Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Million-Dollar Challenge

First off, when I say a million dollars, we’re really talking about a million dollars.

When I say “challenge” things start opening up more to interpretation, but this, in a nutshell, is the challenge:

Lyle Mortimer, President and CEO of Cedar Fort, has an author on the table for all Cedar Fort authors: Present a plan that illustrates how for every $2 spent on advertising you can sell one book. If it looks like it might work, CFI will test it out. If it DOES work, CFI will spend a million dollars advertising your book—or until the model is exhausted.

“What does that mean?” you ask. “What approach is CFI looking for? Radio? Print? Online? WHAT?!?!”

That is where things become open to interpretation. Do you think that radio is the right place for your book and can you show why? Do it! If you think billboards, FB ads, newspapers, mailers, or something else works better for you, lay that out!

Show us! If we’re sold, we’ll implement a test campaign to give it a shot. If it hits its target, we’ll start pumping serious money into it.

Hint: Authors who are going to come ahead on this challenge are authors who have tested mini-campaigns of their own, refining buckshot into lasers (for those of you who took my class). It is also important that you can define your audience very specifically and why they will be especially in tune to your marketing plan.

Another hint: don’t present a plan without having a ballpark figure of whether or not the advertising rates for your medium truly reflect reality. Poke around a look up the rates you would likely be paying.

One more hint: There is a 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999% radio is not the right model for your book. It’s fun to hear a commercial on the radio, but unless you have a model where you would sell more than 5,000 books a week, this likely isn’t worth looking into.

Remember, this is open to all. No book is too big or too small! Nor is any budget too big or too small! Maybe you have a plan that sells 50 books per week by spending $100. Submit it and we'll consider it! If it works, we'll do it all day long :)

When you have a plan, send it my way. I’ll offer feedback or submit it for consideration.

Good luck!!!


  1. How exciting! Is there a deadline to submit your plan? Thanks!

  2. As of now, this is an open-ended offer.

  3. Is Shattered Silence eligible?