Friday, August 24, 2012

E-book Gift Cards—Catchy Concept or Not?

Like most bloggers, I get my fair share of requests to review different products and services.  I turn down the majority of them since evaluating sunglasses or diapers or whatever isn't really consistent with what I'm trying to do here at BBB.  However, when I get an offer to try something cool and bookish, well, I'm all over it.

Naturally, then, I was thrilled to hear from Livrada, a new company that sells e-book gift cards.  These are physical cards sold at brick and mortar stores, each of which is good for the redemption of one e-book.  Like a traditional book, each card features beautiful cover art and a plot summary for the novel it represents.  The e-books are easily downloaded to all Kindle and Nook devices.  Currently, the cards are being sold at Target and are available for the following titles:  State of Wonder by Ann Patchett; Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James; Odd Thomas by Dean R. Koontz; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson; and 44 Charles Street by Danielle Steele.  They're fun, personal gifts that are perfect for the booklovers in your life.

The generous folks at Livrada gave me a choice of titles.  I selected Odd Thomas.  Redeeming the gift card and downloading the e-book to my Kindle Fire was just as quick and easy as promised.  I haven't had a chance to read the novel yet, but I will soon.

So, as much as I enjoyed using my gift card, I'm not sure I would actually buy one.  Why?  Well, unless I knew a person's reading tastes really, really well and knew exactly which books they did/did not have, I would be hesitant to give them a title-specific gift card.  A generic e-card to say, Amazon, wouldn't be as personal, but it would be more practical, you know?  I would be much more likely to go that route.  I'm also not sure about how the pricing works.  I went to my local Target the other night to do a little research and couldn't find the gift cards anywhere, not in the book section, not in the gift card section, nowhere, so there also appears to be an availability problem.  At any rate, I think Livrada's come up with a fun concept.  I'm just not sure it's going to catch on all that well.  What do you think?      

5 comments:

  1. I like the idea.

    Now stop whatever you're doing and listen to Odd Thomas RIGHT NOW.

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  2. I like the way BN does it, where you can buy a book for a person online or in the store, and if they don't want it, they can put the money toward a book they do want instead, and we just get an email saying they redeemed the gift. :) This idea is cute, too, though!

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  3. Tori Tait from Livrada answered a couple of my questions via email this morning. She says:

    - As far as availability, we were told they would be in all 1,771 Targets but turns out they only put them on the shelves of 1,500 (and they are sort of hidden near the e-reader section).

    The pricing (I know you didn't get a chance to see them on the shelf) is the same pricing as if you purchased the e-book online. No surprises there.

    Also, if your recipient already has that particular title, they can download the Livrada card and then get credit to either Amazon or B&N for another book.

    Thanks, Tori!

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  4. I like this idea but it can't be book specific or I won't buy it. I'd just buy the "real" book. I like your idea better. And, um...what are you waiting for with Odd Thomas?! That's one of my all time favorite books/series! Lately we've been agreeing on things so you should read it. ;)

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  5. This is a great idea! Sometimes I want to share a book. It would be cool if the person had that choice to turn it in for the ebook or the actual book. That might be a good option.

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