Once again, Dr James Duncan hits it out of the ballpark. For all of you who do not understand what is involved with marketing books (like me), this is a tutorial. Please go to the post See how the Result Source campaign made Mark Driscoll a half million dollars. I have included the charts and a few quotes from his website here with his permission. Not bad for a "guy in pajamas."
The two of us continue to thank both Dr Duncan and Dr Throckmorton for their informative posts that help the Christian community to be just a little bit smarter. Forgive some pagination issues. In the interests of time, we decided to get this up instead of waiting until later to make it look pretty.
By tracking the Amazon sales rank of Real Marriage, we can actually see the effects of the bestseller listing. Using archives of Amazon’s Real Marriage page, I tracked the book’s overall Amazon sales rank over the first six months after it was officially published (Jan 3, 2012). Given Amazon’s massive market share of books sold in the United States, it’s a good analog for overall sales in all retail outlets.
“Real Marriage” Amazon sales rank over six months
We can see that after about a month and a half, sales started to decline rather rapidly, though are temporarily reversed by Mark and Grace Driscoll’s appearances on The View, CNN and Fox & Friends on March 5, 62 days into the book’s release. We can also see how various Real Marriage conferences over the summer helped drive sales in the third and fourth months. (This isn’t a criticism, it’s just to help explain why the chart changes over time.)
If we zoom in on the first six weeks, we see how the Times’ listing halted the overall downward sales trend.
Assuming that Driscoll’s holding company makes the standard 15 percent author’s commission on the cover price of $22.99, those extra 16 days of sales netted him $330,000.
If we take those calculations just a little bit further and assume that ABC, CNN and Fox News would not have invited the Driscolls on their shows if his book had not been a bestseller, we can also roughly calculate the value of the bump we see between Days 64 and 90. The interview on The View was on March 5, and on March 6 the book ranked 348, but by March 8 it had jumped back to 100. By April 4 it was back to 397. Assuming an average sales rank of 200 for those 26 days gives us 13,000 additional sales, netting the Driscolls $180,000 more.
The $210,000 that the church spent had the immediate and direct effect of boosting Mark Driscoll’s earnings by $330,000, with an indirect effect of earning $180,000 more based on the buzz that led to the media interviews, for a total of just over a half million dollars.
Amazon sales rankings for “Real Marriage” in its first six weeks of release