Re: [scbwi-houston] Promotion offer analysis
- Marianne,Thanks for putting together an in depth analysis and sharing it with us! I've not been solicited but will be wary if ever I am.Linda Leschak,Soon to be discovered fiction authorOn Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 3:30 PM, Marianne <mjdyson@...> wrote:
I have been solicited several times by Bookwhirl, and am wondering if any of you have used this service? I talked with their rep on the phone, and they were very courteous. They offer to put together a promotion package for up to 4 books and send it to 500,000 email addresses. They guarantee that at least 25,000 of the emails will be opened—they say the aren’t spamming anyone, that they only send the email to people who have agreed to be on their list, and only send the promotion once to each address. They do not guarantee any book sales.
All advertising involves risk—spending money to make money…so
I did a calculation to see how many books I’d need to sell to cover the $700 fee they charge. I thought I’d share this info with you all in case you are considering this or other similar promotions.
I only have 3 books currently for sale, and only one is earning royalties. I get up to $2/book sale in royalties, depending on the outlet. So to earn the $700 back via royalties, I’d have to sell 350 copies. That’s a lot of books! When I was on CSPAN2/BookTV, exposed to millions of bookaholics, I only sold 50 books online (though I probably sold more in stores later, it’s hard to separate out when royalty statements cover 6-month periods!) So I don’t think royalty income on one book is enough to justify this service. If I had 4 books that had earned out, and sold 50 of each, I’d still only expect about $400 in royalties.
If buyers use my online page to order autographed copies that I buy at a discount and sell at retail, I earn about $5/book on two different books. So I’d have to sell “only” 140 copies. Possible, but not likely.
I also get a kickback credit from Amazon as an affiliate, that averages to 33 cents for one of my books, and 28 cents for another. I’d have to sell more than 2100 books to cover $700 this way. Not going to happen. (I’ve sold 20 of my most popular book through my Amazon link in 4 years! I mostly sell copies of books I review.)
This is all a numbers game of course. I have no idea what percentage of the “guaranteed” 25,000 people who open their email will actually order a book. If any of you have data on this, please share! In “regular” advertising, I’ve heard that a 1 percent turnover is considered good. If Bookwhirl really has identified a targeted market of people who want books about space and astronomy topics, and 1 percent of them (250) order books, this service could earn money for me, but only if most of them wanted autographed copies.
So this doesn’t look like a good deal for me at this time. I’m thinking seriously about the Google ads though, because one of my books only needs to sell 120 more copies to earn out. Anyone try them?
Author of Space & Astronomy;
Former NASA flight controller;
Doris / Marianne………this is the basic premise that we use with the Texas Authors Group………we market and sell our books together so that a $3500 TLA booth costs us a fraction of that………Rita
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto: email@example.com ] On Behalf Of abcdoris2003
Sent: Saturday, March 13, 2010 4:04 PM
Subject: [scbwi-houston] Re: Promotion offer analysis
And also, what if you involved one other author in the emailed information so you could split the cost...just an idea.