Turning Conversations into Sales: Driving ebook sales with online marketing


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Presented to Literary Press Group, April 30, 2011

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Turning Conversations into Sales: Driving ebook sales with online marketing

  1. 1. Turning Conversations into SalesDriving eBook Sales with Online EngagementLPG on April 30, 2011Twitter @boxcarmarketing
  2. 2. The best way to predict the future is to invent it.• Alan Kay “The only thing we know for certain about the future is that it will be different.”
  3. 3. The distance between when a person thinks abouta book and buys it is now seconds.• eBook sales have a different pace than print sales.• Instant access expedites the extraction of cash from readers’ wallets.• Amazon alone has 3 devices: Kindle Wifi, Kindle 3G+Wifi, Kindle DX. Plus apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows 7
  4. 4. Previous constraints for print books no longerapply in a digital world• Publish compelling ideas at their natural length.• In a bookstore, price matters. In a digital world, time matters.• Ability to control price is key.
  5. 5. Big difference is demand• In a digital world, demand fades more quickly. In some cases, demand only during a 2 week period, then it’s gone.
  6. 6. Gaspereau Press• In the midst of Giller furor, Gaspereau released an eBook edition of The Sentimentalists on Kobo - the only place anyone could buy the book for weeks.• It was Kobo’s top-selling title in Canada the Friday after the Giller was announced.
  7. 7. The eBook Buyer is not a different buyer• BISG report on consumer attitudes towards ebook reading says ebook buyers are the same buyers as print. Same demographic and psychographic. http://www.slideshare.net/digitalbookworld/consumer-attitudes-toward- ebook-reading• We know these people.• 30-44 years old, urban, female, employed, entered ebook market 7-12 months ago, they buy weekly• Free is key to this customer. It’s the #1 contributing factor to a purchase. Free chapter. Free print version. Free value-add content. flickr.com/photos/anaurath
  8. 8. That’s the good news. The bad news is ...• It’s NOT a new, expanded market• Unit sales of ebooks are on the rise, but this does not compensate for the lost of revenue on print sales.• $9 differentiates ebooks vs. print books• As an ebook buyer buys more ebooks, they buy fewer hardcover and paperbacks.• Trading print dollars for digital dimes
  9. 9. How to Increase Discovery• Book discovery is a traditional game. New channels of discovery and communication are actually not very good conversion vehicles for buying http://mashable.com/2011/04/27/social-media-retail-purchases/• Twitter outperforms Facebook with marketing but neither deliver the number of buyers to the store that traditional methods do, such as word of mouth• All about reviews: Get as many copies as possible into the hands of your influential readers. Those who have an audience and platform.• From the moment of acquisition to 3 months before launch, those early readers become the first people to connect to at the launch.
  10. 10. Discovery Myths• The book business is unique. No its not.• Book buyers are unique when it comes to their online buying behaviour. No they’re not.• I dont sell soap. I sell books. It doesnt matter.• Companies with millions of dollars have learned lessons in direct marketing. You can learn from them.
  11. 11. Lesson 1: Think Direct to Consumer• Harlequin is a leader in ebook marketing and book retail.• They use a ton of direct to consumer tactics, including direct mail and email• Cost-per-acquisition is highly important• Search Engine Marketing• Integrate direct to consumer elements into broad campaign
  12. 12. Eg. Direct to Consumer
  13. 13. Eg. Brick Books• Create the largest publisher-focused poetry performance archive in Canada• Content that goes beyond the book• Stories that can attract non-book media• 160+ free recordings add value to the book (e or p)• Entertainment value• Audioboo provides listeners (event coordinators, booksellers, educators) the ability to share and embed the podcasts• iTunes subscribe. Serendipity of mixing poetry into music playlists.• Excitement for authors, past, present and future.• Puts Brick Books front of author’s minds for future works.
  14. 14. Lesson 2: Buy-in, Contribution & CommitmentNational Geographic• Use Direct Response to test every element of the cover design
  15. 15. How they did it...• If you answered the cover survey, your name went into a draw. NatGeo does a quarterly draw for a $50 gift card to Amazon.• Amazon pulls the best/draw of number surveys• The “me generation” wants to provide feedback• National Geographic had to go back to print BEFORE the book went on sale• Spent 8 weeks on B&N bestseller list
  16. 16. Lesson 3: Local Matters• S&S experimenting with Groupon• over million users who spent $20 to get $40 worth books• Blanket the market with review copies• Ran in multiple cities and recorded the uptake in sales
