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Old 08-19-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
Robin O'Neill
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Advertising in Books

In today's Wall Street Journal, there's a piece about tradpub failing (didn't say it that way) and in order to get revenue, they're considering advertising. The problem is there's so much lag time in paper publishing, by the time a book comes out the ad probably won't be relevant. Ebooks seem more viable to them. If movies have product placement, they say, why can't books.

Product placement in movies was supposed to be subliminal but when a coca-cola can is in the middle of the frame, we all know what that's about. Do we want commercials in the middle of a book? Do we want product placement--as was once tried and failed miserably. If the ads appeared at the end of the book, would that be acceptable?

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Old 08-19-2010, 03:01 PM   #2
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I don't think ads at the end (or even the beginning) of an e-book would be that big a deal. It'd be easy just to skip over them or ignore them at the end.

What I think would be trouble is if [the ubiquitous] they put the ad inside the actual book - be it within the first few pages, the middle or wherever. I'd find that horribly distracting and would be bothered enough to make sure everyone I could tell knew about the e-book's failure.

I don't really think an e-book could sell enough if an ad was in the middle of the book - and people knew about it. It'd be the equivalent of putting an ad in the middle of your favorite movie. I believe that just wouldn't be profitable.

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Old 08-20-2010, 12:31 PM   #3
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"Air filled with the chatter of gunfire, bullets whizzing past, the hero ducked around the alley corner. He fired a few unaimed shots at his assailants, attempting to dissuade rapid pursuit. Gripping the pistol, breathing hard, he searched his surroundings for escape options. His eyes lit upon a ground level basement window. Diving forward and firing haphazardly behind, he crashed through the glass and landed upon an extremely soft and plush Serta Mattress. The cushioned landing provided the most excellent sensation of comfort and security; our hero could barely keep himself from taking a nap right then and there..."

C'mon, who doesn't want that? =)
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the laugh of the day, Kemp.

Given this example, I wouldn't mind blipverts if they were written by you.

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Old 08-20-2010, 02:57 PM   #5
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No, I wouldn't like ads in books at all. We're bombarded enough with ads everywhere. On TV, along the roadways, in magazines. No, I wouldn't like it at all.

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:11 PM   #6
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We've had this discussion several times here on mobileread. It really depends on the content of the advertisment. Don't forget that publishing houses have been putting ads in books for many years. You know that page that lists the author or publishing house other works? Or that excerpt for the next big blockbuster novel you read at the end of a book? Those are ads and I'm ok with those. It's when you get into iAd or the new desire to bring the best of flash advertising (yes those) and mix it with even flashier video/etc that i start to get annoyed.

I picked up an issue of one of the new digital magazines by either time or newsweek for the iPad. I was turned off immediately when I had an embedded video ad for an airline pop up soon as I launched the magazine that i just spent like six bucks on.

But hell...corporations control publishing now and if there's some new way to exploit something to make more money they'll be all over it, hardly caring if they alienate the people that actually buy their content....

Ps typing on an iPad sucks. I don't know how they ever expected people to do actual word processing on this thing
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:02 PM   #7
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If you could have free books, but with quite a lot of advertising, would you be for that?

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Old 08-21-2010, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey330 View Post
I don't think ads at the end (or even the beginning) of an e-book would be that big a deal. It'd be easy just to skip over them or ignore them at the end.

What I think would be trouble is if [the ubiquitous] they put the ad inside the actual book - be it within the first few pages, the middle or wherever. I'd find that horribly distracting and would be bothered enough to make sure everyone I could tell knew about the e-book's failure.

I don't really think an e-book could sell enough if an ad was in the middle of the book - and people knew about it. It'd be the equivalent of putting an ad in the middle of your favorite movie. I believe that just wouldn't be profitable.

Marilyn
Tell that to ABC, TBS, AMC, NBC, CBS, USA, etc. who run movies with commercials.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #9
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Some of the subscription-based blogs are including ads, but these are more like daily or weekly journals. I would go into that expecting advertising. For fiction and non-fiction, I can see them putting a sponsor page at the end, and I would be fine with that, or maybe a tiny blurb at the beginning "This book brought to you by the fine folks at .... "
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kemp View Post
"Air filled with the chatter of gunfire, bullets whizzing past, the hero ducked around the alley corner. He fired a few unaimed shots at his assailants, attempting to dissuade rapid pursuit. Gripping the pistol, breathing hard, he searched his surroundings for escape options. His eyes lit upon a ground level basement window. Diving forward and firing haphazardly behind, he crashed through the glass and landed upon an extremely soft and plush Serta Mattress. The cushioned landing provided the most excellent sensation of comfort and security; our hero could barely keep himself from taking a nap right then and there..."

C'mon, who doesn't want that? =)
lol. that was entertaining.

If tradional pubs actually start dropping ads within the pages of the story...I'd imagine that'd be another nail in the coffin. That'd definitely make me seek out nothing but indie authors.

Sandy
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:37 AM   #11
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I'm an indie author and if Gummi Bears approached me with cash, I'd have no problem adding a blurb for bears.

