A lot of my friends at other bookstores have pretty much completely cut out print ads. And there's a lot to be said for that. I remember writing a particularly funny ad last fall where I didn't get any feedback, and I thought, if that were a blog or Facebook post, it would have been a very different story.
Lack of measurement, inability to give cost per page view (I guess the equivalent of click through), there's a whole bucket of reasons not to advertise in print. And there's also the fact that we get more free press than the bars that are normally alongside us, at least in the Shepherd.
All that is countered by one stubborn bookseller. I like print. I also want to support the media that support us. I appreciate the reviews, the interviews, and the shout outs. Though most media, certainly the larger ones, have a divide between advertising and editorial, most print media does determine editorial space via ad sales, hence, the crumbling of home and travel sections in most Sunday papers. I panic every time I see a very thin New York Times Book Review section. When is it going to be cut? Or perhaps it will one day be 16 pages of bestseller lists.
This week we have an ad running in the Shepherd Express, last month we were in the Journal Sentinel and Milwaukee Magazine, and we've got upcoming group event ads in the The Gazette (LGBT) and The Courier (African American). And all the ads are event driven, so that sort of self-selects where we advertise.
It's funny how these things come in waves. Here are the featured titles in the Wisconsin Gazette:
Alison Bechdel, author of Are You My Mother?, Monday, May 7
Catherine Tuerk, author of Mom Knows, Thursday, June 21 (co-sponsored by Bronze Optical)
Sapphire, author of The Kid, Wednesday, June 27
and here are our Milwaukee Courier selections:
Will Allen, author of The Good Food Revolution, Saturday, May 12 ($5 ticket)
Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow, Wednesday, May 23
Sapphire, once again.
Our Shepherd Express ad features Alison Bechdel, as well as Paul Dickson for his Bill Veeck biography (Thursday, May 3) and John T. Edge for the Truck Food Cookbook (Tuesday, May 15).
Last year, on the other hand, we had three events that were appropriate for The Italian Times. So that's where we were.
All events are at 7 pm. All events are free, with the exception of Will Allen's, which is a fundraiser for Growing Power. All ticket proceeds go to them, plus we're offering $5 off a copy of the book for ticket holders.
This is not an invitation for every print ad rep to chase me. I don't like being pestered. And I'm still posting plenty on Facebook.