Australia’s most connected man on LinkedIn and business author, James Evangelidis, has come up with a way to launch his first thriller this September.
An eBook entitled Maze of Keys, will give the reader and three supporting charities the chance to share in the book’s sales simply by reading it and entering a competition to solve the puzzle.
The minimum guaranteed prize value is US $10,000, regardless of how many books are sold. However there is no maximum prize value – the more books sold, the higher the cash prize.
“If we sell one million books, which is my personal goal, the prize value will be US $3 million with a further US $1 million for charity. An author like John Grisham sells about 10 million books a year on average. If we can sell half that number, the prize value will be US $15 million plus another US $5 million that will be equally split between our supporting charities,” said Evangelidis.
The book can be purchased for US $15 on the Maze of Keys website. Upon purchasing it, readers will be presented with a series of multiple choice questions. All of the clues to the answers are hidden somewhere in the book.
By ‘gamifying’ the traditional process of buying and reading a book, James is hoping to cause waves in the publishing industry.
“Generally, there are two steps to engaging with a book. You buy it and you read it, that’s it. We’re adding one more step – you buy it, read it and solve a puzzle for the chance to win big bucks,” said Evangelidis.
Evangelidis came up with the concept and questioned whether it was even legal. After extensive discussions with his legal team, his advisory board and even a competition consultant, his idea has been verified and authorised. Global accounting firm Ernst & Young will also be the official independent auditors of the entire process.
“Everyone keeps asking me ‘what’s the catch?’ and ‘where’s this money coming from?’. What people don’t realise is that traditional publishers have been making this kind of serious money for years. All we’re doing is sharing that fortune with our readers. I love the idea that readers of my book can potentially share in its profit,” said Evangelidis.
Furthermore, Evangelidis is sharing a sizable chunk of the profits with three supporting charities, all of which are close to his heart. Australian charity Hands Across the Water, Crossroads Foundation in Hong Kong and World Vision will all benefit from the competition’s success.
Evangelidis is a business author but is quick to point out few would have read his previous books. His past projects include The New Trusted Adviser and What Do Accounting Clients Really Want?, but Maze of Keys is his first forray into the world of fiction.