The Hidden Marketing Of Influencers

Speaking of web marketing, the creation of the degree course to become an influencer by the e-Campus telematic university caused a sensation. In our country, scandal has been shouted, while from abroad they are watching us with curiosity, since the Accademia del Lusso, the Milan fashion school, already has a course in Fashion & Luxury Influencer . In reality we are trying to regulate a sector where there is a lot of money and many make money with courses, against courses and courses of dubious value.

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What subjects does the new Influencer path include, what specialization of the degree course in Communication Sciences?

Aside from matters relating to fashion and television, I think all the others could also be interesting for writers.

There is nothing wrong with this course of study, the mistake, if anything, is to advertise it as if it automatically provided access to the millionaire income of influencers such as Chiara Ferragni or Marco Montemagno. It is not so.

But on the other hand, there are influencers who have studied all this separately, struggling a lot between manuals, articles in the specialized press, advice from those who already worked, even the mistakes of others served to show the right direction. Without any degree, they have achieved more or less sensational results. It doesn’t just depend on commitment: in the case of influencers it’s also a question of character, just as for writers it’s also a question of talent. But I remain firmly convinced that writers can also learn something from influencers.

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Financial skills

To understand if the right way for us is traditional publishing or self-publishing, we also need personal finance skills. In the newsletter Navigare informed The professional figures of writing  we have seen all the professionals who come into play in the publishing chain and some of these, depending on the direction chosen, must be paid by the author himself. It is therefore necessary to understand how much to expose yourself even before reaching the signing of a publishing contract or when to invest in your own path as a self publisher.

A separate category is Paid Publishing, EAP for friends, where publishing houses require a cash contribution, sometimes rigged as an editing or promotion service, more or less expensive (there are rumors of variable figures from 1,300 euros up to 8,500 euros). The problem with the EAP is that they often pass themselves off as the only possible form of publishing, that all publishers behave in this way with newcomers, that it is necessary to pay at least the first print, guaranteeing a certain number of sales. It’s not true.

Also some of them pretend to have a widespread distribution network, when instead they will send some copies right to the libraries in your area where they expect you to check. Let your more distant friends check on any of their latest titles published in the catalog.

However, the EAP is not the absolute evil, if the author is aware of the type of contract that is offered to him: for some it could even be a better choice than self publishing.

A couple of accounts must also be made for promotional services within physical bookstores.

The site of Passione Scrittore, in collaboration with the Mondadori group, sells presentation spaces, shelf spaces, spaces in the magazine and those in the Mondadori group newsletter. To date, the presentation service provides for an “activation fee” (registration?) 149 euros and a commitment by the author to guarantee the sale of at least 25 copies of the volume (if he does not sell them, the author himself buys them ). The firmacopie alone costs 129 euros and the sale / purchase of at least 20 copies of the volume at the end of the firmacopie. The exhibition service with a number of permanent copies on the shelf for one month costs 199 euros and the sale / purchase of the chosen edition (starting from 5 copies). The same exposure of a single copy (and therefore the order of the readers for their copy) costs only 199 euros, without obligation to sell / purchase other copies. The display of the latest news on the bulletin board (called Ziggurat) for one month costs 479 euros. The inclusion in Mondadori magazine (the free paper distributed in the columns outside the shops) costs 399 euros and the one in a weekly newsletter instead 149 euros.

It is not difficult to imagine that for the other publishing groups there is the same type of price list, only that it is not public, it will remain confined to the investment decisions of the individual author / book / publisher of the group.

Is it worth it? It depends on you.

Certainly it is an opportunity to arrive directly at the bookstore, above all to organize a presentation to the public that is difficult to obtain alone. But only you know how much budget you have available for your writing, how much you can invest in it, always evaluating the expected capital returns. Unfortunately, it happens that you decide to make economic sacrifices without understanding how much you can really get from this or that other strategy. The risk is to find the living room full of unsold copies.

Determining at what price to sell your own self-publishing ebook is also a skill.

In economics, we know that price is the balance point between supply and demand. But for a newcomer, there is no demand for his book coming out, while the offer is maximum. Setting a low price allows you to sell more, but risks not covering the costs already incurred if the sale of the book does not rise adequately. At a high price, reader demand would be discouraged for an unknown author. Fortunately, promotional discount periods can also be studied to attract new customers.

Especially for self-publishing, another interesting tool is on the way that could radically change the publishing sector: Amazon’s Extended Distribution , for which Amazon’s self-publishing novels will be available to physical bookstores throughout the Italian territory that will request them from their local distributors.

The royalty rate for this option is 40% of the list price established in the distribution channel at the time of purchase, less printing costs, taxes and applicable withholdings. So it costs more than Amazon direct selling, which reserves 60% royalty for the author. But it’s an important tool for getting into bookstore windows once booksellers have trusted your product.

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