Link of the Week: Get Paid to Discover New Books?

It is a common practice today for companies and brands to team up with websites that pay users to take surveys, watch videos, and try their products or services in order to obtain more marketing information. Loyalty and rewards websites like these are usually hit and miss. Users often must spend hours taking surveys or watching videos to make any money at all. Sometimes that “money” is only a gift card. For many, money is money. As students, we can all understand that quarrel.

Would you ever imagine that a publishing company would team up with a website like this? According to Publishers Weekly, St. Martin’s Press has teamed up with Swagbucks to bring users a new way to discover their content with the “Read” earning channel.

As you might expect, Swagbucks is not giving users “bucks” to read entire books from St. Martin’s Press, or even half of a book. However, you can earn ten “bucks” by sharing your favorite recipe inspired by the book Ladies’ Night on Facebook. Watching a video clip to discover the characters Della and Tsang from the book Reborn will earn you two “bucks.” You can read an excerpt of The Witch of Belladonna Bay to earn five “bucks.” There are currently five offers on the “Read” channel, and users are still asking for more.

Jeff Dodes, Executive VP of Marketing and Digital Strategy at St. Martin’s Press, has been working with Swagbucks for some time to establish the Read earning channel. Dodes said, “Swagbucks is pretty big. We’ve worked with them on books before and got great engagement and click-through rates.” Dodes added that St. Martin’s Press’s social media campaigns with Swagbucks were “3 to 4 times better” than with other partners.

Drake Sutton-Shearer, Vice President of Brand Solutions and Strategy at Swagbucks, described the Swagbucks membership as “avid readers.” He said, “The Read channel brings a new and exciting product to our members, including a fast-growing group of our Facebook subscribers comprising the Swagbucks Book Club. Leveraging communities of interest around authors, genres, subjects and other content will draw in more Swagbucks members to discover new titles and ultimately drive engagement and sales for our publisher partners.”

Could using marketing tools like Swagbucks truly increase book visibility? Will other publishers team up with Swagbucks too? How do you feel about this type of book marketing?

Author: Andrea St. Aubin

Graduate Assistant in the Masters in Publishing Program