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Brainfarts: Selling adverts in RPG Ebooks: Can it work? Can you make it viable?

2 Jun

So, more thinking out loud here, I’m going to talk about something that is virtually non existent in RPG ebook media as far as I am aware, which could either be a real pain for me, or a real bonus.

To recap, while before I could advertise my own projects, material and goods etc on the WP blog platform, if I got caught advertising any other persons stuff without monetisation, I’d have been shut down, never to return. This restriction did not apply to my ebooks, in which I can publish whatever the fuck I like (with restrictions on dodgy material and such) however many pages I want, there is freedom to advertise anything.

Now the advertising word is my oyster, so to speak.

Sure, a couple of people moaned about me adding adverts at the back for my products, but the rest have said nothing. Whether it’s a sign of apathy, or that no one cares that I’m sticking the ads in at the end, listening to the vocal few is always a bad thing, so I’ll plump for the apathy angle instead.

Hear this idea out, then you can discuss, comment and chip in with your own thoughts.

These ads cost me nothing to put in, so why not make some cash by letting others do the same? So, before the nay sayer’s chip in and yap about it’s not worth it to advertise in my PDFs, why then, did plenty of real hobby advertisers opt to advertise in last years Grinning Skull Compendium 2016 if it’s no good to do so? Even so it was offered by me to do it for free, if there were no value to advertisers, then why bother? That is because, it is a good idea.

You might think that even so my releases don’t sell into the thousands usually, you forget that these adverts are classed as being in the niche subject of direct targeted adverts. With that the value goes up, the chance of response also goes up and job is done.

Since the idea was taken up with the compendium, why not take this forward and try again, only this time lets try and get it to pay. A full A5 sized page ad (half A4 page size) could be expensive to pay for, but as I am not a huge name publisher, I’m willing to keep the price low. Also I’d be inclined to offer the ad in each new small PDF release until 2018 as incentive to advertisers. Maybe selling myself short? but, as they cost me nothing to include, then I think this adds extra value to tempt niche advertisers to part with their cash. How much? $20 seems reasonable to me for almost seven months worth of promotion in a niche hobby publication.

Now while many advertisers were happy to take the free offer, how many would be willing to pay for the privilage? $20 is hardly anything for a whole 7 months worth of ads (and beyond if you consider that the PDFs will contain the ads whilst in that edition) I’d limit it, to the first 20 advertisers to take up such offer, and negotiate any others after that (space providing, and smaller ad, maybe $15 for a quarter page for same amount of time) I’d draft a template letter, containing the details, then isolate 100 potential niche hobby companies and potential advertisers, and send the offer. This would then be easy to log the results, maximise the potential of filling the schedule and net a possible $400+. Noice!

Can it be done? Will anyone be brave enough to be included and pathe the way for my grand future plan? (not telling just yet) Who can tell?

The reason for this transparency, is that I want to show those of you out there, that indeed there are other ways around situations like this, and to prove or fail in the attempt. Sure, I could do this in secret, try it myself and not publish how it worked or didn’t, but since this is an experiment, I wanted to share what happens in case you are in a similar situation and would like to do the same. I’m nice like that, you know, and want you all to know that I care about you all so much! Apart from that man at the back picking his nose, I don’t like him!!

So, what are your thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Is there any validity? Are there any small publishers like myself who have an opinion on this?

As ever, comment, share, and get a conversation going. I’d love to hear your opinions!

Let me know what you think, would you like me to try it? Would you try it?

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