Cool marketing concept: Book blind dates

Human creativity never ceases to amaze me — as opposed to dolphin creativity, which is frankly old hat and I don’t know why they even bother anymore.

Hehehe. All kidding aside, my friend Audra (or am I supposed to keep your identity secret? TOO LATE!!!) linked me to a very cool article about a new book marketing concept they’re trying in Australia (and possibly elsewhere). The idea is that … well, I’ll borrow the image from the article to give you an idea:

Basically, they wrap up books in brown paper, write vague details of what the book is about, and add a price tag. It’s a book blind date! Instead of being swayed by author name or book cover or whatever, you judge the book entirely based on the five keywords.

Now, obviously this could allow for you to pick up a lot of duds, especially if you’re a picky reader. But I think it sounds kind of fantastic. I can only imagine how many really amazing books I’ve missed out on because I didn’t like the covers (and I’m very much a judge-the-book-by-it’s-cover kind of person).

I’m not sure this concept can really be applied to self-published ebook authors, but … still a neat concept, don’t you think? And if anyone doesΒ come up with a way to exploit this idea in the ebook scene, feel free to let me in on the secret!


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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

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43 thoughts on “Cool marketing concept: Book blind dates

  1. Oh I love that. I LOVE that! I would sign up immediately. I’m another judge by appearances kinda girl. Beauty is on the inside (of the cover!) Love the brown paper, the generic grey ribbon, quaint little tags, handwritten info…Love it all! Made my day…bet you didn’t expect quite that kind of reaction %-)

    • Well, considering when I saw the original article it made my day, such a reaction wasn’t totally unexpected πŸ˜€ I really hope they bring that idea to Canada, because MAN would that be fun to do. Or maybe like organize a blind date book party amongst friends? Hmm … so many possibilities …

      • I love the party idea! Great way to re-home used books, and introduce friends to books syne even genres!) that they would normally never try.

        (and the dolphins thing made me snort. Well done!)

  2. Definitely a neat concept. I think I’ve seen this before in a small store a few years ago. Either that or I’m thinking of a grab bag toy thing for $1.

  3. I like this idea… there may be something I could do for ebooks… let me think on this one.

  4. Sweet idea.

  5. As a concept, it’s cool. As a business model, I’m not so sure.

    • Lol. Well, apparently it’s working pretty well on the store they mention in the article. Then again, that success may just be coming from the novelty. If everyone did that, I have a feeling it’d get old, fast.

  6. Devon Lynn

    THis is awesome! Must reblog…

  7. Devon Lynn

    Reblogged this on Trust Me, I'm a Writer and commented:
    This is really a very cool idea!

  8. Great marketing strategy. And possibly also a nice way to get rid of my old books in the neighbourhood. Thanks for sharing.
    PS: Here is my little secret:
    Nice Batman-Comic!

    • I’m thinking of taking my old books, wrapping them in plain paper, and leaving them around town with cryptic comments on the front. At the very least, it should be fun πŸ™‚ I’ll check out your link – thanks!

  9. thebaffledkingcomposing

    This is amazing and I wish the bookstore I work for did this! It’s so cool and adds such an exciting element to reading a new book (which is already pretty exciting if you ask me). Thanks for posting!

  10. Pingback: Cool marketing concept: Book blind dates | The Baffled King Composing

  11. Fantastic idea! (I say as I make a $200 downpayment on a cover…) I hope it works out for them; and at the very least it makes for a cool concept! I think I would take a chance on at least one or two, seeing as I have found interesting reading when I was forced to just grab-and-go, without time to scrutinize covers. (Or, say, when others picked out books for me.)
    Sometimes a cover belies an awesome story!

    • And it’s probably a very hit or miss experience. I suspect that’s how I’d do it. Give it a few shots, if I get books that are decent I keep trying, if the books are awful I stop. I guess it would also rely heavily on the bookstore employees who put the mystery books together, because if they have poor taste or label things misleadingly, that would ruin the fun!

      • That’s a good point! All very good points. πŸ™‚ If I were ever going to do that, I would have you run it. You’re obviously totally on-point with this.

  12. Of course, remember that this is in Australian dollars. Which is only like $11.60 in the USA! Yea! (Of course, it looks like the Australian dollar pretty much keeps pace with the CAD)

    • Hahaha, man, when you mentioned Australian dollars, I was thinking that would equal like half the price in CAD or something. I have absolutely no idea about foreign exchange rates, except that USD and CAD are roughly the same, a pound is like 2x a dollar, and … that’s about it, lol. Oh! 1000 Korean won = $1.

      • I cheat. I remembered what they were (roughly) when setting up the Kindle Direct Publishing, but Google has a built in exchange function if you search for the currency. πŸ˜€

  13. very cool indeed

  14. Love the idea. Wish they’d do it here. Might get a dud or two, but who cares? This would be such fun.

    • Kind of like Christmas, but all year round πŸ™‚ That was always my favorite part of Christmas — not necessarily actually GETTING presents, but UNWRAPPING them. Good grief I love unwrapping things. Is there a profession who’s sole purpose is to unwrap gifts? Because I want to be that guy.

  15. Reblogged this on Sarah Solmonson's Blog and commented:
    How amazing is this? Would love to go to a book sale of blind book dates.

  16. I like this idea. You just need to get your five words right. πŸ™‚

    • And that’s the thing! If the words are boring or misleading, all you’ll end up with is an annoyed customer. Although I’m pretty easy — anything involving “magic” or “fantasy” generally gets my seal of approval, lol.

  17. This is fascinating! Wow. I would love to go into a store and sift by subject and theme like this. πŸ™‚

    • Wouldn’t it be fun?! My friend suggested that it would be a cool party idea — everyone who goes to the party brings a mystery book! But the problem with that is everyone’s taste is different, and there wouldn’t be a heckuva lot of selection, so it might work better at a bookstore …

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