A couple of days ago, I received an email newsletter from an author. I’m not sure how I got on her newsletter list since a) she lives in another country so I’m pretty sure I haven’t met her in person, b) I’ve never bought one of her books and c) the email address she used isn’t on the web as far as I know.
But that aside, I didn’t mind receiving the newsletter because a) I thought I wanted to buy one of her books and b) the newsletter had some serious marketing problems, so she gave me an excuse to write a blog post.
This post focuses on the “I wanted to buy her book” statement. She made it about as difficult as possible. She was promoting a book starting a new series, which was good. She also talked about her other series and mentioned both the latest book and the first book. All that was good. I’m not interested in her new series, but I was interested in her existing series, and telling me the first book was excellent. Now I know where to start.
That was the good. Now the not-so-good. There were no direct links to buy her books. Bad! If you want us to buy your stuff, please make it easy on us. Links are good. Links to the exact site you want us to buy from are even better. What do I mean by that?
Well, her books are available on Amazon (US and UK), Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. Her best commission comes from Amazon, so she might want to direct us there. However, she said in her newsletter that the majority of her sales come from Amazon, so she might want to direct us to one of the other sites to boost sales there. Either way, the buyer will follow the link presented.
Since there was no link, I did my research. I went to all three sites. And that’s where she lost her sale from me. I found four different versions of her books with three different prices.
Which one should I buy? She’s self-published, so quality is an issue. Is the version with the latest publication date the most up-to-date and best version? Are they all the same? Am I getting anything different or better by paying $4.99 vs. $2.99 vs. $2.39?
Since I don’t know the answer, I opted to pass on her books for now. Maybe later when I’ve read some reviews and know what I’m getting.
See the problem? The unsolicited email newsletter could have turned me off. No link to buy could have turned me off. Not knowing which version of the product to buy certainly turned me off.
She made me, as a potential buyer, jump through unnecessary hoops. So instead of a sale and (hopefully) new fan, she got this blog post.
Probably not what she was looking for. What do you think? Should I email her an (unsolicited) link to this post? Think she’d read it and pay attention?