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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Reader Round Up Replaces Sales Blast



One of the new advertising options is called Reader Round Up. It's very similar to a Sales Blast in the sense that I will be looking for people to read your book, but it doesn't come with the added benefit of directly helping your sales rank on Amazon. Instead, those that are interested in reading your book will be emailed a copy.

Think of it as an open-ended giveaway.

Why the change?


There are several reasons why I'm changing the service so dramatically.

  1. Sales Blasts are too expensive for many authors, and I would rather have a service that is within reach of more authors.
  2. Guaranteeing a certain number of people respond to something like this has already proved difficult, so I don't want to attach a certain number of people to this service.
  3. The eventual goal of either service is to push for more book reviews, and I would rather spend my time working on that angle than having to worry about buying copies for people.
  4. Depending on your genre, using a sales blast to force your book onto a best seller list, which was one of the original goals, costs a lot more than what I was charging.

Here's the specs on Reader Round Up


  1. Promo Post
    • Including a sign up form to receive the book for free via email
  2. One Round of Long Term Twitter Marketing (for more information on long term Twitter Marketing, see this post
  3. I will email book club members who are interested in your genre, inviting them to accept a copy to read and hopefully review.
    • May be combined with other advertisers so as not to inundate book club members with too many emails.
  4. $5 goes toward the Reviewer Giveaway Pool
    • A giveaway for those who read and review Reader Round Up books.

What's the Reviewer Giveaway Pool?


This is how I plan to encourage people to read and review the books in the Reader Round Up program. Five dollars from each participating author will go into a common fund. Those that review books in the program will have a chance at a gift card.

For example, let's say we have four authors purchase the Reader Round Up package. That would mean there would be $20 for a gift card. Let's also say that a combined total of 100 reviews are posted because of these campaigns.

Yes, I know a little unrealistic. 100 reviews for 4 books. Not going to happen, but it makes for easy math.

For each posted review, the reviewer would have a 1% chance of winning a $20 gift card. Now, those don't sound like great odds, but if you scale the number of reviews down to a more reasonable amount, it looks a little better.

If there are 10 reviews for the 4 books, each review would count toward a 10% chance at the gift card.

Actually, it will be more complex than this, but for the purpose of this post, the above example works. In reality, a reviewer will earn more than one chance per review. Posting the review to Amazon.com will earn the most chances, probably 10, the most I can assign using Rafflecopter. Posting the review to a blog, Goodreads, or the other Amazons will also be available, though each of those will not be worth as much as posting to Amazon.com.

I'm hoping this will be enough of an incentive. We'll see.

Does this mean I'm paying people to review books?


Some might have this concern, and since this is a general concern for many indies, let me address it here.

I don't agree that this is the same as paying someone for a review. First of all, there's no guarantee of "payment." Someone might win a gift card after one review or participate in the program for years and never win a gift card.

Second, since the winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, the nature of the review itself won't be an issue like it is with paid reviews. I will remind everyone who receives a book from this program that a positive review is not required to win a gift card. Just a review.

What do you think of this new program?

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