What’s sadder than a writer sitting at a quiet cyberspace crossroads, squirming and gesticulating at the rare clicking visitor, in front of a sandwich sign that says “Will Pick Grubs Off Your Pet Monkey for Your Reading Attention?” Easy: one who tries to directlybuy his readers’ attentions with a transparent pandering offer. Thus, I invite you to don your favorite pantyhose mask, conceal your true identity, and blacken your conscience—and then read.
No, no, this isn’t about reading just any old thing, all those National Enquirers you’ve got piled up bedside and the latest issue of Zombie Sex Kitten Sits on Game of Thrones and Contemplates Twilight—no, this is about reading something of mine. That’s where the corruption comes in: if you download, for .99, my remarkably juicy (yet 100% organic) novel of hitchhiking madness and tingling love triangles, and are the first to write an Amazon review for the dang thing, I will send you, in an unmarked brown paper wrapper, a $25 iTunes gift card. (And this card hasn’t even been used yet.)
You ask, how desperate can a writer get? Well, I was actually going to come to your house and make you read the book straight through, without any beer on hand. But I thought this would leave a smaller carbon footprint. Anyway, if you cheat and don’t actually read the book, but just go post a review, I will identify to the world that you are one of Satan’s minions, and you will be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Sorry, but once a Catholic, always a Catholic.)
Thus, you must read, and you must act the Amazonian forthwith. And even I am not so corrupt that I’d ask you to give me a good review—tell it as you read it. And if you see that one of your dirty competitors has beat you to the Tunes, well, you could always post a review anyway. For the children. For those few brave souls who have already read and reviewed, you’re out of luck, but I will autograph your forearm next time we meet. Here’s the delicate little item at Amazon, and here it is for B&N’s Nook. For those who crave paper, this ain’t your baby.
And please don’t tell my mother.