The author's stage
Borders and Gather.com announced the winners of its "First Chapters" writing competition, reports MediaPost. Both the winner and runner-up will get book contracts with Touchstone, a publisher under Simon & Schuster.
The "American Idol for Books" clocked 2,676 submissions since launching in January. Both books will be available at Borders bookstores nationwide. Borders will also pump significant promotion dollars into winner Terry Shaw's The Way Life Should Be and runner-up Geoffrey Edwards' Fire Bell in the Night.
This is part of a multi-year deal Borders has with Gather.com, a social networking site for adults that rewards user-participation with points they can redeem for perks like gift cards. Publishers are increasingly focusing on social networking features to market their wares.
Borders has four groups on Gather, including one dedicated entirely to Harry Potter. Gather is currently setting its sights on the 2008 election, where it will crown a group of bloggers to cover it.