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Old 08-18-2010, 08:42 AM   #1
Vintage Season
Pulps and dime novels...
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Author Self-Promotions: a suggestion for your consideration...

This idea sprang from the ongoing Can self-promotion go to far? thread in the General Discussion area...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Season View Post
All right, here is an idea:

What if every new thread in Author Self-Promotions also allowed the author to include a single thumbnail cover image for their book, to be put into random rotation in a forum header strip (showcasing perhaps half a dozen titles at a time), so that if someone saw an interesting cover, they could click on that cover and be taken to the relevant link?

A few caveats would have to be enforced:
  • There would be a simple way for users who didn't want to see the header strip to turn it off, from within the User CP.
  • The rotation would be random, but thorough. No repetition would occur until every thumbnail in the random queue had been displayed, at which point the queue would be re-randomized and the process would begin afresh.
  • An author could only start one thread per title. (This would also encourage authors to start a new thread if they had a new title.)
  • Any author determined to be gratuitously bumping his/her own thread would not only lose the image and link for the title(s) they bumped, but be banned from adding any future thumbnails for the banner rotation, until and unless they could satisfy the moderators that the bumping pattern was a non-aggressive newbie mistake, never to be repeated on these forums.

- M.
I should probably note that I merely threw this out as a hypothetical solution, without any deeper analysis of the probable effort its implementation would entail. Feel free to discuss, ridicule or shred the idea... or to put it into practice, if enough people seem to think it is a good one, and there is a practical way to do so.

- M.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:09 AM   #2
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I'm not advocating a position for or against this proposal. If it's put into service, I will probably utilize it. I do, however, wish to point out the potential future conflicts with such a promotional tool.

What are you going to do when a certain book cover creates complaints from any of the members of this forum? Are you going to institute standards for content?

I certainly appreciate the opportunity to be able to turn off such a tool if it becomes obnoxious, but I don't think that's going to be enough when more and more authors discover it and begin to submit their covers to gain attention. Eventually, there's going to be one that creates debate. In case you're forgetting, removal of a cover from a post already caused a certain amount of controversy.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74302

If you're going to move forward with a project like this, you should be prepared to deal with these kind of issues.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
Vintage Season
Pulps and dime novels...
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Interesting point. Perhaps this could be addressed with something along the lines of Smashwords' "Prude Filter" to determine what content each set of users (opt-in versus opt-out) see, and have it activated by default?

- M.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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The idea of the "random rotation" is a good one, I think. They use a similar concept on the PatronQuo website, except they're using snippets that rotate on the first page, regardless of popularity, thereby giving everyone an equal shot of being seen. Yeah, I'm sure a lot of people would jump on it immediately, and too many might make it useless, but it's definitely an idea worth considering.

--Maria
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:13 AM   #5
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Hya Jinlo. I think the 'prude factor' is one of those bridges mods and members could cross if and when we meet it. Some covers are embarrasssingly poor, but few are in what might be considered bad taste or otherwise shocking. Cheers. Neil
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:21 PM   #6
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I like the concept but fear its future implications. If it's a scroller atop the forum, it would have to be specific to that one in particular.

But, if implemented will probably create even more gypsies than we already have now. And that could even lead to Alex implementing some sort of paid advertising by authors.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:19 PM   #7
Vintage Season
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
I like the concept but fear its future implications. If it's a scroller atop the forum, it would have to be specific to that one in particular.
If you mean specific to the Author Self-Promotions forum (so that it didn't appear everywhere else), then yes. In my own mind I think that was already a given, but I just double-checked, and I hadn't explicitly stated that in the suggestion. Good catch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
But, if implemented will probably create even more gypsies than we already have now. And that could even lead to Alex implementing some sort of paid advertising by authors.
I honestly hope not, although it is a valid concern. Paid advertising would defeat the purpose of a random-yet-thorough rotation, so I would hate to see things go that way.

- M.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:14 AM   #8
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One thought strikes me, prospective readers would be judging the book by cover alone. Whilst some, I'm sure do, is it enough I wonder?

I accept your concern about paid advertising, but it may reduce the fly-by-nighters who join as members only to get a free advert - but I'm sure at this time it's likely a non-starter.

It's a shame the thread hasn't interested comments from the forum administrators, though it's been a while since I noted Alex and Zelda around....
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:29 AM   #9
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Aye, I agree, Geoff. The other side of the coin, though, is that an amateurish cover (in terms of presentation rather than subject matter) is a fair hint as to the quality of what's inside the package.

From a purely author-centric sales POV, better no cover at all than some of the embarrassing nonsense I've seen.

Awful cover work is too vivid a red flag to me to want to look any further. My loss? Maybe at times. But why risk precious recreational reading time with so much else on offer with covers that suggest care and a reasonable professionalism inside?

Cheers. Neil
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
<snip>

It's a shame the thread hasn't interested comments from the forum administrators, though it's been a while since I noted Alex and Zelda around....
We are here and reading this thread's comments, suggestions, and concerns.

It is under team discussion, and we'll let you know as soon as we come to a decision.

dreams
Moderating Team
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:08 AM   #11
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I never doubted for one minute that the thread was totally ignored .... but at least my comment brought you out of the woodwork !!!

Is it not bed time for you yet !!!!
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:51 PM   #12
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I think the book/cover connection is fairly tenuous. I've seen (and bought) some very good books with dubious covers at best, and there are some wonderful covers out there, some of them on bookstore shelves, enclosing books I'd be ashamed to put my name on. But that's for the reader to decide. I'm more concerned about additional load on MR, as the user population and presumably the author population both grow.
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