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I just received "shocking" promotion offer from Hay House, promoting the book "The Destiny Switch". I say shocking because the promotion read, "about to shock you with an unprecidented offer". To sum up the offer: 100 experts offer 100 free promotional gifts, such as, e-books, consultations, downloadable videos, email courses etc. and if you will order your copy or 9 copies or 97 copies of "The Destiny Switch" you can choose from 3 different promotional packages each with more and more gifts attached. Yes, the offer asks you to buy 97 copies. And it spells out what you can do with 97 copies if you choose package #3, such as give them to everyone you know. The testimonials and offers are all from the biggest names in the consciousness movement, many of whom wrote "over the top" testimonials. When I was first introduced to the "Make your book a #1 Amazon bestseller", the notion of recruiting a few collegues to offer their products to help you promote your book sounded like a win, win. However, more recently the number of "free gifts" attached to these book promotion letters has moved towards the ridiculous. Does anyone here believe as I do, that if you write a book of some merit, one that inspires, uplifts, informs and entertains that it will become its own testimonial in the end? It seems to me that there are some assumptions being made about the human nature of readers that maybe true, but that I would prefer to think untrue. Are readers really that hungry and greedy that to market a book you have attach a hundred free gifts to sell a book? On the surface the answer appears to be "yes" because this morning "The Destiny Switch" ranked #2 in books on Amazon. Why does this formula work? Hard to know for sure, if the sales ranking is a result of merely the huge mailing lists of all the testimonial authors being sent out in one day and that most any book description with a few testimonials would suffice or is it that the enticement of 100 free gifts is too hard to resist? For me the title of the book, "The Destiny Switch" is a seller, along with a few endorsements and I would definately buy the book. But add the 100 free gifts and I am now unlikely to buy, because I feel I am being coersed by something lerking in the shadows--my own temptation. What do you think?

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Aridane:

I know what you mean. My issue with that many free gifts is that I probably only have time to read the one book I'm getting - not 100 other things. I mean who even has the time to download 100 things even if they are free.

That said, it must be working because this type of promotion keeps happening.

Kim Dushinski
Hi Kim,
Yes, it seems to have worked for the author above, as her book hit #2 on the Amazon list the day of the promotion. John Kremer said that it takes an email list of about a million to get your book to the #1 slot on Amazon using a promotion like this.
Ariadne Green
Everybody wants to get something for nothing, it's human nature. Having spent more than 20 years in supermarket promotions I can assure you that "come-ons" and similiar promotions are very effective. It's the same concept as pricing an item at $4.99 instead of $5, that little penny difference produces a lot more sales. Sad to admit but we're all trained consumers in this country.

At some point these promotions will lose their effectiveness because too many will be doing it, sort of like every supermarket in town offering double coupons, it's not special any more.
Hmmm. To be quite honest with you, if I received this offer in my email I'd think it was either a scam or a virus waiting to upload. It seems like overkill to me. *shrug* But, then again, perhaps I'm just naturally suspicious.
They are sharks like all the others trying to talk authors into a marketing plan that won't work.
I sat in on a teleseminar about this a couple of times. While I can see some merit to it, it feels like cheating the system. Although Amazon rankings are a flawed system to start with :) 100 free gifts is ridiculous and I agree with the person that asked who has time to download all those things. I've also found with some of these that the link to the freebies might not work or you get something other that what was offered and again, who has time to follow up. While I'd love to be a top ranking author, this isn't really the way I want to do it. One of my books made it above the 9,000 mark and I was tickled with that :)

NIkki Leigh
I love the internet. And I think Amazon and Google and the rest of the big portals are cool in what they make possible. UP TO A POINT! Because it also seems that in the democratization of book publishing the whole meaning of what a book is and what a bestseller implies is getting dumbed down to the point where they really won't mean much of anything.
This is a hard business, but I say sit back and ENJOY and not worry over the get-there-quick schemes.

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