Monday, August 18, 2014

Amateur Tip: A Costly Way to Get Readers

As a frequent Amazon review and Vine Voice(TM), I sometimes get authors or publishers offering to send me a book to review.  I've accepted a couple, but some are really far off the mark of what I would read, like the one who wanted me to review a book of Christian crafts.  Though I find that kind of annoying to get, I have to admit that's not the worst thing you can do.  I mean it's just an email and the worst they'll say is No, right?

But then last week someone took it up a notch.  I opened my email and found out someone I didn't know and had never heard of had "gifted" me a copy of her book on Amazon.  I looked up the book and it sounded just awful.  Basically 700 pages of Ayn Randian philosophy.  No thanks.  Amazon gives the option to exchange it for a gift card, so I did that and got $1.07 towards another book I actually wanted.

From reading a thread on that gifted book's page, apparently the author has been doing this with other people.  Probably a lot of Vine Voices(TM).  It struck me as just about the dumbest way you can go about doing this.  I mean, maybe she has money to burn (or maybe she's using the Guy Kawasaki philosophy of sinking a minimum of $15K into marketing) but it just seems like a big waste of money.

So unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket, ASK before you send someone a copy of your book to read and review.  It seems kind of like common sense (and cents) but some people are sorely lacking in that department.

But hey, thanks for that $1.07!

6 comments:

  1. I have gifted contest winners copies of books in the past, but I couldn't tell if they ever accepted their copies. I wonder if some people won't even bother accepting these books, so she may spend less than she anticipated. But she won't get the reviews she's seeking either.

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    1. Since you can exchange them for the monetary value she's helping people buy other books.

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  2. And the money gets spent whether they accept the book or not. The charge is immediately placed on your card when you gift it.
    It seems like a bad way to go about things.

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  3. I don't know about the rest of you, but I think I found a new way to make a living at this, so let me be the first to say: I AM OPEN TO YOU GIFTING ME YOUR AWFUL BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT.

    Let's see, 10,000,000 hopeful suckers... I mean AUTHORS... $1.07 per book. HAWAII HERE I COME.

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    Replies
    1. Only if they sell Hawaiian vacations on Amazon.

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  4. My god... I heard a story last year about Amazon's Vine program on Planet Money. It was almost like a investigative journalism piece. Apparently it's details are mostly secret, and even many industry experts that study Amazon have never heard of it.

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