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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after I applied for a BookSends run I saw an ad for "Book Butterfly". It took me here: http://www.booksbutterfly.com/order/?tag=booksends

Would BookSends promote a shop that would get me on Amazon's TOS naughty list? The site looks schlocky ... but so does bestebookreaderlovers, and I've always gotten good results with them.
 
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ANY site that guarantees X number of downloads is a scam. Period. End of story. And I don't care WHO claims otherwise. The only way you can make that guarantee is if you control the downloads. You cannot make a guarantee on things you do not control.

And just look at their alleged customer list of most recent "success" stories.
11) Girl Talk by Vicki Heinze. Sales Rank Change: #8,470 to #75. Reached #75 on the 2nd Day. Genre: Women's Fiction. More Sites: Yes. Author also used social media and some other sites.
First, they get the author's name wrong (here is the actual book...or at least, I assume the actual book). Let's just say I'm suspicious of the so-called results when I look at the current sales rank.

The site was just registered in March of 2014 and claims to have 75,000 email subscribers. And nobody has heard of them?

Really, how many times do we need to have this conversation in this forum for people to recognize these things for what they are?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Julie,

I looked them up. The site is actually run by ireaderreview.com and they've been around since  2009-02-10. The site gets decent traffic. Lots of sites guarantee satisfaction (BKnights, GenrePulse, Freebooksy). If they have all those emails and apps, the 250 downloads they promise is *small* (which is probably why they promise it).

 
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http://www.whois.net/whois/booksbutterfly.com

Shows a creation date of 3/14. That is the site you linked to.

There is a difference between guaranteeing satisfaction and guaranteeing a specific number. No only on a practical level, but on a legal level. There is a reason why every ad for weight loss products includes a "results not typical" disclaimer. There is a reason why most legitimate companies avoid making a fixed number promise. Saying "I guarantee you will be happy or your money back" is not the same thing legally as "I guarantee you will get X downloads for Y amount of money."

Look at the price plan. They offer GUARANTEED downloads not based on their subscribers, but by price. They send your promo to the same email list of 60,000 people. The number of downloads is based on the price you pay. Pay the bronze fee, they give you 250 downloads. Pay the silver fee, you get 500 downloads...from the same list. Pay the gold fee, you get 1000 downloads...from the same list.
 
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Hi, I'm from Books Butterfly.

1) We actually run a lot of websites including www.ireaderreview.com (since Jan 2008). Even Amazon's Kindle 3 page links to us. Just look at the Reviews section. So does Wikipedia (look at the page for Kindle 3).

IN case someone is going to have a heart attack over registration not being Jan 2008, it's because we had to change the name in Feb 2009. Before that it was thekindle.wordpress.com.

2) I think the concept of Guaranteed Downloads is confusing. Think of it as 'Guaranteed or you get a partial refund'.

What 'Guaranteed' Downloads means is

Say, you pay $50 for 1,000 Downloads. If you get only half, then you get half your money back. THAT is what Guaranteed means.

We don't have 1,000 people sitting in some computer farm in Antarctica downloading books.

7) Our Return rate is just 4%. So 96% of the time users get more downloads than the guaranteed number.

*******

8) How can one list support different types of slots.

Very simple - where on the list the book is. Also, we can mention a book 2 or 3 days in a row to increase downloads. Or we can mention it in multiple genres. We also have a 'Best Books of the Day' section where the books always get loads of downloads. If you qualify for that that's another tool.

Another Example: In Google Search Results the top search result gets visited 2 times more often than the #2 search result. So there's a lot of user behavior around lists and such that we can use to change impact.

Generally, in any list

#1, #2, #3 and the last spot are the 4 best spots. Those are the ones that do best.

And, of course, it's all very imprecise. So we tend to sell slots conservatively. If we think a book could get 1,300 downloads to 1,600 downloads, we sell a Gold Slot (1,000 guaranteed downloads) and NOT a Platinum slot (1,500 downloads).

