Sunday, April 08, 2007

The power of advertising

…or not. iUniverse has a cooperative advertising program where you pay a certain amount of money to share an ad in a publication having wide circulation. When I asked them about the efficacy of the ads, they said they had no idea. So I thought I’d do a quick little study of my own. This is unscientific for all kinds of reasons, but it may provide an interesting glimpse into what your ad money might buy.

One of the companies providing co-op ads through iUniverse is The New York Review of Books. For $250, you can purchase advertising for your book, and it will appear in a single larger ad identified as promoting independently published books.

On March 29, I looked at their most recent and relevant ad, which had 13 titles in a single large display. Of course, independent books sell by various means, but the only information I had access to was the Amazon ranking, which only indicates their own sales relative to all other books they sell. They don’t divulge hard sales numbers.

Today, April 8, I looked at the rankings again.

Here is a summary:
—Six of the titles had no significant change in sales ranking.
—Two of the titles fell significantly (from 70,000 to 900,000 and from 500,000 to 1,000,000).
—Five improved significantly, the biggest change being from 1,800,000 to

It will take more than this to know for sure, but this quick look suggests to me that authors should be careful about how they spend their ad dollars.