My Weird Experiment

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My Weird Experiment

Post by Pesimisticus » February 11th, 2010, 10:42 pm

(I don't know if this is where I should post this or not, but it seemed like the most appropriate place. Please move/remove it if I did a faux pas.)

So, I've started this wee little experiment, mostly for my own information and amusement, to see what Internet marketing can do for a book...that hasn't been published yet. With eReaders booming in popularity, and every other person I see reading an ebook rather than a real book, I want to know what possibilities exist for authors in the digital world, who aren't famous (or even known in anyway), and who don't even have an Internet following. I don't want vague indications and ideas, though, I want numbers--real, honest to God, these are the results based on X amount of marketing for Y duration of time sort of statistics. Using my server logs (which only count an IP address a single time), and Youtube's downloadable Insight video data, I have a way to get this information.

I spent well over 100 hours creating the best book trailer I possibly could, a nice website, six wallpapers, a Facebook fan page, etc. For the first week, I didn't put links anywhere except on DeviantArt, where I uploaded the wallpapers--I did this on purpose to see what would trickle in on its own via word of mouth. The results have actually really surprised me, because I didn't expect much of anything to happen. I'm not going to put that information in this post, since it is a bit long and I don't know if anyone cares or not. Would you like to know the results I've gotten so far? An update again in a week or two?

Basically, I want to know what you think. Do you think this entire experiment is a waste of time, or not really relevant? Or are you, like me, curious what the numbers show, and the info it may provide for new authors trying to gain an Internet following and readers? FWIW, I want to get my book published with a traditional publisher, and I think that paper books will still be the dominate form of books for a long time. I'm just curious about to what degree an author can get hype started for their book.

Here is the website:

PS: If this kind of post isn't permitted, then I apologize. I'm not sure what goes in these here boards quite yet, tah be honest.

EDIT: And just to be clear, because I'm not entirely sure that I was, here is the Cliffnotes version: I started this experiment to see what the Internet can do for authors. I would like to share this info with you, my fellow writers, if you would like, so please let me know if you're interested to follow this little experiment along. Finally, I'm happy for any discussions pertaining to this at all. This brave new publishing world fascinates me.

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Re: My Weird Experiment

Post by christi » February 12th, 2010, 8:33 am

The trailer looks good, although it didn't really give me any idea about the book. Well, I got that people have gifts and maybe your MC is in trouble for using his wrong and maybe he didn't. I suspect it has something to do with water since that was a prevalent theme in the trailer (and name of the book). Good luck with that, though, and let us know how it turns out for you. I, too, am working with someone to build my webpage. All I do is blog right now.
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Re: My Weird Experiment

Post by Nick » February 12th, 2010, 8:46 am

Very well done indeed. Be interesting to see what the numbers show. Hopefully it works out decently, at the very least.

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Re: My Weird Experiment

Post by rose » February 14th, 2010, 1:27 pm

Lovely trailer! I want one!

I find that as a book gets closer to done-ness there are lots of these side jobs to be tended to. Blurbs, synopses, queries, proposals, cover letters, character lists, reference material. I'm sticking bits and pieces of them everywhere as I create them in our public discussion forum and on my blog(s).

I have watched many viral marketing campaigns emerge across the web, the "new media" it has been called. I have no doubt that it can help to sell books. I'm glad you have time to explore what works best in your case. I know the results will be helpful to us all.

thank you for sharing,
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Re: My Weird Experiment

Post by Pesimisticus » February 16th, 2010, 9:18 am

Hi, guys, thanks for your comments. Here’s a summary.


Phase 1 was simply putting the website up, the wallpapers up, the video up, then telling family and friends about it and watching the results. The numbers have slowed to just 1 or 2 new Facebook fans a day and about 10 YouTube views a day, so I think it’s time to start phase 2.

Here’s the info:

YouTube Stats:

- Viewed in twelve different countries (US, Canada, Ireland, Hungary, France, Spain, Serbia, Egypt, South Korea, Australia, Czech Republic, and somewhere in Great Britain)

- 315 views (I actually don’t know how many views it has, as YouTube froze my page views almost four days ago, as happens to many people when they reach 300 views. YouTube’s anti-cheating software causes this. My account lists 4 different page view numbers, so I really don’t know what I have. It’s just a matter of waiting for it to start again :)

Wallpaper Stats

- 956 views between 6 wallpapers. These wallpapers were simply uploaded to DeviantArt and nothing else--not added to groups or linked around. I think that’s really good numbers for just happenstance viewers.

Website Stats:

- The website has only been up a few days compared to the rest, and has a simple counter on it, which reads 212 as of this morning. I wish it has more detailed info, but alas, I’m not that adept of a programmer.

Facebook Stats:

- 62 fans, and I only know 22 of them :)


- I’ve received some awesome emails from people I don’t even know, as well as a review by an author living in California, who offered some wonderful advise. I’m editing away at the first chapter and thinking about getting a revision up there. I’m wondering if the excerpt is too strong of an opening for most people. Because his critique was very similar to one I got from an agent, I think it is time to pay double heed and getting revising.

- A friend sent me a message saying that she was at work, and heard her boss playing my trailer in his office (she hadn’t told him anything about it). I think that was the coolest part of this entire thing.

Next steps:

Phase 2 is going to start as soon as I get a revised excerpt up. I’m planning on dropping links in various places (in a non-spamming manner), getting a second trailer finished and posted (a shorter one), publishing a tutorial I made on making the New York wallpaper, which I think will bring a fair amount of page views if I gets enough Diggs, submitting the wallpapers to relevant groups, etc.

Overall, I’d rate Phase 1 as a success :)

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Re: My Weird Experiment

Post by bcomet » February 16th, 2010, 9:46 am

Wow, I think this is absolutely awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this experiment and I look forward to more!
Best of luck with your project and book.

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