I went shopping for books this weekend and wanted to buy them from ARe for the free book every 10 reward. Unfortunately I was informed that a few of the books I wanted wouldn’t be available on 3rd party vendors until after they’ve been on the publisher site for a month.
Well I grumbled a little bit but went to the publisher sites to buy the various books. It also sucked that they were on different publishers, thus forcing the check out process to be repeated. But I did it and after all, readers are constantly told that buying through the publishers is better – more $ for the pub and the author.
So while doing this I came across two things.
The first was a problem with downloading the book from one of the publishers. I went through the process, got confirmation that my cc was charged and then clicked the download link…only to get an error. I tried re-clicking the link to no avail. I checked the confirmation email and no further directions or links were included. Ugh, frustrating but I dutifully emailed customer service to ask for help to download my newly purchased book.
I did this ~10 pm Friday night and as of this post, I still haven’t heard back from the publisher customer help.
Thanks a lot.
Thank god a friend helped me figure out the problem or I’d STILL be without the book I paid for over 48 hrs ago. Isn’t one of the selling points of ebooks being instant gratification? And considering I was told my download link is only good for 48 hrs… you fail Noble Romance!
If you want readers to buy from publishers directly, wouldn’t prompt and helpful customer service be a no brainer? After such an experience, I’d rather wait for the 3rd party vendor who gives me help within an hr usually if I have a problem.
The second thing I realized is that publishers don’t really offer enough incentive for readers to purchase from the publisher versus waiting for a third party vendor. The chance to get the book immediately versus waiting is supposedly the draw and it certainly is for a lot of books. However given the TBR piles of a lot of readers, most can easily forget a book and only remember a few weeks later to no real detriment. Wouldn’t offering SOME kind of incentive help the process?
Even offering a free short story/sip/naughty nibble/fling every 10 books purchased or 15% off your next book or something would be more enticing and incentive than really nothing but potentially bad customer service.
I have to say that after shopping at 3 different publisher websites Friday night and buying from ARe, my overall shopping experience was easily and had the least amount of hassle from ARe. I realize that buying from the publisher is supposed to be better for everyone but I really question how little effort the publishers put into enticing consumers/readers to do so.
So what about you?
Do you buy mostly from 3rd party vendors or from publishers?
What would entice you to buy from publishers more?