For some strange reason, authors seem to much prefer getting a few hundred extra downloads than a few hundred less.
******

Also, specially for Bards & Sages - Feel free to look at our Recent Results page now. We've put up 80 or so results.

Also, what you wrote:

ANY site that guarantees X number of downloads is a scam. Period. End of story. And I don't care WHO claims otherwise. The only way you can make that guarantee is if you control the downloads. You cannot make a guarantee on things you do not control.

That's not accurate.

We're not a scam. It's not nice to levy such claims on people just based on opinions.
 

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ireaderreview said:
We're not a scam. It's not nice to levy such claims on people just based on opinions.
I'm chiming in here because I've recently used Booksbutterfly. There was a Bronze level at the time (November). That level doesn't appear to be available any longer in favor of a "$5 for 100 downloads" option. The promo was only $10 with no guaranteed download number, so I figured I would try it. I read up on the number of sites they had before purchasing (although that link was nearly impossible to find), and I felt like it was an okay risk.

I had a little over a hundred downloads I would attribute to the promotion, and I didn't have a problem with that. I've taken recommendations from this board on other sites at the same level and gotten ten or so for the same money. I would have liked more, of course, but every promotion is a risk.

However, without my asking (because I wasn't going to, and I'm definitely not shy about complaining), I had an unsolicted refund in a few days with a note that the Bronze level usually does better than it did for me. I'd certainly use them again for a different book.

I think it's unfortunate the site really, really needs a makeover for useability and appearance reasons. People are much more likely to trust a nice design (even though anyone can get a free template that looks good.) This is coming from someone who is a very poor but persistent web designer herself, so I know what inadequate design looks like :)
 

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I'm going to try it with Arcane and report back (as soon as I figure out a date for the promo that is). I always respect a developer / owner coming here and standing up for their product, not to mention other kboarders defending it. My curiosity is peaked, anyway.
 
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Thanks Jill. I really appreciate your chiming in for us.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll think about the website design.

The problem is we have to balance Conversion against design.

We moved from a simpler design to this one and it sold a lot more slots. So we're sticking with this. But we'll start testing in early to mid 2015 and see if we can strike a balance between usability and conversion.

 

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ireaderreview said:
Thanks Jill. I really appreciate your chiming in for us.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll think about the website design.

The problem is we have to balance Conversion against design.

We moved from a simpler design to this one and it sold a lot more slots. So we're sticking with this. But we'll start testing in early to mid 2015 and see if we can strike a balance between usability and conversion.
You probably just need some work with the CSS to improve the appearance, and a better system of linking to the things people want to know about. Simple is the best, but it has to be both simple and look professional. You need a site that tells people that you will behave professionally with them, because you do!
 
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Thanks for the data point Kathryn. I appreciate it.

Jill, could you please elaborate.

Whatever information you could give would be helpful.

1) What do you mean by this: a better system of linking to the things people want to know about

2) And by this: You need a site that tells people that you will behave professionally with them

Also, do you have any example sites (some big site) since I don't like any of the book specific site order pages. Perhaps some general site like Square or something whose design you think would work.
 

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kathrynoh said:
I am running a promo with them today for my freebie. So far it's going better than the Bknights promo earlier in the week.
I ran a promo with them a few days ago for my permafree.

Easy to work with and you only pay for results. Which, in my case, were slightly above my expectations.
 

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Sever Bronny said:
I'm going to try it with Arcane and report back (as soon as I figure out a date for the promo that is). I always respect a developer / owner coming here and standing up for their product, not to mention other kboarders defending it. My curiosity is peaked, anyway.
Are you going to try the paid one? I'm curious to see how that turns out.
 

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Also are the paid slots for discounted books, or just to advertise a book in general?

Edit: Got it. I just read more carefully. It needs to be at its lowest price that's been listed in the past year.
 
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