joe-coffin-bookHere’s a competition I’m sharing not so much on its merits as to give an example of a self-publishing promotional gimmick. That said, it also seems to be a genuine competition. And it’s US dollar-denominated, with a $99.99 Kindle Paperwhite as the prize. The Official Rules open it to “all humans age 21 or older” – minus a short list of  countries, but including U.S. and Canadian residents as well as Brits. And some TeleRead reader may win it before the December 9th closing date.

Please note that I don’t know anything about Ken Preston, the British self-published author offering this promo. His Amazon Author page lists a slew of self-published titles, as well as others in paperback that apparently originated from real publishers. Many have four- and five-star reviews, but then that isn’t so unusual with self-published authors either. In any event, it doesn’t look like you’re risking much in entering the competition. And “every entrant will receive a free ebook copy of Joe Coffin Season One.”

So you’re being offered a free ebook (usual price $6.34 for Kindle or $15.99 for paperback on Prime), first in a series that the author presumably wants to hook you on.  This is the same kind of limited-time freebie offer that so many other self-published authors run. And as an added incentive, you get a chance to be the one lucky entrant in all the participants who wins that Kindle Paperwhite.

I don’t know if this will drive enough sales for Ken Preston to justify the $99.99 cost of the Kindle Paperwhite, but I’m struggling to see anything ethically wrong with the deal. Sounds exactly like the kind of promotional tactic that many bigger publishers use. And it got him TeleRead coverage, didn’t it? That said, I won’t be entering the competition – my virtual to-read pile is quite big enough already …


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail