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Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Reward Card for Readers?

Most of the grocery stores in my area have gotten rid of their customer rewards programs. In some socialistic venture, they've decided that every Tom, Dick, and Harriet who enters the store deserves the same great prices as someone who returns week after week, struggling to find where they've moved the bar soap this week.

Ralphs (Kroger) still has their rewards program, and I have to admit to a certain childish anticipation as I wait for my **special** discount to be deducted from my total. I feel, somehow, that I've earned it. It's my prize for not driving to Vons for cheaper grapes.

And why shouldn't I reap the benefits of a loyal customer?  Why should the weaker members of the herd, the ones who aren't bold enough to spill their personal information in exchange for that coveted card, receive the same perks?

I think loyal readers would like the same treatment, but what kind of rewards program could a writer come up with?  If my books are sold on Amazon (and they are) I can only discount the price for everybody, and where's the fun in that?

It appears that the only reward a writer can give are extras. Right now, I am giving away a behind-the-scenes look at the real animals that inspired the characters in my pet psychic mysteries. Instead of a lengthy application, readers give me their email address as they sign up for my newsletter and updates. Not just anybody can get a copy.

If you're a reader, what else would you like to get from the writers whose books you patronize? 

5 comments:

  1. Real interesting blog, Jackie. I had to stop and think. I think to meet authors I don't know would be great. Other than that, just a good book is enough for me. I'm going to think about this some more.

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  2. It's a tough one. I personally like the writer's books and don't need to know a thing about them, but then again, I never bought fan magazines, either.

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  3. I'm kind of with Madeline. My first thought was keep the good books coming, don't dissappoint me. But I guess you could offer a free short story now and then for loyal readers who buy your books. You can't really reward reviews/reviewers - Amazon would go ballastic and yell BRIBERY, KICKBACK, EXTORTION etc.
    Kate Carlyle makes sure a person actually HAS READ her books by making answering a question on a fact found in them a prerequisite for entering a contest or "getting a reward." I guess you could do that.
    Could you give points for gasoline at Shell stations like Ralph's does?

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    1. Great idea from Kate. Not sure about the reward points!

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  4. Or.... have an inner circle of 2-3 loyal readers come for Tea. Name a character after a loyal reader in your next book or story or WIP. (Guaranteed to sell more books to that person as they buy them for friends, or at least tell their friends to buy them to see THEMSELVES in your book. Bookmarks are good rewards, but you either have to mail them, or go to appearances and hand them out to purchasers of your book.
    I think the problem is how to tell WHO your loyal readers ARE.

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