Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 69: Advertising on a $10,000 budget

Yesterday, I started a thread on the website Kindle Boards, asking the question, "If you had $10,000 to market one book, what would you spend it on?"

There were some hilarious scenarios posed including soliciting Oprah (many rightly pointed out that she would probably cost more than that) or entering the headquarters with a clear suitcase asking how to make a book the "Kindle Book of the Day" which would lead to hundreds of sales. Many people said they'd spend it on various things like paying down their credit, going on a European press tour or on a ton of custom artwork for the book (I actually loved that last idea).

Author David Gaughran, who wrote the book Let's Get Digital, took the challenge at face value a bit more than the others, understanding the Brewster's Millions style of the situation. If you had to spend it all, how would you spend it? Not as an advance for the next book, not as cover art for the next 10 books, but if you had to spend it, in hopes of getting a decent return, how would you?

See, the thing about this hypothetical deal, is that you really need to sell about 5,000 copies (at $2.99) for the investor to get his money back. Let's imagine that I'm not concerned about making money off of the book myself and it's all about the experiment to see what the $10,000 could do. Let's try to break this down a little.

Advertising bursts at Kindle Nation Daily seem to lead to a temporary burst in sales, especially if it gets you into the Kindle Movers and Shakers list or into the Kindle Top 100. I assume that some of the other advertising pushes would have a similar, temporary affect. David suggested I create kind of a marketing dream list and so here is an idea for one, including advertising, book costs and giveaway expenses.

Advertising Methods:
Kindle Nation Daily Platinum Package - $439 - Estimated 50 sales
Pixel of Ink Sponsorship - $179 - Estimated 50 sales
AuthorBuzz Campaign - $1,500 - Estimated 100 sales
BlogAds Book Hive - $1,500 - Estimated 100 sales
Facebook Ads - $382 - Estimated 50 sales
Part-Time Social Marketer - $1,000 - Estimated 100 sales
Blog tour - Free - I love setting those things up on my own :)

Book Costs
Killer cover art - $500
Editing, formatting, etc. - $500
Book trailer - $500

Giveaway Expenses
Give away 250 paperbacks through Goodreads - $1,250 - Estimated 50 reviews, 50 sales
Give away 10 Kindles on a blog tour, etc. - $1,000 - 50 sales
Give away other wonderful prizes, etc. - $1,250 - 50 sales

Total Expenses: $10,000

So, using my completely unscientific method for estimating how many sales each method would bring in directly, spending the $10,000 to get some sales would lead to around 600 sales on the low end of estimates. That would mean that in order for the investor to get back his money on the deal, there would have to be around 4,400 indirect sales.

If the book is well-reviewed and the giveaways and advertising has led to at least 100 reviews, then the advertising methods might lead to some indirect sales. By which I mean, sales that come on the days after a marketing blitz or that come from people simply buying up a book with great cover art and a cool book trailer. Could that lead to 4,400 additional sales, to bump it up to $10,000 worth at a $2.99 price? Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

Obviously, this is all very speculative, but I think it's fun to come up with little ideas like this every now and then.

Today in the 365 day writing challenge, I worked a little more on the full-length novel version of Ted Saves the World and I did some work on a blog post of happiness quotations.

172,500 words down! Only 740,000 more to go :).


  1. Instead of FB ads, use a few strategic sponsored tweets. An example of this would be to write a book about becoming a comedian and have Marlon Wayans ( tweet about it. Also when spending that much money on advertising, try to get them on your list so you can market to them for longer than your ad campaign.

  2. I wrote that before I saw the sponsored tweets price. What a joke. Maybe just go with adwords, better targeting anyway and easy enough to get a free $100.

  3. I'm not sure if Marlon Wayans is the right one for the upcoming book, but a very interesting idea. Definitely too pricy, but interesting :).