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Old 03-03-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
Nada y Nadie
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Why participate if it's not your thing?

If an author were giving away a romance novel, I wouldn't sign up to get a free copy, because I know it's not going to interest me. And if I did win a free copy somehow, I wouldn't read 50 pages and then give it a bad review because I didn't like it.

Yet some people will participate in a giveaway even if they're not really interested in that type of book, and I'm curious why. Why sign up to win a free copy of a book that they probably won't like? Added to that, some will leave a review or feedback even though they don't finish the book because it's not their thing. Does this make sense to anyone?
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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People just love free stuff, even if it is stuff they don't really want. Call it the hoarding impulse.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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I take free books that I'm not interested in for family members who may like them.

However, I would never leave a review of a book that I didn't finish due to an unfavored genre. That's just RUDE!

This is why I never base a purchase just on average stars on Amazon. Always read what they have to say. People have nerve to leave bad reviews based on price, delivery time, damage by mail carrier, etc. I have even read bad reviews for products the reviewer doesn't even own based on toying with store display or even hearsay!

I completely ignore bad book reviews by people who say they didn't finish or don't usually read this type of book.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spellbanisher View Post
People just love free stuff, even if it is stuff they don't really want. Call it the hoarding impulse.
This.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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A far as giving reviews on books they haven't read, people love to give their two cents, even if they don't know what they are talking about. It makes them feel important. Its part of the culture that believes that all that matters is attention, that if people pay attention or listen to you that means you are important. Call it the reality tv philosophy.

p.s. It also stems from a profound sense of entitlement and egoism, a belief that the whole world exists to meet your needs and gratify your desires. It is inconceivable that someone would write a book not specifically for you.

Last edited by spellbanisher; 03-03-2011 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:30 PM   #6
Hellmark
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They're often called "Prize Pigs", who simply want free stuff, because they can get it. No rhyme or reason.

The one local radio station I listen to, the morning DJs were talking about some the other day, where the lady doesn't listen to the radio station (I guess just finds out about contests from the website) and won Blues hockey tickets. At the game, the lady sat next to the DJs, and the entire time was pestering the DJs pictures of her dogs, and not paying attention to the game at all. She obviously had no interest in the tickets, so why go for it?
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:39 AM   #7
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Shows how much they value their own time. Just a shame they choose to waste yours as well.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #8
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The impulse for Free Stuff isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's a perfectly normal aspect of human behavior.

Daniel Ariely, for one, discusses the "power of Free (as in gratis) in Predictably Irrational. Basically, setting the price to $0.00 has an enormous draw of its own, far beyond mere economic aspects.

For example, let's say we have three promotionally priced ebooks available for one week only, and you can only take one. One promo is 25¢, the other is 0¢. Which promo interests you more? Which one feels more like a lost opportunity at the end of the week? Which one would you feel is a "better deal?" And which one do you think will get more takers?

I for one have no doubt that the free promo will be wildly popular, while almost no one would take the 25¢ promo. The most trivial of costs is sufficient to attach a monetary value to the process, and that changes the way we treat it.

I can't say much definitively about the prize examples, except to surmise that for those people, perhaps "winning is its own reward." Nor should we expect a randomized contest to reward those who desire it most, or will appreciate the prize best.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:48 AM   #9
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The power of free is why some animal lover organizations recommend that one should charge some nominal price for kittens, instead of giving them away for free. If people pay even a tiny amount of money for their cat, they will treat it with more care, and be a better pet owner. Or you'll at least screen out the worst pet owners, and avoid sending the kitten into a bad situation.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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A free book is a good way to try out a new genre...
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elizilla View Post
The power of free is why some animal lover organizations recommend that one should charge some nominal price for kittens, instead of giving them away for free. If people pay even a tiny amount of money for their cat, they will treat it with more care, and be a better pet owner. Or you'll at least screen out the worst pet owners, and avoid sending the kitten into a bad situation.
There are some relief organizations in Africa who sell mosquito netting for beds to families for $1. They have found that when they give the netting away for free that it goes unused or uncared for and the rates of malaria are unaffected. When a family has to pay $1 the nets are used and cared for and the rates of malaria in the area greatly decrease.

There is something about buying a good that makes people more likely to care for it.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:20 PM   #12
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I think the same has been noticed with welfare issues. People simply don't value something if they got it for free.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:53 PM   #13
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A free book is a good way to try out a new genre...
This is what I was going to say. I might be only slightly interested in trying something, but definitely don't want to pay for it.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfCrash View Post
There are some relief organizations in Africa who sell mosquito netting for beds to families for $1. They have found that when they give the netting away for free that it goes unused or uncared for and the rates of malaria are unaffected. When a family has to pay $1 the nets are used and cared for and the rates of malaria in the area greatly decrease.

There is something about buying a good that makes people more likely to care for it.
very true. Opposite mindset: crackhead file collectors with billions of downloads and no more than a quick first glance at the content of each...
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:57 PM   #15
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I think the same has been noticed with welfare issues. People simply don't value something if they got it for free.
which is why Linux and open-source software in general get lots of scorn, despite being very different economics, ie. in that shared development and maintenance efforts for software pays off for everyone involved.
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