Sunday, May 16, 2010

Click fraud: The adword you should never use

Do you think the ebook pirates are sticking it to the man? You betcha.

Here's what at least one ebook pirate site is requesting:

"Help the site grow, Click a Banner Ad (at the top or bottom of site) once a day, or click this link to donate."

 It makes sense, doesn't it? If thousands of people are willing to "steal" books, they probably aren't above click fraud.

So, guess what? Not only is Penguin books (among others) being ripped off because the pirates are "sharing" ebooks that at least some of them (judging by some of the comments posted on pirate forums) honestly would have purchased, now it is the victim of click fraud on the same sites that "share" Penguin authors' books.

How does this happen?

I don't believe for a moment that Penguin, Xlibris, Tate, Kobe and others would deliberately pay good money to undermine their own business.

I suspect that they've got some kind of automated advertisement placement, and if they are spending their advertising dollars asking pirates to buy ebooks on a site that makes the idea of paying for ebooks ridiculous... they must be using adwords.

Maybe "ebook", "e-book", "eBook"...  You think?

We ought to have a publishing wide list of words NOT to pay to use. We ought to check out tag clouds (I'm not sure if they are available) on pirate sites, to see which words the search bots are most likely to link with sites where dishonest people go to read free ebooks and share.

What do you think Penguin pays per click? .20 cents? .50?  $2.75 for popular words?
What is that going to cost the publishers who can afford to advertise if several thousand happy and dutiful pirates click their banners (top and bottom) once a day?

I don't say "don't advertise using the word 'ebook'. Obviously not. I say, don't pay per click. At least starve the pirate sites of funds from clicking on advertisements.

Other stuff.

Once upon a time, I wanted a particular view of Stonehenge for a projected cover for one of my alien romance books. That's how I made the acquaintance of Scott Merrill.

We renewed our acquaintanceship recently, when Scott recorded Mating Net as an audio book. This is the first chapter, and I commissioned the talented Marianne Arkins to record a video track to go with it.

If you like the sound of Scott's voice, you might consider his talents for a voice over on your own 2 minute book video. I'm sponsoring an auction item in Brenda Novak's annual fundraiser for her Diabetes charity. Scott will record a 2 minute excerpt or blurb as long as the winning bidder provides the text.
Marianne will purchase photographs, and create a video. I will pay for it. (Up to an estimated $500 value.)

The auction runs through May. If you don't want to bid for a book promotional piece, check out the myriad other auction items.

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