But I got an email from Unbridled tonight (of course I'm on their mailing list!) reminding me of this offer again, this time with a list of the indie stores that were part of the deal.
Here's the first paragraph:
For the next three days -- June 9, 10 & 11 -- twenty-five of our favorite titles will be available in ebook form for 25c each, exclusively via independent bookstores who sell Google eBooks. You can find a list of these stores here...
Curiosity more than anything got me to click.
I landed on a page with a long list of stores, and it took me a moment to recognize they are organized by STATE first, and then store name (hint to people posting lists: use headers)
I scrolled down to the store that's nearest my office geographically, and one I haven't been to, thinking I'd use this opportunity to "meet the store" too.
Here's what I found.
Yea. Useless. Clearly no one from the store, Unbridled, or Indiebound went through this list of stores and just clicked to make sure each link works, and gets you to a page that actually helps you find what you're looking for.
So, I clicked on the next store I know: McNally Jackson
I'm a long time customer of the store. I've been to dozens of events there, including ones for my authors. I love buying from McNally Jackson.
Except there's NOTHING on the front page that says "Unbridled Book deal" or even "buy Google Ebooks"
In other words, the page that launched me to that site was linking to a general site about the store, NOT a page about the offer. And thus, useless.
So, I looked at the list again. And there's Greenlight Books. I'm going there on Monday to hear Sara Gran talk about her new book. So I clicked.
And there's how it's done. Front page of the website is EXACTLY the info I came here looking for.
And I bought 24 books. All of them except the one I'd already read.
They download to my google home page, which means I had to give the store access to my google account. Given it was Greenlight Books in Brooklyn, I was ok with that. I'm pretty sure I would NOT have done it with a store I didn't feel like I knew.
And the books are right there on the screen. They look nice, the covers are beautiful, and the books are easy to read (by which I mean font size and style, not a comment about the content!)
But, they're not on my Kindle. And my Kindle is where I read my electronic books. I tend not to read on the computer cause I'm already reading a LOT of stuff here. The backlighting hurts my eyes after awhile, and sitting at my desk with a computer is really not the same as lounging in my hammock with a physical book.
But, this is a promotion to get out from under Amazon, so why in the hell I thought I'd be downloading to my Kindle is beyond me. (Yes, customers can be stupid, even when they're not!)
So, what did I learn?
If you're directing people to a website for a promotion, work with the website owners to have those folks land on a specific page for that promotion OR put that promotion on the front page. Even if its just a "Looking for the Unbridled deal, click here" kind of thing.
TEST the links!
On a promotion like this it would have been great to have a button that said "buy all" As it was I had to click a title, then click "back to shopping" then click a title. It took a while to buy all of them, and make sure I didn't duplicate or miss a title. For 25cents a title, bookstores can't afford to do much template changing, but one rule of good selling is make it easy for people to buy more than they intended. (thus the Amazon "add this book for only X, and VistaPrint's offer to increase your order quantity for X in the next ten minutes etc)
Would I do this again? Probably not. I have a feeling those 24 books are going to sit unread on my virtual bookshelf for a long time. Unlike physical books, they're hidden from me as I wander around my Lair looking for something good to read on the subway. And I'd have to read them on the computer...something I'm not likely to do.
Did anyone else do this? What was your experience?