At different writing conferences, the speakers have said that multiple mentions of your book will make it more likely that people will buy. For example, an ad that runs several days instead of one. The marketing experts call this “effective frequency.” I used to consider it bunk because in most cases, I bought a book if I liked the blurb and that was that, but now I’m starting to reconsider.
So I put myself in the reader’s shoes, and the following scenario happened at a writer’s workshop. An author entered, placed his book on the table, and said he hoped everyone would buy his book when it went live. Like other readers, I have a budget. Expenses like food, balloons, doctor visits, house expenses, and more balloons take priority, and the home improvements I’m trying to make cost lots of dimes, too. So I wasn’t buying.
The book went around the room. I opened it and started reading, and continued reading until our speaker called the workshop to order. The author had written a compelling tale about two teenagers who happened upon an injured dog. I enjoy stories involving dogs, and one of the characters in my work, When Blood Reigns, are dogs, too. So the plot wooed me, and by the time our meeting started, I decided to buy the book.
After the meeting, I asked the author when I could find the book. He gave me a postcard and directed me to his website where I could order a pre-release paperback copy. So now you’re probably wondering if I rushed home and ordered a copy. Nope. You see, life got in the way. My balloons needed a refill; it was time to cook dinner. I had a pile of emails, and some of them included bills. Then I had to check my phone to see if my Scrabble partners had made any plays. By the time I’d gotten through all that, I plumb forgot about the book.
Next two days, I had my day job and my Night to Dawn chores at night. Come Wednesday, I had a leisurely day off, and I started thinking about ordering the book. Except that I couldn’t find the postcard. I couldn’t remember where I put it, but the title stayed with me … Taming Chaos. I looked up the title on Google, which was interesting because I didn’t recall the author’s name either. I finally located the book on Amazon, which announced a Kindle version ready for release. So I ordered a Kindle copy, and I’m reading it now.
Now all of that could have gone more smoothly if I’d seen serial ads about the story.
The article that explains effective frequency is a couple of years old, but it describes how a typical shopper will react to seeing the same ad again and again. Having walked in the reader’s balloon-shoes, I have to endorse it. So I will be looking at advertising with a new pair of eyes.
I’m awarding prizes to random commenters. First prize is a $10 Starbucks gift card. Second prize is a comp copy of Night to Dawn Magazine.
I guess maybe it depends. I’m the type who will see a book and either snatch it up right away or put it on my Amazon wishlist. If I see an ad over and over, I’m likely to either ignore it or hide it from my feed.
It depends on how I first react to the ad. If my trusted buddies are reading the book and recommend it, those extra ads might prompt me to buy, especially if the author sweetens the offer with a sale. 🙂 Barbara of the Balloons
I agree with you on serial viewing of ads. Heck, why else would companies continue to blast us with advertising. I also thing that authors should ask for readers’ email addresses or social media account info rather than just handing out flyers, bookmarks or postcards. If someone says no, then give her the postcard. We have to own some of the responsibility of keeping in contact with our potential customers, just like insurance agents who are forever trying to sell life insurance policies.
I like the idea of asking for readers’ email addresses. Sometimes tho I’ll ask about friending them on FB, then comment on their posts if they show on my feed. Sometimes this works; other times, not. 🙂 Barbara of the Balloons