Archive | May, 2014

Round Three - Hachette vs Amazon

Amazon-HachetteEarlier this month reports started to circulate that Amazon had acted to slow the speed with which it fulfilled orders on Hachette's titles, with delays in some shipments reaching five weeks.

The news was first broken by the New York Times on May 8. However this appears to have only been 'round two' in an extended series of 'negotiations' which may have started back in February when Michael Sullivan first noticed that the discounts for all his Riyria books listed on Amazon.com had vanished, raising the price of  his ebooks from $8.59 – $8.89 to $9.99 and his print books from $11.41 – $13.80 to $16.00 or $17.00. What was even more disturbing, however, was the discounts on most of his fellow Orbit (the fantasy imprint of Hachette) author’s books had disappeared as well.

Michael also started to see stocking issues from March 9 with both Hachette and Amazon blaming each other for the delays (Hachette accusing Amazon of placing small orders, Amazon blaming Hachette for not filling them). However, we are now well and truly into round 3 with Amazon upping the ante by removing the preorder capabilities on many major forthcoming Hachette titles. Continue Reading →

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Marketing for authors: what to expect from click-through and conversion rates

CTR tag cloudBeing presently involved in an advertising campaign for our latest release Lights Over Emerald Creek by Shelley Davidow, I thought I'd check to see how our advertising compares to industry averages for click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CR). Surprisingly, given the poor return we're getting, it turns out we're actually achieving average rates in both categories.

Specifically:

  • CTR = 0.05%, i.e. for every 2000 views of an advertisement, we expect to get 1 person clicking the advertisement to visit our site; and
  • CR = 2%, i.e. for every 50 people visiting our site we expect to get 1 sale.

And no, the financials don't necessarily add up. For a series of advertisements designed to be viewed 86,000 times we're paying $330. That will probably give us 43 click-throughs, and possibly between one and two sales (at $5 each). At the moment we are still working to improve future CTR by focussing our ads in those blogs which give us the best return (the ads are presently being tested across 8 blogs, all with either a focus on YA Fiction, or SF&F). However, we are also using alternatives which have the potential of either increasing the CTR, or reducing the cost, for those with limited budgets.

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