In the publishing world, there are two main ways to get a book published: self publishing and traditional publishing. Self publishing is when the author fronts all the costs and has to market the book to sell it, but in the end – they reap all the profits. Traditional publishing is when an author pays an agent to shop their manuscripts to publishers. When, and if, they get published – the author may earn up to 15 percent of profits. In either case, it is a costly and time consuming process for the author.
WriteLife, LLC is a collaborative online publishing company. Its mission is to offer anyone and everyone the opportunity to write, publish, share and sell their literary works of art. WriteLife sets itself apart from other more traditional publishers because they agree to pay authors royalties equivalent to 50 percent of all net profits received from the sale of their content. (Net profit is the money generated after all WriteLife’s expenses for publishing the book.) They provide an advance to authors in the form of pre-production and production costs of editing a manuscript, creating a book and placing it in distribution channels such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There are no purchase requirements, and every WriteLife author receives a complimentary copy of their published book.
WriteLife came to Bozell and requested a proposal for a campaign that would achieve these objectives:
1) Establish a category name for publishing that separates WriteLife.com apart from self publishing and traditional publishing.
2) Establish WriteLife.com as a recognized name in the publishing world.
3) Increase traffic to WriteLife.com.
4) Increase number of manuscripts submitted to WriteLife.com for publishing.
Establishing a category name was the first task at hand. We had to make authors aware that there are more options for publishing and only one (that we’re aware of) that can earn authors 50 percent of profits from books sold. Since WriteLife works directly with the author, provides professional editors at no cost and holds the author’s hand throughout the entire process – we came up with the category name of Collaborative Publishing.
Online Advertising Campaign
Our strategy was to develop an online advertising campaign to increase traffic to WriteLife.com which, in turn, would lead to increased manuscript submission and WriteLife name recognition. We secured over 12 million impressions over a two month period and negotiated over 2.4 million bonus impressions.
Our target audience consisted of adult authors in either the general interest (broad audience) or professional writer categories. We wanted to reach these authors in truly relevant environments where they would be receptive to WriteLife messaging, so we placed this messaging on arts and literature as well as academic sites in order to reach creative as well as academic writers. We also placed display ads on national sites that offer literary content, such as www.barnesandnoble.com, which have strong brand recognition and deliver significant traffic on a monthly basis, these sites are trusted and gained a national audience for WriteLife. In addition, we placed messaging on sites that have educational content to target the academic writers.
For further national and focused targeting, we placed WriteLife on writing and publishing specific sites. These included PublishersWeekly.com, WritersDigest.com, WriterMag.com, PW.org (Poets & Writers), and MediaBistro.com. We also utilized high impact units where 100% exclusivity is available, including exclusive sponsorships, such as page takeovers, and content sponsorships, such as e-newsletters.
Prior to the September online advertising campaign launch, WriteLife.com site traffic per month (over the last 12 months) averaged 4,821 visits/month. On average – WriteLife.com received 4 manuscripts per month.
In the first two months of the campaign – WriteLife received 9,291 unique visitors to the site, 24 new manuscripts were submitted and over 180 new users registered on their site. In addition to online advertising – we secured print insertions, a webinar and email marketing campaign to further increase awareness, site traffic and manuscripts for WriteLife.com.