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Free Dragon Charm for Pre-Ordering

31 August 2013

From agent Kristin Nelson:

In the changing landscape of publishing, it’s all about pre-orders these days. The actual sales racked up before release day can seriously make a difference on whether a book will land on the NYT or USA Today list or not. So publishers are getting creative in tempting readers to buy early. And Sourcebooks is going all out for SCORCHED.

A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering SCORCHED by Mari Mancusi

We have a special offer for U.S. and Canada YA fans for the release of SCORCHED by Mari Mancusi in stores in a little over three weeks! If you pre-order the book, we will send you an exclusive dragon charm—perfect to wear as jewelry or to decorate an accessory. You have until September 2 or until quantities run out.

Link to the rest at Pub Rants and thanks to Eric for the tip.

PG likes the idea, but doesn’t think many teen-aged boys will find it compelling. The book is a 12-and-up YA fantasy with a female protagonist, so promoting to the female market may make sense.

Maybe the most important value of this promotion is that the publisher can capture email and physical addresses of readers for future book promotions.


17 Comments to “Free Dragon Charm for Pre-Ordering”

  1. How important are preorders really? If you’re trying to hit a major bestseller list, pretty important I imagine, but if not, isn’t it better to get the books out sooner rather than wait?

    • Preorders for publishers of any stripe provide a good gauge of interest.

      Investment in product production can be modified, marketing increased, initial order size dialed in, etc.

  2. http://www.ebay.com/itm/One-Large-Bronze-Tone-Dragon-Charm-Pendant-for-Jewelry-43-x-46-mm-USA-Seller-/400553728740?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d42dcdae4

    $1.79 on ebay, plus shipping. Same photo.

    You can do this too. I got apple charms on ebay to giveaway
    for my Bad Apple series.
    Sometimes you can get these things for $1 and free shipping from China.

  3. “female protagonist, so promoting to the female market may make sense.”



    Some of us big, hairy neanderthal type blokes like a good ole female butt-kicking protagonist-too. As long as the author don’t kill the dog, or do an operatic number on said femme, ‘sall good.

    Audible are pushing the pre-orders too, seems to be lotsa carbs and no protein to cynical old me, wait six months and what was $30 becomes #2.95. (Happened yesterday.)


    • According to most publishers, teen-aged boys won’t go for female protagonists, Brendan.

      I do realize I’m not citing a particularly persuasive authority. 🙂

    • Teen boys have girlfriends, mothers or sisters, though the target market is most likely teen girls, as for most of YA these days.

      And while this may seem a bit silly to adults, kids and teens totally go for these little premiums, particularly jewelery. I don’t know how it is in the US, but here in Germany lots of magazines aimed as teen girls come packaged with charms, necklaces, hairbands or other jewelery type premiums. My students are all over this stuff and wear it in class. It’s cheaply made and mostly doesn’t last long, but it does boost sales.

  4. I don’t know about teenage boys, but when I was a girl I read anything I could get my hands on in English. All there was for girls was Nancy Drew (a rare birthday or Christmas gift in Mexico), and an occasional book like Jane Eyre or an Agatha Christie Miss Marple.

    If I had waited for girly stuff, there wouldn’t have been much reading going on.

    As for gifts, well, maybe if you already have a charm bracelet. Just let me at the BOOK.

    I have boxes of stuff the kids acquired this way when they were children – and I hate to throw them out because there is a little bit of sentimental value attached to each tiny object – and my revenge will be to mail them their boxes of treasures when they have their own permanent homes. I think sometimes I’m more nostalgic than they are.

  5. Mancusi is a trooper when it comes to publicity. She got a lot of flack when she showed up at the 2007 RWA dressed as a sort of manga character to promote Dorchester’s Shomi line (deceased). I think romance was going through one of its Romance Is Srs Bsn phases at the time.

    • I was there, and I thought Mari and Liz Maverick were adorable!

    • I remember that. It was really depressing how established romance writers attacked those two young writers (who looked cute in their outfits and had the bodies to wear them) for supposedly confirming sexist stereotypes and being part of the reason why romance is not taken seriously. To be fair, Sherilyn Kenyon also caught some flack for wearing a hat shaped like a dead swan, but most of the attacks were directed at Mari Mancusi and Liz Maverick and their supposedly excessively sexy and “unprofessional” outfits.

      Women will always find a way to put down other women, sigh.

  6. Totally agree with your commentary, PG. 🙂

  7. Make it a tiny statuette or a collectible trading card and YA-age boys will want them, too.

  8. Malinda Lo is doing a promotion for pre-orders for her next book, Adaptation–you can get a bookmark with a painting of the main characters and some other symbolism from the books, and get entered for more swag–but that’s a lot more unique to her particular book. I think it’s pretty cool. I’m still deciding whether to pre-order from Amazon and get one bookmark or pre-order from her favored indie bookstore and get one of each of the bookmarks (plus a little more, I think).

  9. Book sounds like she was inspired by Daenrys (sp?) and her dragon eggs–not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    All I know if my daughter knew she could get a charm, she’d be all over it. Granted, she’s younger than this market, but she’s obsessed with charm bracelets, so maybe she’s on to something?

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