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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We debate covers here all the time, right? But how often do we get to ask readers what they think? Exactly.

The-cheap.net has put together a cover art genre guessing game for March. Our readers will guess the genre a book cover is, what price point the book cover conveys to them, how likely they are to click and read more about the book and how often do they read the genre they think the book is (so authors can throw out the opinions of readers who don't care for their genre or see what readers of a closely related genre look for to potentially appeal to two genres etc.). Each week, we are giving away gift cards to the readers who participate, and also at the end of the month.

Each book gets one week of focus as being part of that week's giveaway, but all books count for the overall prizes too, so books will get rated all month long. Once we're done, I will send a spreadsheet to each author with all of the market research they have for the book, and readers can opt in to share email addresses if they want to.

The cost of the promotion is $40, with 20-25% going towards prizes, 10% towards advertising during the event, and the remainder to pay for staff setting up the promotion pages, running the promotion, and closing out the promotion by awarding prizes and compiling spreadsheets.

Signups are now open: http://the-cheap.net/authors/march-genre-guessing-game/ and will close February 22.
 

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Entered! I love how new and different this is, Elizabeth. Just a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, we do sample promotions Summer and Christmas time, and cover promotions spring and fall. :)

Our readers LOVE that's it's not "buy this book, buy this book" but a chance for them to weigh in and carefully consider a book. And, in the end, because they spend so much time with the listing, vs. a glance at a banner ad or blog post, they find books they didn't know existed.
 

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Elizabeth modestly did not include the following info in her OP, so I thought I'd quote it, FYI. :)

The-cheap.net, where the contest will be held, currently receives 7,000-10,000 page views per day and over 40,000 unique visitors per month. We have readers that are about evenly split between Kindle, Nook, and iPad devices, and span just about every genre, though our biggest pockets of readers enjoy mystery/thriller, YA, romance, christian, fantasy, and buy books for their kids and grand kids in the MG and Children's genres.
Quoted from http://the-cheap.net/authors/march-genre-guessing-game/

I bolded the bit about multiple platforms because I've seen several questions on KB of late on how to gain visibility on sites other than Amazon. That's a pressing concern for me right now: I just left Select a month ago, and my book seems to be invisible on the other sites. Except for Smashwords, which kindly made my entire book available as the "free 20% sample." :mad: Now that I've disallowed sampling, my book's invisible on Smashwords as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That data is from our recent reader poll that I posted yesterday. We've had 231 responses so far on what ereader our readers use on a regular basis. So far the results are:

I use my mac or PC to read: 34
Kindle eink: 63
Kindle Fire: 50
Kobo (any): 6
Nook eink: 61
Nook color, tablet or HD: 91
Other ereading devices: 4
Other tablet devices: 32
Ipad: 56
iPad mini: 6
Smartphone: 80

It was very eye opening. Also, in a list of various skills to learn about ereading, such as sideloading, converting mobi to epub (that are DRM free) and spotting a fake review etc

93 want to learn to convert files (62 responded they already know how)
84 want to learn how to spot a fake review (53 responded they already could)
67 want to learn how to sideload (123 already know how)
73 want to learn how to tell if a book is indie or trad published (only 63 said they already could tell)
64 want to learn how long an ebook is (123 already know how to tell)

 

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This is certainly a unique idea for a promotion. Looks like Author Advertising on the Cheap really gives it a 110-115% effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The spot a fake review thing goes both ways. In our reader group, which is private chat for 700 members, our core group we run ideas etc. by, one of the subjects that came up was reviews and how trust worthy they are. Most felt that the only "fakes" would be the 5-star ones, and it was me and a few authors who are members of the group who educated them about the 1-star wonders too that mysteriously come just an hour after a book goes free or does well in a promotion. We had a long discussion about how some people review just to get a link to their site(amazon has cracked down on that), about how some authors and publishers will send punishing reviews to perceived competition etc.

Out of the discussion, most never knew they could click and see what other things a reviewer has reviewed, what voting helpful or unhelpful does, that reviews shape what Amazon and other sites offer to them as other books to consider, that book advertising sites restricted indie books on the basis of ratings (most of our readers are very positive about indies) etc.

Part of the redesign will include a content section authors will be able to write "reader oriented" material, that also advertises their book at the bottom. I haven't quite worked out what authors will get in return if their article advertisement is picked up (I'm thinking $X in advertising credit). I honestly added the spot a fake review as just to see what they would think and was very surprised to see it was an issue they want guides on.

You really never know until you ask...
 

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vrabinec said:
It's human nature to want to recognize when someone's trying to manipulate you, eh? No one likes feeling like a patsy.
 

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Becca Mills said:
It's human nature to want to recognize when someone's trying to manipulate you, eh? No one likes feeling like a patsy.
Not me. I love getting fooled into buying something that isn't as good as advertised. it's the spice of life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just a head's up, I live in Ledyard CT which is preparing for a Mother Nature smackdown battle royale that rivals anything they've seen in almost 50 years. Or so I'm told on the news (we just moved here last year, heck if I know what to do for a blizzard, I'm a Southern girl).

So if you message me or email me, and don't hear back, it's because I have no power. I'm frantically answering and repsonding to what I can this morning as I literally have every ereader on a charger around my house. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We're up to $250 for prize money so far for the cover game in March. :)

I am closing entries February 22, so there is only 1 week left of signups.

Also, I had one author bring in 10 signups and I offered that group a coupon discount, so if any other authors want to get together a party of 5 or more, send me a personal PM or email and I will give you a coupon code.
 
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