February 28, 2011

Live, learn…and be aware of e-reader brands!

By Patti Thorn, BlueInk Managing Partner

We have been busy “officially” launching our website. When you’re a new business, “officially” launching means you put together a long list of press contacts, cross your fingers and hope for some coverage so that you can spread the word.

We spent days blasting out emails to trade publications, newspapers, bloggers, e-zines, friends, neighbors, the person who mans the school crosswalk, our favorite checkers at the grocery store, a few men holding signs on the street corner…

We also blasted out emails to librarians, booksellers, publishers and agents, letting them know we are here.

Then we waited for the earth to move.

Here’s one thing I learned: you can wait a long time for the earth to move when you’re hoping for press coverage.

Here’s another thing I learned: if you’re hoping to get booksellers to love your site, never tell them you’re holding a drawing for a free Kindle for anyone who signs up for your mailing list. No sooner had we shipped off emails to booksellers across the country letting them know about BlueInk, than an email popped up in our inbox. It was a thank you and a scolding all wrapped in one.

It said:

“Really like this idea for a service…go ahead and sign us up.

“*Extremely* turned off by your offer of a free Kindle as will anyone at any indie bookstore, B&N, Borders, publisher being blackmailed by Amazon anyone at all selling books other than Amazon, whom I presume is not your market.


“A more benign choice might’ve been a Sony.”

Uh. Excellent point.

We turned five shades of red. The bookseller was absolutely right: there are divisions here that we need to be sensitive to. And we appreciated the reminder.

We are still busy sending out follow-up emails. And more follow-up emails.

I can’t say the earth has exactly moved. (And after seeing the rubble in New Zealand, I guess we should be grateful it didn’t!) But we’ve heard some subterranean rumbles.

Richard Curtis, a lovely man and supreme literary agent, gave us a boost in his blog on e-reads. Publishers Marketplace announced our formation. And Publishing Trends sent us a list of questions in advance of a promised article. We hope our answers were as good as the reporter’s questions and are awaiting the article.

We’ll see what comes next.

Meanwhile, we’ll soon hold the drawing we promised for an e-reader. Check out the notice on our landing page. It now says we’ll be giving away a free Nook*.

Live and learn.

*Yes, we know that the Nook is a Barnes & Noble product. But unlike the Kindle, you can download books from anywhere (except Amazon) on a Nook and even from the library,  so we hope independent booksellers will approve. As for the Sony e-reader, I can’t recall the last time I heard someone mention that with longing in their eyes…

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