The estimable UK site, The Bookseller, reports on the BEA presentation of our latest Verso Survey–conducted in cooperation with the American Booksellers Association. Check it out.
Learn about the results of the Verso Survey of Book-Buying Behavior
At the 2010 Digital Book World Conference, Verso presented the results of our first “Survey of Book-Buying Behavior” â€” creating a stir there that resonated with publishers, booksellers and readers as far away as England and Australia. Powered by the expertise of Burst Media, the Survey was conducted across the full breadth of the Reader Channel network in two waves during November and December, 2009. The Survey polled 5,640 book-buying respondents, weighted to mirror the U.S. adult population. Adhering to the highest standards of online survey data collection, the results are statistically reliable within a 1.6 percentage-point margin of error, at a 95% probability level.
Early reports from Publishers Lunch followed up on the Survey’s implications for two of the hottest topics in publishingâ€”e-book piracy and e-book pricingâ€”and generated immediate interest in book industry circles. The American Booksellers Association immediately saw how the Survey provides actionable data for their members, and invited Verso’s director of business development, Jack McKeown, to Winter Institute (Wi5) to give a keynote address on what the results mean for independent booksellers.
By Verso’s Media Department
Places We Love to Advertise Books:
.com â€” Do you know about the “Home Page Advantage Pop-Up Menu”? It delivers over 30,000,000 impressions for a very low $1 CPM, and it’s a great place to advertise well-known brands. Our clients who publish a popular diet book loved it so much that they doubled the length of their campaign after first-wave results came in.
â€“ Consistently a great place for books. It can nicely complement a television campaign and is extremely targeted. We have run many campaigns for everything from vampire books to children’s books, with great success.
â€” These general news sites are not only a good place to reach a broad audience for a relatively inexpensive CPM, but they also do a great job of increasing awareness about books in many bestselling genres, from business to fiction.
Phone Kiosks / Billboards â€” Phone kiosks continue to be an affordable way to advertise books. We can target by city and even by neighborhood, and kiosks start for as little as $250 each. We’ve recently secured some great deals on billboards in NY and LAâ€”on Sunset Blvd in LA, and Times Square for as little as $40,000 for 4 weeks.
By Verso’s Creative Team
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In the age of complexity, we respond to simplicity. This is as true for good ad design as it is for services like Google search and products like Apple’s iPhone. But two forces, one a legacy of print and the other from the bleeding edge of technology, are leading to more and more complex ads, and this is not necessarily a good thing. In a recent article in Ad Age, ad-effectiveness researcher Philip Sawyer observes that declining click-through rates in display ads may be stemming from increasingly complex ads.
Part of the problem is that technology allows creative departments to do so much more now than we ever could before. From expanding boxes to in-banner video to data-intensive Flash tricks, it’s suddenly affordableâ€”both in ad cost and memory costâ€”to produce exceedingly fancy digital ads. There’s a natural temptation to use all the tools at your disposal for every adâ€”as if a banner that uses 100k memory is somehow necessarily better than one that only uses 20k. But complexity is often the enemy of communication.
By Dan Sharkey
In spite of all the energy marketers are dedicating to harnessing the power and promise of new media, America remains a nation firmly entrenched in front of its television set. There remains no better way to reach a large, mass audience than by advertising on this time-honored medium. But while the incredible reach of TV advertising is alluring, the cost is often prohibitive to book publishers. Cable channels can provide a cheaper, more targeted alternative to network buys, but even this requires a significant investment that is not always possible for publishers with large lists and limited marketing budgets.
In our ongoing search for new and more effective ways to advertise books, Verso is working with a new media partner that specializes in promotional television sponsorships. Extremely cost efficient and providing tremendous reach and frequency for a relatively small out of pocket, these “sponsorships” are essentially remnant ad space offered on a specific cable provider on a per market basis. For example, for one recent campaign, we purchased both Verizon Fios and RCN in NYC; for another campaign, we purchased Comcast in San Francisco and Cox in Washington DC. Unlike true remnant inventory the spots provided will always air in the strongest dayparts, between 6AM and midnight. Furthermore, our most recent campaign (targeting adults 50+) saw our spots running on highly rated and commercial programming such as Anderson Cooper 360, Larry King Live, Glenn Beck, The Dog Whisperer, Man vs. Wild, Desperate Housewives (Lifetime) and Grey’s Anatomy (Lifetime).
The chart below highlights the exceptional efficiency of these promotional buys:
Location-based marketing comes into its own
By Tom Thompson
One of the most promising new ways to let people know about books is location-based marketing. Of course location-based marketing has been around as long as there’ve been street teams, billboards and bar coasters, but the field is opening up in exciting new directions thanks to recent innovations.
We share in the excitement for services like Foursquare that we heard from the slew of publishing industry pros who attended the recent SXSWi conference. We think there’s a lot to explore there, from building plot-based treasure hunts on Gowalla to unlocking book-related badges on Foursquare.
