Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pausing to Decide How to Proceed Now

That title reflects my current state. Orders have slowed down over the past few days, but that's okay, because I was getting worn out. It does consume a lot of effort to fill each individual book order personally, along with dealing with e-mails, packing books, confirming shipments, taking them to the post office, etc. It can be quite satisfying, especially when purchasers of the book send e-mails saying they enjoyed the book; a few of them have done that, which I appreciated greatly.

I need some downtime so I can catch up with tracking the orders. After asking around, I decided, at least for now, to use Bento, a simplified database for the Mac from the FileMaker company. I have used FileMaker in other contexts, and I used Bento to track eBay sales for about the past year, and I think it will be flexible and powerful enough to track my orders and shipments, and also my business expenses.

I probably need to work more on promotion. I know very little about marketing and advertising. One good example of my lack of knowledge is an e-mail I received today. Back on October 25, I sent a message to dpreview.com inquiring about advertising on their site, which I visit often to read (and sometimes post in) the forums about Leica and Panasonic cameras. It's a great site, with very sophisticated reviews of equipment and discussions of photography. I thought there might be some sort of inexpensive way to put a small notice about the D-Lux 4 book on that site.

I never received any response until today. I was surprised at that, because I thought an inquiry about advertising would get a fairly quick response. I guess I understand now, though, because the responsive message, which was courteous and businesslike, and laid out the options nicely, included this key sentence: "Our minimum campaign size is $10k." My advertising budget does not stretch quite that far.

Ironically, though, it turned out that I do actually advertise on the site, through Google AdWords. If someone goes to dpreview.com and searches on one of the terms I have signed up for, such as "D-Lux 4 book" or "D-Lux 4", there's a fairly good chance that one of my ads for the D-Lux 4 book will show up. With that ad campaign, I have a budget of up to $20 per day, which is somewhat more in line with my financial situation.

Anyway, I need to try to get the book reviewed in other places, and I'm working in that direction now.


  1. This is Brian Hsieh from Los Angeles. While I was searching for reviews and accessories of D-Lux 4, I read one of the articles introducing your book, http://leicarumors.com/2009/11/04/the-first-leica-d-lux-4-book.aspx/ and immediately decided to place an order from the Amazon, which I believe is as powerful (evil:p) a distributor/reseller as Google Ad. If you prefer, I can cancel the order and get it directly from you. This is the least I can do to show you the support of your dedication for such an amazing guidebook.

  2. Hi, Brian -- Thanks for your comment! I have mixed feelings about Amazon. They are powerful and can seem overbearing, but at the same time they are giving my book terrific exposure to potential buyers around the world, so I'm happy to sell through Amazon as well as directly. I hope you enjoy the book! -- Alex

  3. Not a problem, Alex~ I know $5 dollar difference is not that much to begin with. But I'd rather get all the money to the writer~

    I can tell from the Amazon "out of stock" that your book is getting noticeably popular, and I'm happy for you.

    Hope you find what you are looking for throughout these PAUSE days...