If it was for Nuva-Ring, no, I don't think I would do that.

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:53 AM   #12
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I was just catching up on this week's emails when I found this from author David Farland/Wolverton:

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David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—How E-books Will Destroy the World
Okay, so the headline is a little over the top, but I want to give you fair warning—e-books are not books, or at least they won’t be for long.

You heard it about Twilight. You heard it about Eregon. You’ve gone to movies a hundred times and seen a movie based upon a book. Afterward, as you leave, you or someone nearby complains, “It wasn’t as good as the book.” The sentiment is so cliché, in fact, that in the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, one character complains, “the movie was nowhere near as good as the comic.”

In the past few weeks, I’ve heard a lot of talk about “enhanced multimedia content” for e-books. It’s talked about as a good thing. On the plus side, I as an author will be able to develop e-books that contain things like author interviews where the readers will get to see and hear me if they desire, or add color maps, character sketches, and other cool features. At the end of a novel, I might create a cool ad clip for some of my other novels, related video games. It opens the novel to a lot of interesting possibilities.

But some things that will be done won’t be cool. Can you imagine reading a romance novel, and when you flip to page 3, up pops a video ad for breast enhancements? And when you get to page 5, in comes a commercial for Viagra? You won’t be able to read on until the commercial finishes. And on page 7, maybe Jet Blue will advertise ads for romantic getaways. . . .

You get the idea, and it’s coming soon to e-books everywhere. For many entertainment companies, a movie, television show, magazine or a book is nothing more than a forum for advertisements. It is a medium for delivering ads, and the company will bombard readers with ads until the readers just say, “Ah, to hell with it.”

Let me give you an example. Years ago, I worked for a company called Novell. Our company tied together computer networks so that software could all run off of one server, saving the customers millions in hardware. We had three little magazines for techies that did quite well. The company magazines made a couple of million dollars per year, and restricted ads to only those that were intimately tied to the industry.

However, the head of Novell decided that “we’re not a publisher,” and so he sold the magazines to a major publisher. Instantly, the pages became cluttered with ads for cigars, alcohol, cigarettes, and other crap. The articles were then chopped up so that ads could be spliced between them. You had to go from page 3 to 24, just so that you could see the tequila ad. Customers complained. Reading an article became so convoluted and circuitous that I quit reading altogether. Within months the circulation plummeted. Within a couple of years, as I recall, the magazines were all out of business.

I began watching and noticed that this publisher had a nice track record of buying magazines, turning them into forums for advertising, destroying the magazines, and then moving on.

Guess what? This same major publisher will be adding “enhanced content” to your e-books soon—or someone like them will be doing it. The makers of the Kindle, the iPad, and so on have all filed patents on the processes that will allow them to do so. In fact, it is suspected that the iAd will be far more profitable than the iPad.

The power of the medium of the novel over movies and television is that a novel can be far more immersive. Much of what I’ve written about in these articles has to do with giving tips on how to engross your reader, so that you control their thoughts and emotions from moment to moment and thus create a compelling and overwhelming experience.

As advertisers screw with your novel, they will undoubtedly look for those most engrossing moments so that they can pop in an advertisement. And the readers who are trying to enjoy the book will get so pissed, many of them will stop reading.

Yesterday, I read an article in which Ray Bradbury reported that he is refusing to sell the rights to his work in e-books. They made Ray sound like an eccentric old kook. Ten years from now, I suspect that people will look back and realize that he is a visionary.

For more on this topic, go to -http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/advertisements_coming_soon_to_ebooks.php
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #13
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Digging around a little further, I found these...
Cookbook from the 1930's
S/F Book by A E Van Vogt from 1972

From the New York Times article:

Quote:
The story of paperback advertising started innocently enough: with babies, in fact. In 1958, the Madison Avenue adman Roy Benjamin founded the Quality Book Group, a consortium of the paperback industry heavyweights Bantam Books, Pocket Books and the New American Library. Despite the lofty name, the group’s real purpose was to sell advertisements in paperbacks, and its first target was the biggest success of them all: Dr. Benjamin Spock’s “Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.” A 1959 Pocket Books print run of 500,000 included advertisements by Q-Tips, Carnation and Procter & Gamble. By 1963, a 26-page insert in Spock was commanding $6,500 to $7,500 per page, and ads were spreading into mysteries and other pulps as well.
How many of these "publishers" are still around today? How many had a hissyfit over Amazongate?

Now the question is, who will be responsible for the ads? Publishers, Authors, or Hardware Manufacturers?

Last edited by jaxx6166; 08-22-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:50 PM   #14
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It's possible there might end up being two marketing strategies for ebooks: free ad-based ebooks, and then paid-for ad-free ebooks. Reader can then vote with their wallets (or eyes).
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:42 PM   #15
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So long as people pay money for my books, I will do whatever I can to make sure no advertising is ever included. I find the whole idea to be shockingly distasteful and blatantly greedy.
I read yesterday that Amazon filed a patent related to showing advertisements inside ebooks. I hope this idea dies quickly, and will do my part to denounce it whenever I can.
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