By Michael Kazan
#f8981d" title="PirateLatitudes" src="http://www.versoadvertising.com/inverso/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/PirateLatitudes.jpg" alt="PirateLatitudes" width="285" height="518" srcset="http://www.versoadvertising.com/inverso/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/PirateLatitudes.jpg 285w, http://www.versoadvertising.com/inverso/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/PirateLatitudes-165x300.jpg 165w" sizes="(max-width: 285px) 100vw, 285px" />We all agree that in order for an ad to be effective, it must first be seen or read. Verso and HarperCollins had a unique opportunity to learn, through the magic of actual consumer research, just what kind of impact a specific print ad had on readers.
On December 9, 2009 HarperCollins ran a full page four color ad for Michael Crichton’s novel Pirate Latitudes in The Wall Street Journal. As luck would have it, the ad was running in an issue that had been designated a “Starch” issue. Simply put, this meant that our ad would be part of a consumer survey conducted by Starch Research in which Journal readers who agreed to cooperate would be asked about their reactions to each of the ads in the designated issue. It is not often that we are able to participate in this kind of study and so we anxiously looked forward to what might be revealed to us. As it turned out, we had to wait a couple of months for the completion of interviews and compilation of the information, but we were delighted with the results.
Verso’s Spring 2010 Newsletter is in the works and due to come out soon, filled with useful tidbits, useful campaign ideas, and a few surprises. If you’d like to be added to our email list, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were honored that the American Bookseller Association asked our own Jack McKeown (alias @bookateur) to present the keynote at this year’s Winter Institute — and excited at the chance to expand on the “Indie Mindshare vs. Marketshare” meme that is developing out of the first Verso Survey of Book-Buying Behavior. After the great conversations that started at Digital Book World, we knew independent bookstores would have a lot to say about our results. And did they ever! The twitter activity was off the charts and is still rolling a week later (thanks to @jchristie for creating the archive). See below for a small sampling of Winter Institute press and tweets that mention Verso’s Survey.
Some of the Press
Bookselling This Week wrote, “For 90 minutes on Thursday morning at the Winter Institute, booksellers zeroed in on the provocative aspects of consumer demographics and book-buying preferences offered by Jack McKeown…”
The day after the keynote, Shelf Awareness called it a “well-received breakfast keynote [that] many booksellers said gave them both hope and ideas for concrete action.”
Publishers Weekly reported that “Jack McKeown’s keynote on Verso Advertising’s survey of consumer book-buying habits was a relief . . . [highlighting] potential opportunities for independents to be in the digital space.”
In their wrap-up of the Winter Institute, Shelf Awareness wrote, “After the first day of sessions on technological trends, many booksellers felt overwhelmed and feared an e-future that would bypass bookstores. But the next morning, the mood changed, beginning with a presentation by Jack McKeownâ€¦”
The news was even picked up in Australia. From the PNP Booksellers Blog: “Even though [the Verso Survey] was about US readers there is a tonne of relevant information for the Australian marketâ€¦..”
Some of the hundreds of Tweets
Verso’s stats about indie mindshare are definitely heartening #dbw [full results here: http://bit.ly/bR5WEQ ] –@vsandbrook, 2/11/10
Thoughts from #WI5: from the Verso survey: How can indies convert mindshare into marketshare? — @corpuslibris, 2/9/10
RT @permanentpaper Reader stats A+ RT @DBerthiaume: Complete #WI5 presentation Verso survey results http://www.versoadvertising.com/survey –@WNBA_NATIONAL 2/8/10
Hey indies! RT @DBerthiaume Complete #WI5 slide presentation of Verso survey results now up at http://www.versoadvertising.com/survey/ — @vertigobooks 2/8/10
Beyond thrilled to be hearing ebook convo based on DATA, not just feelings and anecdotes. Many thanks to @bookateur. #Wi5 /via @bookavore @oblongirl 2/5/10
RT @BooksellersNZ: #Wi5 check out www.versoadvertsing.com/survey for insightful research of importance to booksellers — @KatMeyer 2/5/10
Feel much more encouraged & excited on #wi5 day two! :) — @AvidBookshop 2/4/10 (tweeted after Verso Survey Presentation)
Over 45% of males 18-34 download pirated copies. Bad boys. Whatcha gonna do? #wi5 — @yrstrulyREL 2/4/10
Hooray, data bears out that a large chunk of people are interested in bundling. Hope pubs saw this at DBW. #Wi5 — @bookavore, 2/4/10
RT @AvidBookshop: Thinking the same!RT @bookavore: Search engine marketing needs to be priority for indies. Good thing I went to a panel on it yesterday. #Wi5 –@JogglingBoard, 2/4/10
RT @bookavore: “Think about older market as cash cow to pay for experimentation with younger market.” #Wi5 –@NVbibliophile, 2/4/10
Interestingly, much of @bookateur’s #wi5 keynote applies to niche publishing, too. “Community, convenience and price.” –@glecharles, 2/4/10
Today’s Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb talk to bestselling author Adriana Trigiani about her new book “Brava Valentine” and show off our full-page ad!
Read more to view the Today show clip.