EBooks and Advertising

Buying Your Readers. Think About It.

Once, while attending the Phocus Wright Travel Conference, I heard the CEO of the largest online-travel agency declare that it didn’t matter that a slew of new travel web sites with innovative products would pose a challenge to his site’s dominance. “We will simply outspend them,” he replied. “They won’t be able to compete.”

What he meant was that his company would be able to maintain its industry-leading position by “buying” users–in other words, spending enough on advertising to draw users to his site. The big three travel sites (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz) average approximately a 5% conversion rate. It simply becomes a math formula at that point. If the web site gets a million users, 50,000 of them are going to buy something.

As I prepare my manuscript for publication I have been thinking about what he had to say and did some “napkin” math.

Let’s start with a couple of assumptions.

**You are prepared to spend some money on advertising your book. Let’s say it’s a $1,000.

** Assume you have written a book that falls into the “chick lit genre” and that you want to advertise  on a variety of sites (travel sites, blogs, fashion, entertainment).

**Assume that your average CPM rate is $8 per 1,000 ad impressions (which simply means that you get 1,000 text or graphic ads appearing on a variety of web sites for that $8). In short, you will be buying 125,000 ad impressions for your $1,000.

** Assume that 1% of those clicking on your ad will buy your book.  That means you will have 1,250 purchases.

If you’re selling your book for $0.99 (a disturbing trend which I will write about later), then you’re probably going to break even–at first blush. But remember, reading is a lot like leisure travel: what you read (or where you vacation) is heavily influenced by others.  So, let’s assume you wrote a good book, one that 60% of the readers like, and that 10% of them recommended it to their friends, who eventually bought it–and who then recommended it to their friends. As you can see, a positive referral cycle begins and you end up making a profit and getting the word out.

Now if you sold your book at $2.99, which means you keep $2.10, then you have immediately made a nice profit, plus you got the word out.

Of course all of this is merely hypothesis. You may not get a 1% conversion rate on your ads. Your readers may not recommend your book. You may not advertise on the right sites.

In any case, food for thought. Please do leave a comment. Oh, and by the way, I do not work for or own any piece of an advertising company. Just a guy typing away…

At Find My Audience, we understand that not all authors are marketers. That being said, growing your social audience can expand your readership and book sales. You don’t have to be a book marketer to find new readers online. We are here to simplify this process for you. Sign up today and connect with potential readers across the globe.

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By |November 27th, 2011|EBooks and Advertising|3 Comments

How Much Would You Spend To Market Your Book?

I’m an entrepreneur and an aspiring writer. When I’m writing, I’m often thinking of the next business I want to start. When I’m working on a new business, I’m often thinking of the next book I want to write. It’s a heady dialectic, to be sure, and generates a lot of angst and guilt that I’m not doing the other activity. My cross to bear, I guess.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about marketing. You see, I’m almost ready to release my first book, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I am putting into practice all the great advice from Konrath, Locke, et al. It hasn’t taken me long to notice that I’m not the only one out there engaged in doing this. Several questions have popped up for me during the process: how do I find my “niche” audience? Are there any unique ways of getting my message in front of them? Will I have to pay to do so?

The last question is especially relevant–and I’m not the only who has asked it, as a quick troll through a variety of blogs reveals. Author Brad Swift, for example, has asked the question: “If you had a budget of $1,500 to promote and market your book(s) that are available as Kindle books and POD hard copies, how would you use it? If that budget was $3,000 what else would you do? Is there anything else you’d include if your marketing budget was $5,000?”

Jane Friedman responded to Swift’s query by saying that one should first determine the “primary target audience.”  She suggests that you shouldn’t “spend a dime until you know who you’re trying to sell to. You should thoroughly research your target readers’ habits, discover where they spend their time online, and how they decide to purchase books.”

So my question of the day is: assuming you can find that “primary target audience,” how much would you spend to reach them? I’ll start off by saying that I would spend in the $250-500 range. Let me know what you would spend. I’ll share the results in another post. Thanks!

At Find My Audience, we understand that not all authors are marketers. That being said, growing your social audience can expand your readership and book sales. You don’t have to be a book marketer to find new readers online. We are here to simplify this process for you. Sign up today and connect with potential readers across the globe.
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