Archive for November, 2009

Make Room For Oom

November 26, 2009

Well I tried my mum’s advertising slogan, and I actually have had a few clicks-throughs on the Google ad. No sales yet though! But I haven’t lost all hope, I mean, I can’t expect people to buy the book straight away when there are no reviews, no look-inside feature and a chart position of 300,000!

But it is a small success to have had over 10,000 page impressions and 14 clicks for 23 SEK (about £2).

This was just an experiment. I will run the campaign for longer when the LookInside feature is in place.

I am worried about something I read about with Google Ads called the “Google Slap”. Apparently new campaigns seem to get good results in the beginning but many people claim that after a while their ad’s page-impression rates slow down if they don’t raise their bids – that’s the “Google Slap”.


Will You Tag My Book?

November 24, 2009

If you have an Amazon account then there’s something you can do to help me. You can tag my book. Here’s how:

1) Scroll down my book’s page until you see the tagging part:

2) Add a tag for each of the keywords that are already there (“aliens”, “drought”, “australia”, “global warming”, “young adult science fiction”) or add your own.


Tags are to help Amazon’s search function. When a customer wants to find a book about droughts they’ll type “drought” into the search box. The book that has been tagged with “drought” the most times will be at the top of the search.

Oom out on Amazon

November 23, 2009

Oom is now available on Amazon. This is the permalink :

There is no “look inside” feature yet, so I may hold off on the ad-campaign for a while. Or maybe I’d get more sales if people couldn’t look inside! 🙂

Book Arrived

November 20, 2009

More expense yesterday as I had to pay 160 kronor for shipping on receipt of the physical proof! I worked from home so that I would be in when it came, but it didn’t arrive because the UPS driver got lost and couldn’t find our street, which is hilarious. Finally at about 7 in the evening, UPS Customer Service called and said they would send a taxi over with the package. A little while later there was a knock on the door. I sprang up in excitement but when I opened up I was greeted by a teenager selling socks. He probably had never met anyone as disgusted to see him as I was, but I let him finish his pitch and actually bought 9 pairs of socks to get rid of him. If only I had had the books then maybe I could have sold him a copy – it would have been good for his English studies.

Anyway, as he left, the taxi pulled up and the tall, gangly driver handed me the first ever copy of Oom.  Booksurge has done a good job. The cover seems a bit shinier than on a “real” book, and the pages don’t quite have the same feel as other paperpacks, but on the whole I am happy.

Ad Campaign – Help Wanted

November 18, 2009

As previously mentioned I am going to gamble all proceeds from the book on advertising to try and produce more sales. Obviously this will require an initial investment but thanks to the wonder of modern advertising mediums you can really keep the costs down.

I am going for a two pronged campaign. I am going to try both Google and Facebook and see which produces better results. Both have similar pricing models where you can either pay per click (expensive) or per 1000 page impressions (cheaper). You have to try and figure out which scheme is more cost effective for your product and that will take time. The key figure I need to figure out is this: how many of the people who click on the ad will buy the book. Once I have a reasonable metric for this I will know whether to pay per click or per 1000 impressions from that point on.

Now I have seen from other book touting authors that google ads and facebook ads don’t work. Someone wrote that a potential customer needs to see your book’s cover at least 7 times before actually buying it. They are probably right, but I am going to try this anyway. Two reasons I think it’s worth a shot are:

  • Oom is a very short title, and it kind of an interesting word in itself. It sounds nice.
  • Christmas is coming. People buy 10 times more books at Christmas than at any other time of the year – except for the summer holidays when people buy lots of books that they think they’re gonna read on the beach.


With Google you sponsor certain words that people search on. The price depends on the demand for that word or phrase from other advertisers. For example “Christmas gifts” is expensive, “zippadeedooda” is cheap. Please let me know if you have any ideas for words I could sponsor.

Here is what my ad might look like:

Any comments or better ideas?


With Facebook you can target by demographic and you can use a thumbnail image in your ad. I guess I would target married women (women buy far more books than men!).

Here is what the facebook ad might look like:

Well, it’s nearly time because I am going to pick up the hardcopy proof tomorrow from UPS. If Booksurge hasn’t screwed it up it’ll be on sale tomorrow, and then on Amazon next week…

Chapter 2: School

November 17, 2009

I never knew I was so good at accents.

oom chapter 2

Marketing Experiment 4: Free Chapters

November 14, 2009

I’m gonna give away 4 chapters for free. Note this is an audio file of yours truly reading the book. Here is Chapter One:


It’s an m4a file so it will play in Itunes, Winamp etc.

Big Launch Approaching

November 14, 2009

Oom is in the final stages of Booksurge’s process. Here is what it looks like in my Booksurge account:


If I were to click the “approve physical proof” button then the book will be available on Amazon within a week. It is very tempting, but I have not actually seen the physical proof yet because it is being physically sent over from the US right now. If I approve the proof without checking it then I could end up selling faulty copies of the book. It’s frustrating though because I would really like to launch my ad campaign in time for the Christmas rush, when panicking fathers doing their last-minute shopping will buy just about anything for their poor kids. Not that this book isn’t a great product 🙂 !

BookSurge/CreateSpace Pricing

November 12, 2009

My Booksurge account manager Brooke Holcombe got back to me promptly and apparently I will get quite a lot of control of the book’s price. Here is the CreateSpace “royalty calculator” where you can see a breakdown of all the figures.

Here are the calculations for my 176 page book selling at $12. I will be on the “pro-plan” coz I have already paid through the nose at BookSurge

Standard Plan Pro Plan
E-Store Sale Sale E-Store Sale Sale
List Price $12,00 $12,00 $12,00 $12,00
Our Share $7,42 $9,82 $5,36 $7,76
Your Royalty $4,58 $2,18 $6,64 $4,24
Setup Fee* $0,00 $0,00 $39,00 $39,00
Other Fees $0,00 $0,00 $0,00 $0,00

It’s quite a good deal really. If I manage to sell a copy on Amazon I get $4.24 and if I sell in the CreateSpace shop I get $6.64. Of course it is a big “if”, but the good news is that if I make $6.64 on one book then I can spend that much money on selling another book (assuming money spent on marketing is tax deductable). It is well worth gambling all the earnings on each book because if I can reach a critical mass of readers then it will spread on its own – but only if the book is good enough!! It really will be sink or swim! And I will have a true objective measure of the book’s quality (in terms of entertainment value not literary value)

This is exciting shit!

Booksurge Price War

November 12, 2009

As I suspected Booksurge defaults to a high list price for the books it publishes. Obviously this fits their business model of publishing thousands of titles that sell tens of copies each to close family and buddies. However, if I am going to invest all this time in marketing, $15 (£9) is too much. Even if Roald Dahl rose from the grave and wrote a new book, $15 would still be too much to pay for a kid’s paperback.

I am going to try and beat them down to $12. I’ll let you know how it goes.