Bestselling author Dianna Love, has created an incredible new product for readers of eBooks. As is typical, Dianne is not only a author, but an avid reader. She knew many readers were like her in the fact that they still cherish their “keeper shelf” of well-loved books, and those signed by favorite authors. These are also great for those that update their eReaders – you don’t lose valued autographs of your favorite authors.
Ms. Love said she came up with the Keeper Kase idea when; “I noticed in the last couple years as readers embraced e-reader devices, they also began to withdraw from signings. Some didn’t want to have their device signed and others felt embarrassed that they did not buy the “print edition.” I started having more postcards printed so I could give them something to take home from a signing.”
Here’s more from our interview with Ms. Love:
What sparked the idea? I know it came from booksigning issues, but could you give us the details?
I bought my first e-reader under duress <g>, because someone suggested it would be an easy way to go back and check a detail from a previous book by using the search function. I liked the logic in that and bought one of the first Kindles (the really expensive ones compared to today’s prices), but said I would not read a book on a computer device because I spent so much time on a computer every day as it was. Famous last words, but I hated having to constantly sign in passwords and such. That first Kindle had so much success right off the bat because it was already hooked to their bookstore so all you had to do was literally click a button to buy. Even though I still love to hold a print book in my hands, the e-reader device was easier to hold than a paperback—I didn’t have to worry about breaking the spine to read the text. And it was way too convenient when you wanted a book RIGHT THEN. I had fifteen books on it inside of two months and have many more today. That’s when it hit me. If I took to one that quickly then this meant lots of other people would, because I was so stubborn about the idea. As I watched e-book sales take off, I kept wondering “what about the keeper shelf?” The idea for the Keeper Kase™ started germinating then.
Have you had any issue with bookstores over using them?
Not at this time, but many bookstores are now requiring the print book to be purchased there or the reader to pay a ticket price to attend the signing. I have an event coming up where an Indie store will charge a $5 ticket price that can either go towards the purchase of my book that will be $8 or toward anything else purchased in the store, so a person who already has the e-book of my new release can buy something else. This is an understandable requirement since a bookstore can’t afford to host an event if they don’t sell books, but this shift in retail policy is pushing many readers away. If a reader does buy a book or a ticket, the bookstore will often be fine with the reader having backlist books and any other memorabilia signed as long as the author is fine with it, which I always am.
How many authors are involved?
I invited a handful of authors I believed would a) embrace this for their fans, b) do their part to build a page on their website where E-fans could get the author’s Keeper Kase Cards™ free by sending an SASE, c) link to www.KeeperKase.com in return for being promoted on that same page and d) help get the word out to readers that these cards were available. I have a lot of author friends I am getting around to inviting in addition to these, but the original group of Jeanne Adams, Colleen Gleason, Nancy Naigle, Nancy Northcott, Anne Elizabeth and Debbie Kaufman jumped on creating their web pages and having cards printed. In addition, they all have promoted this through their social networks and joined me to interact with readers on things like the Beyond Her Book blog that Barbara Vey wrote about the Keeper Kase™. Good thing, too, because we had over 200 comments that day and the readers were over the moon about this idea. Until we launched the program, I wasn’t sure if my assistant Cassondra Murray (who helped me brainstorm the name and launch the program) and I were the only ones who would think it was a great idea. The initial response of the six authors mentioned was very encouraging, but the reader excitement and appreciation has touched my heart and removed all doubt.
Will you set a limit on the number of authors?
No. I hope every author in every genre will offer Keeper Kase Cards™ for their fans. I came up with this idea for the readers, because they are the most important person in all of this and should feel that way. I will always let my readers know how much I appreciate them, which is one reason I try to make as many reader events during the year as I can so that we can meet each other in a comfortable atmosphere and I can sign whatever they request (that isn’t a check – lol). I will continue encouraging other authors to participate.
Since you “invented” these, do you sell them?
I didn’t want to sell these, which is why I’ve shared vendor information with other authors who may not have resources for the materials. Give something a name and it becomes real. Readers can connect with faster with something that has an identity. I’m not one for giving away doo-dads as I’ve never bought a book off that type of promo, but I have bought books from blurbs or covers that intrigued me. And I’ve told readers that they can use any brag-book-type photo album that accepts the 4 x 6 cards to create their own Keeper Kase ™. They can send a SASE with $.65 postage for me to mail them 2 cards at a time (I have 8 Keeper Kase Cards™ currently available and two more being offered by the end of the year). In fact, I’d hoped that readers would grab onto the idea and find inexpensive albums to decorate and turn into Keeper Kases™–make them their own. But I’m getting so many requests for a Keeper Kase ™ loaded with all my cards that I found one I can provide at a low cost where the proceeds go to ProLiteracy. Still, I’d rather the reader get the cards free by sending a SASE or meeting me when I’m at events giving away the cards.
