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The influence of book advertising on sales in the German fiction book market

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  • Edlira Shehu

    ()

  • Tim Prostka

    ()

  • Christina Schmidt-Stölting

    ()

  • Michel Clement

    ()

  • Eva Blömeke

    ()

Abstract

Driven by the pressure to permanently release a large number of books, publishers have to allocate limited advertising budgets across the wide range of newly released books. As in many creative industries, publishers often focus their advertising activities on potential top sellers written by recent bestselling authors. Considering potential selection effects in choosing the “right” books for advertising, this paper investigates (1) whether selection effects exist and to what extent potential selection effects influence the relation between book advertising and book sales and (2) the boundary conditions under which book advertising leads to higher sales by focusing on the “star power” effects of authors. By applying propensity score matching to a dataset of 598 fiction books from the German book market, we identify substantial selection effects that lead to a serious overestimation of advertising effectiveness by up to 41 % (10,000 copies sold). Using group analyses, we find that sales of books written by recent bestselling authors are not significantly influenced by advertising activities of publishers; however, the sales of books written by lesser-known authors can be increased significantly if they are advertised. Our findings are highly relevant for publishers, indicating that a shift in the allocation of advertising budgets toward promising books by lesser-known authors is recommended to improve the overall advertising effectiveness. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Edlira Shehu & Tim Prostka & Christina Schmidt-Stölting & Michel Clement & Eva Blömeke, 2014. "The influence of book advertising on sales in the German fiction book market," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 38(2), pages 109-130, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:38:y:2014:i:2:p:109-130
    DOI: 10.1007/s10824-013-9203-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Caliendo & Michel Clement & Edlira Shehu, 2015. "The effect of individual professional critics on books’ sales: capturing selection biases from observable and unobservable factors," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 423-436, December.
    2. Ekaterina S. Demina & Evgeniy M. Ozhegov, 2017. "The Impact of Omnivorism on Consumer Choice: The Case of the Book Market," HSE Working papers WP BRP 175/EC/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Advertising; Book sales; Propensity score matching; Publishing; L82; M31; M37;

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising

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