard who they think fit into the mood that the image is transmitting.
Concurrently, Merlin is inviting viewers to let loose their imagination and write – in the comments box beneath the postcard – an ideal second sentence that might follow the sentence quoted in the postcard. Fifteen of the most tagged people – across the entire set of e-postcards – will receive a free signed copy of the book.
Chris Gruppetta, publisher at Merlin, spoke about the campaign: “The concept behind the campaign is to engage readers and invite them to experience a book in a multi-sensory fashion: the visual stimulation of an image, the excitement of reading a line of text by a skilled author, and the interactivity of ‘co-writing’ a social narrative, by trying one’s hand at writing and sharing it with the online community. Social narratives, or using social media as a narrative platform, is a subject that’s trending in literary communities, and we wanted to give it a shot here in Malta and link it to our lead title this year.”
Still in its second week, the campaign has generated huge amount of interest and ‘shares’ on Facebook, with both e-postcards released so far having reached the maximum number of tags allowed by Facebook in just a few hours. Editors at Merlin are also reading with keen interest the ‘imagined second line’ entries in the comments box that come beneath each image.