Dispatches from the Digital Revolution
Last holiday season, we highlighted the pros and cons of ebook gift cards in lieu of gifting books, or even retailer cards like a Barnes and Noble gift card. Last week Livrada, the start-up that launched specialized ebook gift cards last year at Target stores, received an additional boost in the form of seed funding from Ingram. It seems Livrada has been developing a concept beyond providing the cards in retail stores. It’s now marketing its cards to authors, to be used as promotional tools at events. According to its website, Livrada cards “facilitate” the redemption of ebooks: as an author you can throw them in swag bags, give to your publicist, sell them at book signings.
What I think is very valuable is the ability to receive data from the uniquely generated PIN code, such as emails from customers who opted in. Beyond that, the digital PINs can be utilized by grassroots campaigns or social media pushes for giveaways of the book, maybe in advance of a signing or event.
Tangible incentives direct from an author or their publicity team have thus far been cards perhaps customized to feature the book cover, with information asking the reader to visit their website or retailer to buy the book. Livrada’s cards go one step further as an actionable item (the book’s there already, go download it with a click), and could be very valuable to authors. I still stand by my assessment from last holiday season, however, that the cards take a little wind out of your sails versus giving or receiving the actual book. Livrada touts “enough room on the rear” of the card for signings, but I would imagine it being a bit of a let down, in line at a signing or event carrying around a card to sign rather than the book itself. It’s all relative however—an autograph is an autograph to some, so we will see if this catches on.