Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Case Study: Tracking sales leads to positive ad info results

Watch the book trailer!

We track internal and trade sales numbers closely, always keeping an eye out for upward trends, surprising returns, and low inventory.

Here’s an interesting example from our book Military Education Benefits for College:

Sales figures per month from January to June were steady. In July, the number of copies of the book that we sold through the trade increased dramatically. I thought maybe it was due to a summer month and people gearing up for another school year. Or perhaps an article about the book was recently published (although I hadn’t remembered seeing one come through on my Google Alerts recently). I emailed the authors to see if they had participated in an event recently that I was unaware of, or if they knew where this increase in sales might have stemmed from. Here is part of their response:


We spent latter July and early August conducting experimental advertising on Facebook. It was working significantly well on the Facebook front, because it enabled us to increase our "likes" by about 70 in a week. I am confident this may have led to some of the spike in sales you noticed, coupled with appearances we made locally.

We decided to re-apply the same method for the end of August as well, and chose to use Saturday as our most aggressively budgeted day since that's when we saw the biggest spike in our user activity. This proved successful this weekend as we increased activity to the Facebook site again and added another 30 "likes" to our stable. We now hope to be over 500 by the middle of September at the latest. Our goal is to double that by November.


We’ll track sales closely to see if this continues to pay off, and then urge other authors to replicate this on their Facebook pages. Do you have a similar success story, or an example of stagnant results using Facebook ads?

Friday, August 26, 2011

‘Once a Marine' Added to the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Reading List

Watch the Once a Marine book trailer!

PRESS RELEASE: Once a Marine by award-winning author Nick Popaditch was selected as a “must read” for Marines for capturing “the history, culture and evolution of the Marine Corps.”

The development of the “Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Library” shows the value the service’s top enlisted leader places on reading, Sgt. Maj. Mike Barrett said in an Aug. 11 interview in his office. He said he reads frequently and gives Marines copies of books he has enjoyed while traveling.

“Yeah, I’ve got my coin, and there’s a time and place for giving coins,” he said. “But, do you know what I’d rather give a Marine? Something they can actually use. I’m one of those guys who likes practical gifts.”

Once a Marine publisher Savas Beatie is pleased with the selection. “Nick Popaditch, also know as ‘Gunny Pop,’ is a stand up guy. We are so happy his book continues to be so well received by readers and reviewers,” says Theodore Savas, Savas Beatie managing director.

In Once a Marine, Nick fights to remain in the Corps, to help his brothers in arms. Facing the inevitable following a medical retirement, he battles for recognition and compensation for his permanent disabilities.

Once a Marine is a behind-the-scenes tale of the day-to-day life of a career Marine noncommissioned staff officer. Nick's portrayal is: a husband and father, as well as a warrior and a molder of young warriors. He reveals himself completely including an introduction to his wife April, together with dozens of others.

Once a Marine was selected for the Commandant of the Marine Corps' recommended professional reading list for all ranks. It is also the Military-Writers Book of the Year for 2009 and was a national book club selection.

About Author Nick Popaditch: From East Chicago, Indiana, Nick Popaditch enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1986. While commanding a tank, he was wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Nick was medically retired from the Marines in 2005 at the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. Residing in San Diego, he and his wife, April, have two children, Richard and Nicholas.

Mike Steere is an author and freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. His most recent book-length collaboration is Brothers of Iron (Sports Publishing LLC) and he has written for Outside, The New York Times, Men’s Journal, Wired, and many national publications. He also writes for television.

Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery

By Nick Popaditch
List $25.00
ISBN: 978-1-932714-47-0
Published September 2008 by Savas Beatie LLC

Available at bookstores nationwide and online.

For more information, visit http://www.onceamarine.com/

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Have a Book Trailer. Now What?

We produce book trailers for many of our titles, and are producing more per season each year. (Visit the Savas Beatie homepage to see ours.) Creating a book trailer is good, but the question is, how can you make it work as a marketing tool for your book? Here is a list of steps that we take when we have a book trailer completed:

1. We post the trailer on Facebook, Twitter, and in the next issue of our monthly newsletter. Whenever possible, embed the video so a thumbnail screen appears instead of just a link. People are more likely to click on a visual as opposed to a text link for viewing.

2. Pass the file on to the author. Ask them to distribute it to all their contacts via social networking sites, email, etc.

3. Send the trailer to those in your database of contacts who would be the most interested in it. For example, when we have a Civil War book trailer, we email it to our database of Civil War bloggers, authors, and publications. Have this list ready to go so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel for each release.

4. In addition to sending the file out to your regular contacts, seek out genre and topic-specific blogs and other media who would be interested in this trailer in particular. For example, we are working on a book trailer for our new Indian War release Dakota Dawn by Greg Michno now. We don’t publish as many Indian Wars titles as we do Civil War books, so we are expanding our database in this genre now. For a cavalry book trailer, find cavalry blogs, for a Lincoln book trailer, find Lincoln blogs.

5. We also email each trailer to our distributor Casemate for posting on their website and YouTube channel.

6. If the book is a selection of a book club, such as the Military or History Book Club, send them the trailer for posting on their site. We even take it a step further and create a version of the trailer with a different final slide, complete with their ordering info.

7. Enter the trailer into book trailer contests. Here are two: You Gotta Read Reviews Book Video Contest and The New Covey Trailer Awards. We’ve even had a couple books win book trailer awards!

8. Post the video on sites such as YouTube,Vimeo, and Daily Motion. More hits, more clicks, more views, more orders!

9. Have the author post the video on his or her Amazon Author Central page. If you are an author and you don’t have an Author Central page, create one!

I hope these steps are helpful. Stay tuned for a peek at our latest trailer, for The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook, coming soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Author Interviews Lead to Great Book Coverage

We have had a slew of author interviews posted on various websites and blogs recently. Here are just a couple examples:

The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook author J. David Petruzzi on Greg Caggiano’s From New York to San Francisco

A Little Short of Boats author James Morgan on Harry Smeltzer’s Bull Runnings

As you can see, these were both exclusive back-and-forth Q & As between the blogger and the author. Savas Beatie also interviews authors and posts these on our website (such as Mary Corbett’s discussion of her upcoming National Guard 101: A Handbook for Spouses). We share these with reporters and bloggers before they interview an author and we also offer these pre-done interview transcripts for media to use verbatim. It’s a great way to provide content in an easy-to-read and, more importantly, easy-to-use format for the reporter.