This is hilarious. I love the upside down crosses he drew on blank pages that you can flip the page to make Christian crosses.
It's not a scam. If there were some deception involved then it would be a scam, but I have no reason to believe that Tao Lin does not intend to send the prizes to the individual who "wins". Therefore it is, at worst, a kind of lottery for dumbasses, where you get to pick the price of your lottery ticket, and the more you pay for it, the more likely you are to "win".
'lottery for dumbasses'

please please please stop writing about Tao Lin. don't feed the troll and such.
Tao Lin must be Chinese for Hacky Douche...
I can't imagine this "contest" appealing to anyone that doesn't understand what they're in for. I'd probably have avoided using the word "gamble" if I were him though, just to stay on the safe side of the law.
It warms my heart to see Tao Lin's desperate struggle to put off the inevitable end of his career as whatever it is he does. Artiste, I guess.

But seriously, he should quit goofing around and go develop some job skills.
If his 'books' are as 'well-written' as his blog 'posts', then 'I' feel like I'm 'not' missing out 'on much'.

There's a hilariously stupid and bad typo in his own blurb from New York magazine, which I very much doubt is in the original ("heads-over-heals"). Oh, wait, I checked the original, and they said, correctly, "head-over-heels". In other words, avant-garde lit-boy is an illiterate boob.

Please wait...

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