My blood boils when I see authors wasting time on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble best-seller promotions in which they rally their friends and their friends’ friends to buy their book on the same day so it jumps to the top of the list.
Unless you’re already a big-name author, these campaigns rarely bring lasting results. Besides, so many authors execute them so poorly.
Barbara Rozgonyi got me all worked up again when I read her explanation of why she sees little value in participating by donating an info product that the author will give away as a bonus to anyone who buys the book.
The enticement, of course, is that everyone who donates a bonus—and lots of marketers usually step forward—must agree to email everyone on their lists and push the book. That means that in exchange forgiving away one of your ebooks or a special reports, you can get in front of thousands of people who might not know about you and convert them into your own newsletter subscribers or customers. Barbara writes:
“When I had the chance to participate in one of these book promos, I jumped on it. Dreaming about adding hundreds of names to a list overnight is heady.
“But, it’s just that—a dream. Almost every ‘lead’ that came in unsubscribed. Immediately. These people have no interest in a relationship, only collecting products.”
Here’s the comment I posted at Barbara’s blog:
I despise these Amazon and B&N campaigns.
Back when I didn’t know any better, I’d gladly give away my valuable product as a bonus, but I refused to do special mailings to my list. Why? Because my list of 40,000+ trusts me. And one book title will appeal to such a small slice of those people, anyway, that I can’t justify pestering the rest of them.
Today, I neither give away the product nor send a special email to Publicity Hounds on my list. So authors, please leave me alone.
These campaigns are like stuffing the ballot box. They’re no reflection of the actual popularity of a book.
I wish authors would stop wasting time on this and spend it instead doing keyword research, then blogging, writing articles, submitting to content-sharing social media sites, creating videos about their books and posting them to YouTube—the types of things that pay huge dividends weeks, months and even years later.
Read what Steve Weber has to say about other disadvantages of these campaigns (use the arrows at the top of the frame to move to the next page). He’s author of the book Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors, and this is apparently excerpted from his book.
If you participated in an Amazon or B&N campaign as the author or the person who donated the freebie, let’s hear your take on this. Worth it? Or a waste of time?