Category Archives: Verso

Verso Reader Survey: Reasons for Optimism

We are thrilled that our agency’s research was part of of two big reasons for optimism in book publishing over the past two weeks:  The American Booksellers Association “Winter Institute” and Digital Book World. Both conferences revealed crucial data from book publishing’s recent-past and evolving present, and both generated actionable ideas for our industry moving forward.

Here’s a link to our slides from 2012 Winter Institute.

Here’s a link to our slides from 2012 Digital Book World.

For links to news reports related to the latest Verso Survey of Book-Buying Behavior, click here.

For a final word, check out Library Journal‘s report from Digital Book World, “A More Optimistic Unconference,” which noted “a markedly different psychology among the Big Six,” and remarked that “the all-important data to buy into a new, bigger picture [of the publishing ecosystem] is compelling.”


Verso Survey: “Moving Toward a Hybrid Market”

Publishers Weekly reports on our presentation at the ABA’s Winter Institute (Wi7):

“Even as more consumers buy dedicated digital reading devices and tablets, a hybrid market for books is developing in which readers will buy both print and digital books.”

The article also details how the Survey indicates some opportunities for Independent Booksellers in the wake of the Borders shut-down.

Moby Lives mentions our Wi7 survey, and reports that they’ve been seeing hybrid all along.

Shelf Awareness reports a full roundup of our Wi7 presentation.

2012 Verso Survey news as mentioned in previous InVerso posts, includes:

Our presentation at Digital Book World this Wednesday, January 25, will discuss the Survey’s implications for the publishing industry as a whole. Join us!

For those who’d like to follow along on Twitter, the hash tag  is #dbw12.


Verso Survey: The Borders Effect

Information from the forthcoming release of our December 2011 Reader Survey continues to make news. Yesterday, “Bookselling This Week” published an extensive report on what the Survey results mean for independent booksellers.


Previous news releases, include:

Shelf Awareness with the first take on the Borders Effect,

Publishers Weekly on consumer interest in an indie-branded e-reader,

and Publishers Lunch on the changing dynamics of reader format preferences.


Verso’s Jack McKeown will discuss the Survey’s full implications for independent bookstores at Wi7 on January 19 and what it means for the publishing industry as a whole will be discussed at Digital Book World on January 25.


Verso Survey: Room for an Indie eReader?

The buzz continues building for results from our 2012 Reader Survey. Today’s report comes from Publishers Weekly, which picks up on consumer interest in an indie-branded e-reader.

To read the Publishers Lunch take on the survey, click here.

To read the  Shelf Awareness take, click here.

For comparison, you can look at the first annual survey (as presented at the ABA’s Day of Education at the 2010 Book Expo America) and the second annual survey (as presented at the 2011 Digital Book World conference).


Verso Survey: Changing Dynamics of Reader Format Preferences

Today’s Publishers Lunch breaks the latest story from the most recent Verso Reader Survey. Michael Cader quotes Verso Digital’s Jack McKeown:

“While e-reader ownership rates have increased in a dramatic fashion since our first survey in December, 2009, so too has the level of resistance. The dynamic movement highlighted in this data suggests that over time, consumers have moved out of the ‘not sure’ category in one of two directions:  a.) toward actual ownership, or a high probability of near-term ownership of a dedicated e-reader; or b.) into the ranks of resistors for whom the devices do not yet offer a compelling ‘relative advantage’ to overcome their conservatism re: printed books.”

To read about Shelf Awareness’s take on the Survey results, click here.

For comparison, you can look at the first annual survey (as presented at the ABA’s Day of Education at the 2010 Book Expo America) and the second annual survey (as presented at the 2011 Digital Book World conference).


Verso Survey: The Borders Effect

Shelf Awareness reports on our third annual survey of book readers, focusing on the effect of the Borders closing on booksellers. Verso Digital will be presenting the full results of this survey and its implications January 19, 2012 at the American Bookseller Association Winter Institute and January 25, 2012 at Digital Book World.


For reference, here are links to the first survey (version presented at the ABA’s Day of Education at the 2010 Book Expo America) and the second annual survey (version presented at the 2011 Digital Book World conference).

Our #1


Reason #6 in New York magazine’s “Reasons to Love New York” is our #1: “Our Marlboro Man Is a Novelist.”


This is a case study in the right billboard in the right place at the right time. Congratulations to Verso’s media team for sniffing out the opportunity, Verso’s design team for a billboard that stood tall in the Times Square glare,  and Jeffrey Eugenides for writing the novel that inspires us all.


How do you sell a $60 dictionary in an online world?

We are proud to be working with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on their blockbuster marketing campaign to launch the 5th edition of their American Heritage Dictionary. How beautiful, comprehensive, and connected does a print dictionary have to be in this day and age to pay $60 for it? Just walk into a bookstore and pick one up, you’ll see.

We think this edition provides a great example of how to create the kind of print experience readers crave while also providing the connectivity they require. In publishing, as in advertising, you have to know your medium and know your audience.

Here’s a link to the New York Times article about the campaign and Verso’s role in it.



“Surprising and delightful”*

"The Marriage Plot" billboard in Times Square
"The Marriage Plot" Times Square billboard

As an advertising agency, part of our job is to keep our clients up-to-date on late-breaking availabilities, good deals, and what’s newly possible. Sometimes it’s a homepage takeover, sometimes it’s a full page print ad, and sometimes it’s a prominent billboard.

We are big fans of Jeffrey Eugenides’ work and his latest book in particular. So we were thrilled when Farrar, Straus and Giroux gave us the go-ahead for a Times Square billboard for his amazing new novel, “The Marriage Plot.” OK, maybe a little surprised, but FSG has always been good at keeping us on our toes. Our design and production team had a blast working on the creative.

The board has been up for 24 hours and already the notices are coming in:

The Atlantic wire

The Village Voice says it’s “Crazy… and kind of cool.”

*Peter Lattman, New York Times DealBook reporter calls it “Surprising and delightful.”

AdWeek says “FSG goes big.”

Shelf Awareness calls it “Impressive and dramatic.”


Check it out for yourself. And read the book. It really is THAT good.

The Marriage Plot billboard in Times Square
"The Marriage Plot" Times Square billboard



Mobile Ads Outperform Standard Banners

The indefatigable Jose Afonso Furtado pointed out an article on eMarketer today about mobile versus standard Web banners that cited a recent Media Mind study: “MediaMind found that the average CTR on mobile banners on their network was 0.61%. That was more than eight times as high as the CTR for standard online banners.” It’s worth noting that we have seen a similar range of performance in mobile versus Web banner campaigns for books. Does that mean every book should run mobile ads first and Web ads second? Not necessarily.

Because of format limitations, mobile ads work best for books that come with either a big name-brand author (“New from Patricia Cornwell!”) or a concept you can get in under eight words (“Could Hitler’s talking dogs have won the war?”). Mobile is not the platform to tout a host of stellar reviews or introduce a new author whose nuanced prose you’re hoping to develop over time. Mobile ads are also great team players: they perform very effectively as part of a larger campaign where they can reinforce a message that also appears in print, broadcast or online.