Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Book Signing Promot that works

I generally don't see much value in an author spending his precious time signing books at libraries or bookstores... but do think that ANY signature adds value. I never give out a copy of my book without a not on the title page.

Of course, Potter takes this to a whole 'nother level... Entertainment - Livingston library gets signed Harry Potter book 08/14/05: "'It was a contest through Scholastic,' said Youth Services Librarian Stacie Barron. 'I just had to submit the name and address of the library.'
Scholastic had originally intended to give just one signed copy to an American library that was named the winner in the sweepstakes (that was West Asheville Branch Library in Asheville, N.C.). But, according to a company news release, the response was 'overwhelming.'
More than 9,000 libraries nationwide entered the contest. So Scholastic decided to name one winner in each state. The Livingston Parish Main Library in the town of Livingston was the winner for Louisiana."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Even More Sales From Audio

I get questions all the time about "should I have an e-book?" and other forms of putting out a book.

Yes. And today's Potter story remids us that even the best selling book can make more with audio versions.

Journal Gazette | 08/15/2005 | Giving voices to Potter series: "Dale has given voice to more than 200 characters in the audio versions of the six “Harry Potter” books published so far (author J.K. Rowling has said a seventh title will end the series). The first five audio books in the series smashed previous sales records with more than 4 million copies sold in North America.

For the initial run of the most recent title, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” 635,000 audio versions were printed, making it the largest first run in the history of audio books, says Amanda D’Acierno, a spokeswoman at Random House Audio."

Potter getting credit for Books-A-Million's good numbers

Books-A-$1.7 Million [ Motley Fool Take] August 17, 2005: "Even so, it bears pointing out that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince went on sale in July (near the end of Q2), so it didn't affect Q1 at all. Yet Books was doing pretty well this year even before Potter turbocharged the company's sales. In fact, through the first half of this year, Books' sales were up nearly as well as in Q2 alone -- posting a better-than-6% improvement over the first half of fiscal 2004. Likewise, profits increased a most respectable 24% over the numbers Books posted in 1H 2004." - 'Harry Potter' Lifts Sales, But Borders Net Dives 84% - 'Harry Potter' Lifts Sales, But Borders Net Dives 84%: "Sales of 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' accounted for about 4% of the 6% rise in trade-book sales. Sales of the book went 'as expected,' with sales having an initial burst when the book first came out and then slowing quite a bit since then, said Borders finance chief Ed Wilhelm. He attributed the slowing to more copies of the book being printed than previous Harry Potter books, with the latest being more widely distributed than past installments. However, the top 50 books excluding the Harry Potter book were down from the a year earlier.
Consumers who purchased the new Harry Potter book also spent money in the retailer's cafe, and other children's-related products sold well because of the book, Mr. Wilhelm said."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Why pay when it's available for fre?

We still hear cries that online piracy will kill creative output. Yet, even with plenty of sites offering pirated copies, Potter sells millions of books.

Today's lesson might be.. giveaways might actually help INCREASE sales

Blair said he has sent out more than 100 cease and desist letters to Web sites in countries including the United States - home to the most offenders - the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Poland, China, Spain and Brazil. He also has sent more than 100 notices to eBay to terminate auctions of the pirated book. Harry Potter and the online pirates

Building the better mousetrap

There's a lot of discussion about the "mousetrap" analogy with today. Most experts say that it doesn't matter how great your product (or story in the case of a book) is, the world needs to know about it.

JK Rowling's did write a nice story, and it was "found".. Depending on the version of the story you hear.

I come down in the middle. I believe that a great product is important, and that good marketing will kill a bad product faster. In fact, I think a great book is necessary just to talk about book marketing.

Here's another story about the start of the Harry Potter tale.