Some Frankfurt Book Fair Notes

Frankfurt Book FairThe 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair concluded Sunday, and I was lucky enough to attend the fair’s first four days. I previously reported on an in-depth rights session led by Jane Tappuni and Kris Kliemann, as well as Wiley CEO Mark Allin’s keynote address at The Markets, the one-day lead-in to the fair’s official opening day.

Below are some highlights from sessions on book marketing and analytics:

Book Marketing Through YouTube

Naomi Bacon, a freelance consultant and creative strategist who previously worked at Pan Macmillan, discussed why YouTube is a powerful, untapped resource for book marketing.

The video platform has more than a billion users, and it’s the second biggest search engine after Google. What’s more, it has an infinite capacity for content.

Bacon broke her presentation down into five lessons.

1. Audience-first approach.
Bacon said that, especially in marketing, we can be blinded by our own objectives and not necessarily consider our audience to the degree that we should. It’s important to remember our own biases and agendas.

2. Content creation and collaboration. Bacon creates content through the principles of the acronym “SCHEMA,” which stands for SEO (proper tagging, titles and keywords), consistency (regular uploads and similar video lengths), housekeeping (customize video thumbnails), evergreen (long shelf life), management (moderate your channel) and analytics (use the metrics to see what works).

Three key questions to keep in mind:
• What services are you providing?
• What information are you imparting?
• What are you asking people to subscribe to?

And when it comes to collaboration, it’s important to look into advertising guidelines so videos that are ads are properly labeled as such.

3. YouTube ads. Choose your format (trueview in-stream ads vs. bumper ads) and choose your target audience (demographics, placement, interests and remarketing).

4. Analytics. Consistent views, audience retention, audience demographic, and CTR and earned views are important metrics to keep an eye on.

A formula Bacon suggested to measure engagement is as follows:

Engagement = (Likes – Dislikes + Comments + Shares + Favorites + New Subscribers) / Total Views

5. Selling books through YouTube. Bacon discussed the importance of using tracking links through services like, as well as using affiliate links to push sales.

You can look through Bacon’s slides here.

The Value of Reader Analytics

Andrew Rhomberg, whose company, Jellybooks, tests books before publication to see how they well they perform, discussed the merits of his data-driven approach.

Most publishers, Rhomberg told the audience, don’t have a ton of data on their customers’ reading habits—this despite the proliferation of digital reading. Calling Jellybooks’s technology “Google Analytics for books,” Rhomberg described how code is placed into an EPUB3 file, and the ebook is then distributed to a group of test readers, who are fully aware of what is going on. At the end of each chapter, they hit a button that syncs their reading data.

Jellybooks typically tests books out for publishers several months ahead of publication, as reader tests take 4-6 weeks. Publishers must then look over the data and see if any changes to the text must be made.

Rhomberg discussed how some publishers are under the impression that don’t need to care if readers are actually finishing their books, as it only matters whether or not they’re buying them. But, Rhomberg pointed out, those who don’t finish a book don’t recommend it, and word of mouth is a primary driver of sales.

Rhomberg also noted that men typically give a book 50 pages before they decide whether or not to stop reading, and women typically give a book 100 pages.

To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!

2 thoughts on “Some Frankfurt Book Fair Notes

  1. Chris Syme

    Agree YouTube has some untapped potential. I see authors making two consistent mistakes there: very poor quality video (remember what you’re competing with) and lack of specific audience targeting. It’s like any other social channel. The splatter method doesn’t work well there. Love the SCHEMA acronym–very helpful.

  2. Michael W. Perry

    Quote: “Rhomberg also noted that men typically give a book 50 pages before they decide whether or not to stop reading, and women typically give a book 100 pages.”

    Ah, then I must be really masculine—a literary Arnold Schwarzenegger. If I give up on a book—here’s looking at you James Patterson—it’s typically after about five pages. If I stick it out to fifty, I finish it. I can’t imagine enduring one I dislike for 100 pages and then quitting.
    You are right. YouTube is a marvelous promotional idea and I’ve long pondered how I might use it. But if you take a look at what I’ve written and edited, you’ll see that finding a video format that works for books that are so different isn’t easy.

    There’s also the skills factor. Large publishers can simply have a video department. I’d need to acquire the software and enough skills that what I do doesn’t seem awful. Where do I find time for that? As is, I always seem to be tired. The idea of mastering another skill set makes me want to scream.

    I’d be delighted to find a videographer who’d create a generic template that features me as an author talking in generalities about my craft. To that, I—and similarly inclined authors—could add the particulars of each book as it comes out. The professionalism of the first might overide the amateur nature of what followed. And the videographer could have templates and beauty shots that’d cut down on the production time and costs.

    I’ve often suspected that independent author/publishers needs a better way to work with specialized support, such as editors, cover designers and marketing people.They often don’t have the money up front to pay them. It’d be great if retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Lightning and others would make it easy to split up a book’s income, with certain percentages going to each contributor. Independents typically don’t have the time or tax savvy to handle that themselves.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *