"Never mind all this touchy-feely stuff about giving authors the confidence to do their own publicity," she said. "When I look at their BookScan numbers, how much of a difference am I going to see?"
No one had ever asked me that before. Stumped, I attempted to make the case that it's hard to put a dollar value on the benefits of publicity, and that the touchy-feely stuff is exactly the point of what I'm doing. An author who's confident about self-promotion and how to go about it will garner more and better publicity, professional recognition, word of mouth about the book, better sales and a better deal for the next book.
She wasn't buying any of it, but her junior colleagues were. (Thank dog!) Better still, I--and that publicity director--got vindication in today's NYT, in the article mentioned in the below post. It concludes:
Although authors say that the virtual tours generate traffic for their Web sites and that they have seen their online sales increase, it is difficult to tell how much blog book tours increase sales.
“I haven’t been following that or charting it in a quantitative way,” said Dave Weich, director of marketing and development at Powell’s Books, a bookseller in Portland, Ore...But then, the dirty little secret of real-life author tours, he said, is that “most of the people who go to events don’t buy books.”