Social Media: Is It Working? Is It Worth It?


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Slides from presentation by Brad Farmer at PubWest 2011 conference at Green Valley Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada.

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  • Brand Value: The premium a customer will pay for my book above the alternative or The number of times my book is selected instead of the competition
  • One thing we learned from social media: What is the value of pre-ordering ? Last year at Digital Book World, Russ Grandinetti from Amazon stated that 1/3 of the first year book sales through Amazon are pre-orders. We have been sending our metadata to Amazon at least six months prior to pub date for a long time. Pre-order marketing! When this author saw that her book was available for pre-order on Amazon, she posted it on her blog along with a link to the pre-order on Amazon. Pre-orders show up on ARA. We saw them shoot up, we were able to get a second print run going based on the pre-ordered demand on Amazon’s site (Amazon doesn’t always place order until right before pub date, so it wouldn’t have shown up in backorders from Amazon)
  • Another thing we learned from social media: It’s important to watch what’s going on from the sales side and do your due diligence. Hidden groups, such as closed Facebook groups, bulletin boards, closed blogs, etc. We saw sales jump dramatically for one of our new BabyLit books one day. We couldn’t tell what caused it – our bigger ears list came up dry and there were no other promotions going on. The author and illustrator had no idea. Then a couple of days later a tweet popped out about the book that referenced this book and a discussion on a closed bulletin board. We DM’d the tweeter and found out that this book was mentioned on a bulletin board for a children’s literature group at a university. There was a lot of discussion around this book and a lot of people purchased the book as a result.
  • Social Media: Is It Working? Is It Worth It?

    1. 1. Social Media: Is It Working? Is It Worth It?
    2. 2. Is It Working? <ul><li>What do I want to do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sell more books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build my brand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Author </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Publisher </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Still want to sell more books </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Is It Worth It? <ul><li>Value of Book Sales </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cash Gain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gross margin less costs to promote </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ROI (Return on Investment) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cash gain divided by the costs to promote </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Value of Brand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Premium people will pay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Percentage of time people choose you over competition </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Is It Worth It? <ul><li>Gross margin of end consumer sales… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales revenue less printing costs, royalties, and distribution costs if same for every sale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not include other selling costs such as commissions, other distribution costs, and staff time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… Less costs to promote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-op advertising, cost of free giveaway, other advertising, travel, event expenses, freelance publicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not include staff time </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Example <ul><li>Assume: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$50 monthly blog ad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sells 30 extra books per month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books have a $5 gross margin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gross Margin of $150 less costs to promote of $50 = Cash gain of $100 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cash gain of $100 divided by costs to promote of $50 = ROI of 200% </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. How Many Books Sold?
    7. 8. Bookscan Example
    8. 9. The Today Show
    9. 11. Amazon Example
    10. 12. Southern Biscuits
    11. 13. Southern Biscuits
    12. 14. Grow Bigger Ears (Chris Brogan)
    13. 15.
    14. 16.
    15. 17. What We’ve Learned
    16. 18. The size of the bullhorn isn’t as important as the bulls who are listening
    17. 19. The Today Show
    18. 20. Crafting Chicks
    19. 21. Consumer marketing can start before the book is released
    20. 22. Patina Style
    21. 23. Put on your deerstalker hat
    22. 24. BabyLit™
    23. 25. Connect With Me <ul><li>Brad Farmer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LinkedIn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>