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Thread: Case studies on publications?

  1. #1
    Dual class author / nightguard WormHeart's Avatar
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    Case studies on publications?

    Is case studies a thing?

    Going through a specific launch of a specific title with details of what worked, what didn't, how many copies was moved, where did reviews come frem etc?

    I was looking for some when I was about to launch a title, and has since then written one myself from my experiences, but I can't tell if this is a thing people read?

    You know where I could find any?

    WormHeart
    Clowns! Gore! Candyfloss! Dead Children!


  2. #2
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I assume when you mention "what worked" you are referring to promotional activities? If so, the big problem there is working out what things were effective and what weren't.

    If you sell 25 copies in a particular hour, how do you know what led to those sales? Might it have been any one of the several reviews your book got, an interview you gave, or the ads on Facebook?

    It's impossible to pinpoint what works when it comes to promotion and publicity. All we really know is that if we get a wide variety of promotions and publicity events going, and do enough of it, it works.

  3. #3
    Dual class author / nightguard WormHeart's Avatar
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    Well, I was thinking along the line of what was the plan and how did it turn out?

    For instance I took out adds and had an estimated potential reach of 50,000+ people through Facebook for my opening give-away. I had expected several thousand downloads, but I got 400. I had expected lots of reviews, but I got two.

    Then trying to figure out what went heywire and what is just the market.

    So not so much a pinpoint as personal thoughts on how things worked out.

    I would be seriously curious to read a newcomers sales-numbers and what s/he learned about that first launch.

    Regards
    WormHeart
    Clowns! Gore! Candyfloss! Dead Children!


  4. #4
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to find out how many of the 400 people who downloaded your giveaway went on to read the book, and to buy anything else by you. Is there any way you can find that out?

    From what little I remember from my marketing and advertising days, mailings which aren't targeted usually have a positive response rate of under 2%. Often less than half of one per cent even respond to those mail outs, and a response isn't a purchase, it's an enquiry. So ads which aren't targeted are very likely to have a very low response rate.

    If a publisher sends out 200 ARCs (I'm talking about printed copies here, not e-copies, which might make a difference) it would be good to get 5-10 reviews as a result. ARCs aren't just sent out to reviewers, though: they're also sent out to buyers in book shops, etc., so that makes a difference.

    Book signings and author events only really work if the author is well known, because few readers will turn up to see someone they've never heard of.

    Yes, this all sounds very negative, with lots of effort for little reward. The point is, though, that all that effort builds up. Those ARCs might not garner many reviews but they do foster an awareness of the author. The next book they write might get more reviews. The reviews that appear build on an author's profile. Some time down the line a reader will see a review and remember they'd meant to buy that author's previous book and buy a few from the backlist.

    What you try to achieve with a book launch is an increased awareness of the author as a brand, as well as stirring up an interest in the book you're launching. You might not get lots of sales for all the ads you pay for but the potential readers who see that ad might then also read a review, or come across you on social media, and it's the accumulation of those things that generally lead to sales.

    So it's really hard to pinpoint what exactly works, and what sells books. Because it's all of the work we do, added together.

    Which is why trade publishers employ people to do all sorts of sales and marketing work.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW WriterBN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WormHeart View Post
    I would be seriously curious to read a newcomers sales-numbers and what s/he learned about that first launch.
    There are plenty of data threads on Kboards. The problem with any such data is that what worked for one author and book won't necessarily work for another.

  6. #6
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WormHeart View Post
    For instance I took out adds and had an estimated potential reach of 50,000+ people through Facebook for my opening give-away. I had expected several thousand downloads, but I got 400. I had expected lots of reviews, but I got two.
    To speak to Facebook specifically - I've boosted Goodreads giveaways, and then not boosted a subsequent giveaway for the same book. Difference in signups: statistically insignificant. Based on that result I'm unlikely to put a lot of $$ into Facebook promotion in the future; I just don't think the type of advertising they do there is all that useful for selling books to people who don't already know of you.
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  7. #7
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WriterBN View Post
    There are plenty of data threads on Kboards. The problem with any such data is that what worked for one author and book won't necessarily work for another.
    Indeed. If you're selling house-bricks there are relatively few differences between one brick and another, apart from colour. Each book is unique.

  8. #8
    Dual class author / nightguard WormHeart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WriterBN View Post
    The problem with any such data is that what worked for one author and book won't necessarily work for another.
    Sure, but one could get inspired.

    I have a challenge in that I'm a foreigner - living in Denmark. I cant do local promotion in the US market, because I am not there. Book-signings and personal meetings are out. I have done interviews and a podcast, but it's a challenge.

    I'm not complaining. It's a challenge in the good way - it's just been a very long time since I had that role

    WormHeart
    Clowns! Gore! Candyfloss! Dead Children!


  9. #9
    Dual class author / nightguard WormHeart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    Based on that result I'm unlikely to put a lot of $$ into Facebook promotion in the future; I just don't think the type of advertising they do there is all that useful for selling books to people who don't already know of you.
    That is what I found too. I don't think the ads are worth the money, but interacting with a community probably is.
    Clowns! Gore! Candyfloss! Dead Children!


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