Thursday, July 8, 2021

Transparency and the Troglodyte

Once upon a time, I decided to try something new.  The time was June 29th.  The new was a different way to give away copies of one of my books.  I’m usually content to toil away in obscurity.  I love writing my books, and I have a few fans who enjoy reading them.  I don’t worry too much about trying to increase my readership.  Marketing is less fun than writing and past attempts have regularly led to more hassles than success.  

But with a new series, it seemed like a good time to try a simple promotion.  I generated a coupon code to make the new Nook edition of The Art of Introductions free from July 1 – 31.  I bought a tiny bit of ad space to let potential readers know.  Then I went on vacation.  This is the part of the story where me being old fashioned comes into play.

We went to an amusement park where I saw no point in downloading the recommended app.  At another site, we even used a paper coupon.  I didn’t check my personal email, let alone anything work-related.  It was a complete vacation.  After we returned, sometime the morning of July 7th, I wanted to see if the promotion was having any luck.  I found that over a hundred people had shown interest (i.e. clicked the ad).  How many of them redeemed the coupon?  Zero.

Yeah, that hurt.  It appeared quite a few people read the description of my book and still turned down a chance to get it for free.  My reaction changed when I got an email from Barnes & Noble later that afternoon informing me that the code had just been activated.  A week late.  I don’t know how many people actually tried to use the code before that or what sort of error message it generated.  I only know that it reflects poorly on me that I was, however unintentionally, advertising an invalid deal.  My ego shriveled against the annoyance and possible anger that might have been directed my way.

I’m not telling this story to disparage Barnes & Noble at all.  Bugs happen.  That’s life.  I’m being open about the details because I need to apologize, and this is the only way I know to do so.  I want those affected to recognize to whom it’s owed.  I’m sorry.

To try again, or for the first time, BNP100ART should now make the Nook version of The Art of Introductions free until July 31st.  If you utilize this code, please consider returning to rate or review the book.  I might not see it immediately, but I will eventually check in and notice.  The gratitude will have no delay.

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