  17. 17. Eg. Local Matters• Real Vancouver Writers Series at W2 Woodwards• Launched Zsuzsi Gartner’s new book• 200+ people• Music, drinks, simultaneous projections of Jesus Christ Superstar and the Sound of Music
  18. 18. Lesson 4: Author Brand• HarperCollins US writes both genre and author newsletters• The author newsletters out perform the genre newsletters all the time• The author is the brand• They create author-specific lists to build up the author’s personal brands.
  19. 19. Eg. Seen Reading• Freehand Books has acquired the rights to Seen Reading by Julie Wilson, a linked collection of short fictions inspired by the online “literary voyeurism” project of the same name.• Seenreading.com | #seenreading hashtag• The Literary Voyeurs group blog
  20. 20. It’s critical to talk directly to your customers.It’s critical to SELL directly to your customers. • This is not to the exclusion or disadvantage of your retail partners • It’s about gathering purchasing data and consumer intelligence • When you do this, you become a more effective marketer, which lets you drive sales through all channels.
  21. 21. How to Drive Sales• Pre-orders matter. Amazon sees 24% of sales before the street date (Russ Grandinetti, VP Kindle at Digital Book World, NYC, 2011)• Cherry pick the backlist titles to promote, in particular cult titles, series, an author’s previous titles• Put your backlist on Amazon, Indigo, Google Books
  22. 22. What Kills Forward Momentum?• Non-functioning ebooks• Missing metadata• Unaddressed anxiety• Easy entertainment
  23. 23. What’s in your control?• Clean up your sales data• Collect Point of Sales Data: • Learn how your titles trend • What categories are on the rise • How do sales distribute across the week/day • What number of impressions are served of your product pages • What price do the books sell at best • Where do you get the most awareness • Where are customers converting, what parts of the site have the highest conversion, downloads, traffic #, registrations, sales, margin, top titles, free vs. paid, price points, platform/device, geolocation• Know your authors’ social currency: how much is an author doing on the social web and how can you compound the effect
  24. 24. Measuring Success• Sales: Day by Day Comparison• Sales: 7 Day Period compared to Previous 7 Day Period (Everything changes in 2 week patterns)• Customer analysis: Once a month look at customers’ length time on site, age, source, buying preference, customer lifetime value, value per customer by device• Total reach: what channels convert• Share of voice
  25. 25. Things that lead to sales Twitter Followers Customer Feedback RTs Facebook Fans Email OpensWebsite Visitors Press Mentions Sales Monique Trottier @BoxcarMarketing
  26. 26. Things that lead to salesAcquisition Website Visitors, time on site Number of pageviews, repeat visits,Activation subscription (email, blog), account sign-up (profile data), Fan/Follower Email Opens, Click-throughs,Retention Repeat visits Press Mention, RT, Referral Refers 1+visitors to the site; Refers 1+ visitors who activate Sales Monique Trottier @BoxcarMarketing
  27. 27. Predictions• Random House predicting 50-50 by 2015. They are already there in some categories. Biggest fiction authors are already at 50-50.• Source Books. An author’s online engagement will continue to be a key factor. Social media effects really matter.• Author effectiveness: dont take on too much at once, just do 1 channel at a time if youre new. Dont forget to write books. Manage and timebox
  28. 28. Next Steps• To be successful in the ebook marketing, it is vital to control your assets and gain experience in merchandising and conversion optimization.• Experiment. Publishing is “to make public,” this occurs in a lot of different ways in digital. Through webinars, digital voice, career planning (long term engagement, reputation building, credibility management)• Connect your authors to more readers than they could themselves• Leverage Partnerships
  29. 29. ECW Press• Has partnered with Joyland for an ebook imprint• Will publish three ebook-only short fiction collections per year starting Fall 2011
  30. 30. Coach House Books• The Coach House Books Coffee Room iPhone app. http://www.chbooks.com/iphoneapp• The app includes: • A virtual tour of Coach House • Browse by author and title • Events, news, photo galleries, reviews and book trailers • Preview chapters, author Q&As, unpublished works • Buy books online
  31. 31. Books on the Radio• Books on the Radio, founded by Sean Cranbury, is a blog, podcast and radio show that showcases new voices and ideas in books and book publishing.
  32. 32. ResourcesMerchandising SEM/Affiliate Marketing• Econsultancy.com • VKIStudios.com • ElasticPath.comDirect Marketing • MarketingExperiments.com• The-CMA.org• MarketingProfs.com Business Intel • Forrester.comInbound, Content, Email Marketing • Radian6.com• Hubspot.com • Netvibes.com• Copyblogger.com • Yahoo Pipes• CaseStudiesOnline.com Monique Trottier @BoxcarMarketing
  33. 33. Ask me about this stuff.• Download this presentation Monique Trottier @boxcarmarketing monique@boxcarmarketing.com