Authors just need to have 4 x 6 cards (standard postcard size) printed with a glossy finish of their book cover on one side and a blurb plus website or whatever they want on the back as long as they leave space to sign and/or personalize the card. Then they create a place on their website that offers the cards to the readers for free if the reader sends a SASE to the author. At this time, I’m working with a number of authors who are building a webpage for their e-book fans and when they include a link to www.KeeperKase.com page I then add their name and web link on my page. (You can find links to other authors who are using Keeper Kases on Dianna’s website)
How do you invision the future of Keeper Kases?
I want to write books that readers will enjoy first and foremost. I had one goal in mind when I started the Keeper Kase™ program – to build a feeling of community for all readers regardless of whether they buy an e-book or a print book. All readers are welcome to the cards. I just sent information to the marketing group for the Discover A New Love e-bookclub [http://www.discoveranewlove.com/] that was launched this year, the perfect venue for giving these cards to readers. In fact, my requirement for using the Keeper Kase™ name is that nobody sells the cards. They have to be free to the reader other than the cost of mailing the cards.
WHAT PARTICIPATING AUTHORS ARE SAYING ABOUT KEEPER KASES:
“I’m thrilled to support Dianna Love’s marvelous Keeper Kase concept. It celebrates e-books with joie de vivre! “~Anne Elizabeth
“I think Dianna Love’s Keeper Kase idea is like all the best innovations, simple and brilliant. I read ebooks as well as print and will be happy to have covers I can get signed and a way to keep them nice. My first book debuts November 6, so I have no readers yet. Since my book will be electronic (and print on demand), I suspect those who read it will like this program as much as I do.” ~ Nancy Northcott
“One of the things that I particularly like about this idea is that it gives readers a way to collect autographs of books from their favorite authors no matter what format they choose to read in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lent a great book to someone, an autographed copy, that doesn’t get returned. That’s always a bummer. The book can be replaced, but that autograph is often lost for good. Now, with the Keeper Kase readers can collect the autographs outside of the eReader or the print copies and tuck them away for safe keeping, sharing, and comparing. And it’s all done in any convenient 4×6 photo album. Simple, fun. That’s just the way I like things.
Another thing I really like, is that the price is right J The reader has already made the purchase of a book, so the card is free. Just a quick note with a Self-addressed stamped envelope and you’ll get the card and a personal note from the author. Readers can collect these for themselves, or like me, collect them for the readers on your gift-giving list. It’ll surely be a welcome surprise. Shhh-hhhh don’t tell.” ~ Nancy Naigle
You said some publishers have contacted you about Keeper Kases. Are they planning on using these as well? Will they be using them for individual authors or as a package of authors?
I’ve been contacted by a couple of publishers and am not sure exactly what each one plans, but the first thing they all said was that they loved the idea and wanted their authors to participate. I sincerely hope no one, author or publisher, decides to monetize this. As I mentioned before, I will not give permission to use the names Keeper Kase ™ or Keeper Kase Cards™ to someone who is looking to make money on the cards. This is reader memorabilia that every author and publisher should want to give away as a thank you to readers.
Most importantly, how do readers get these?
They can find the details for my cards at www.KeeperKase.com and also links to other authors joining the program. I will have cards to give away on my upcoming book signing tour in mid September . I’ll be making the tour on my BMW motorcycle. The other participating authors (I have quite a few more that will be listed in the next week or so as they get their cards in hand and build their website pages) will be signing those cards and giving them away at their events as well. But the point of offering free cards for just an SASE is to connect with readers who may never have the opportunity to attend a signing or reader event. They deserve to be included and appreciated, too.
For authors wishing to start using Keeper Kases, here a few tips from Dianna:
I (have) a couple types of albums that I will use for giveaways, contests, special promo, swag, etc. I chose the 4 x 6 “book cover” postcard size because it’s a standard size, which means less expensive. The selection of 4 X 6 photo albums available is endless so readers can expand their collections easily and keep their Keeper Kase™ albums on the special shelves where they once placed keeper books.
I’ve found plenty of examples (at Michaels, Walmart, I’ve found plenty of examples (at Michaels, Walmart, Target, etc. and online) that hold 24–‐40 photos – or cover cards – for around $4, as well as smaller ones.
She also suggests creating a page on your website just for Keeper Kases. (You can see an example on her website – http://www.authordiannalove.com/keeper-kase