Friday, May 8, 2020

Special baseball doubleheader: Buy One Get One

A year and change ago, I shared my thoughts on Barnes & Noble's then new advertising portal. (Which, oddly, is my most viewed ever post on this blog, and it's not even close. I must have had just the right cocktail of keywords to intrigue the Russian bots.) When I crunched the numbers, I couldn't come close to justifying even experimenting with their base package of $300 for 25,000 impressions. For the sake of science, I would love to have seen what would have happened. But I couldn't. Even if I hadn't just been laid off (I was still running out the clock on my old job at the time), I couldn't do it.

Maybe I wasn't alone. Out of curiosity, I poked around the B&N site this week, looking for their ad package to see if they had added any lower price points. I couldn't find anything. At least not on an impression or click basis. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but the old link didn't work, and nothing else like that came up.

But they did have something else to offer, which might be even better. Two something elses, in fact. And the up-front cost for both is right up my alley--free. They have a promotional tool for authors and publishers to set a discount on an ebook and create their own coupon code. So you could generate a coupon that readers could use to buy your book for 25 or 50 (or whatever) percent off. Readers buy the book for their Nook at the discounted rate, the author takes a prorated cut of the royalty, B&N keeps the rest, everyone is happy.

The second option is a Buy One Get One deal. In this case the author can choose two or more books and allow readers to pay full price for one and get a second for free. Again, no up-front outlay of money from the author. The only cost is whatever would have been earned in royalty had both books been bought at regular price. But if it generates new sales and expands your reach to new readers, that--to me, anyway--is totally worth it. Considering how much money I've lost on various promotions over the years, I'm definitely willing to give it a shot.

So ... here's my first Nook promotion: Buy either The Greatest Show on Dirt or Nine Bucks a Pound and get the other for free. They're both $3.99, so it works the same either way around. We're all starving for some baseball these days. Here's a great chance to fill a little of that void. Two baseball novels, one low price. And if you don't own a Nook, they have an app you can install.

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