Want someone to read your book? Try offering $500K in gold.

By Carly Vaughn

My little sister, who devours books as quickly as I did at thirteen, called me the other day to tell me about her newest book. She likes to do this, call me when she either buys or finishes a book, to either beg me to read it with her or summarize the plot in great detail. I’ve told her many times that this strategy is pretty ineffective.

“So I was at Target trying to get this book, and they didn’t have it, so I got a different one and I saw a little Caesars Palace logo on the back so I did a little digging and found out that there’s this contest and there are clues hidden throughout the book and the first one to find them wins $500K in gold, and there’s going to be three books and the money just keeps getting bigger. And Mom was saying that if we put our brains together we could probably win.”

I was reminded, powerfully, of Ready Player One. Three books, three prizes, three keys, three gates. What an amazing marketing strategy! Offering a prize that seems like it would be so attainable. Solve some clues, win some gold. And you don’t even have to memorize 1980’s trivia!

The contest seems legit, as evidenced by the media coverage, and author James Frey has my respect. The book is called Endgame: The Calling and I’m probably going to go out and buy this thing, even though I have no idea what it’s about. It doesn’t hurt that LCD Soundsystem played at the treasure hunt launch in Las Vegas. If the prize was Daft Punk playing at my house, instead of 500K in gold, I might be even more motivated to play.


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