3 reasons our limited-edition Yearbooks don’t sell well

I got some feedback from a man who bought and loved our 2015 Yearbook and one of the very nice things he said to me was, “I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have sold out of these already?”

The print run is limited to 250 copies, but, truth be told [as of March 2017, I’ve only sold 53 copies].

So I was walking on the beach this morning trying to figure out why they haven’t sold out already.

I came up with a three reasons.

But, of course, I can only guess – I really need audience feedback here.

If you’ve thought about buying a CONTACT Yearbook but didn’t, please, please, please let me know why you didn’t buy in the end.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy one now (though I would love to sell more 🙂 )

But I am trying to figure out, is it worth my time and effort putting the future yearbooks together?

You see, it takes about 60 hours to put one of these books together, ready for printing – and that’s on top of the hundreds of hours it took to put the original magazine stories together.

And I find it hard to justify investing that much effort if I’m only likely to sell 40 or 50 copies.

So, if you like CONTACT – if you like the service I provide – if you want to support me – please just at the very minimum take a few minutes to comment below or write to editor@militarycontact.com if there are any other reasons than the following list of reasons I think this book didn’t sell….

 

The 3 reasons I think the 2015 Yearbook didn’t sell out…

paper1………………………… Age: Selling a 2015 Yearbook in 2016 makes it feel old. I think this could be a big psychological barrier. If so, then I’m hoping that having the 2016 Yearbook ready for sale in November 2016 will produce better results – especially in the Christmas-present market. Do you agree?

NOTE (added March 2018): This probably isn’t a valid reason, because despite having the book ready and on sale in November 2016, I only sold 5 books before Christmas – and only 3 since. Yes, that’s right, a grand total of 8 2016 Yearbooks sold! And, for the record, only 13 2017 Yearbooks!

Yet despite it not being commercially viable (much like CONTACT as a whole) I probably will continue producing them 😉 for the few diehard fans who love them.

paper2 Price: At $87 (including delivery) I know this is a pretty expensive book. Then again, when I reduced the price to $75 (including delivery) for three weeks for an end-of-financial-year sale, nobody took advantage. Sure $75 is still high, but it was a good saving that should have attracted a few who were teetering at $87. So I’m thinking price is probably not the biggest factor. But, I really can’t afford to sell it much lower. It costs $49 to print – and I have to have some reward for all those hours of work.
paper3 Doubt: It struck me on the beach this morning that perhaps people don’t really, actually know what’s in this book. Sure, I’ve said it’s 100 pages of the best of CONTACT with no advertising. But can a potential buyer really know what that means in terms of actual content? Of course not. Solution – I could show people what’s in it. To that end, you can find the CONTACT 2015 Yearbook here – all of it, cover to cover – as a page-flip electronic book. And find CONTACT 2016 Yearbook here – and 2017 CONTACT Yearbook here.

 

So those are my thoughts on this issue.

I’d love to hear yours.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

12 thoughts on “3 reasons our limited-edition Yearbooks don’t sell well

  • 07/05/2018 at 5:38 pm
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    Hi Brian
    A coffee table book which is hardback retails around $120 in NZ, so your price is reasonable at $87AUD.
    Now for your sales issue, who are you targeting and how?
    I for one are not a fan of digital formatted e-book and always go for hard copy books always, because you can always go back to them again and again for reference instantly. Also books are becoming a collectable source, no matter how old their stories are.
    It is highly probable that today’s generation are not favouring our Defence Forces, only when we are attacked via terrorism on home shores.
    A lot of folk are anti- Defence Forces when we are fighting off shore in fights that they think we should not be involved in?
    Perhaps approaching University departments that teach politics,security, law enforcement and defence may be a source to gain interest in CONTACT.
    Also befriend journalists/War Correspondents who report on world conflicts unbiased?
    Looking at your 2017 Year book, it is excellently done and formatted, easy to read and follow, being very informative, though I ‘m only an ex-TF old school Kiwi soldier (Highly trained in Tussock warfare Waiouru NZ) I can understand and relate to modern defence issues still impressing our younger soldiers etc.
    Those who are outside military circles will have no real interest in defence, as do those who do not like discipline or regimed organisations, when I ‘ve spoken to young people about career choice and explained what a DEFENCE FORCE can offer in trades, security, travel and self achievement they listen and want to know more, so I point them in the direction of the recruiters.
    I have to advise this (don’t shoot me) But I’ve shown a hard copy of your mate John Hunter Farrells’ Australian@NZ Defender magazine which I’ve subscribed to for years to interested folk who have expressed unknown things that their defence force does in war and peace and have shown a liking.
    So getting CONTACT out there to be looked at is paramount now, so if everyone of your supporters shares your website/FB on social media or via word of mouth in general conversation (old communication still works best) it can only help? I’ve just shared your FB to three of my FB pages just before writing my waffling on here.

    On payment PAYPAL not everyone has that account? Can you support VISA/MASTER CARD or internet banking and if so show that you accept them with their icons. I know you have a sentence asking for clients to ask for other means of payment, but people have to be led right to the point and if they can’t read they sure can understand little picture icons.
    Give me some time and I will get one of your Books off you for sure.
    Cheers
    Bruce Figgins

    Reply
    • 09/05/2018 at 3:28 pm
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      Wow – Bruce.
      That’s a lot to think about right there. Thanks heaps for all your thoughts. I will go through it and action appropriately when I can.
      Brian

      Reply
  • 09/07/2016 at 11:15 pm
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    For me, it’s just because I didn’t know about it and the fact I’m broke; both of which suck.

    Reply
  • 09/07/2016 at 6:34 pm
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    For me – I am buying less and less ‘real’ books lately and more digital. $75-$85 is what I pay for Battalion Histories from Regimental Books, but only when I can sneak that much cash away from the Missus without her noticing. They are about the only ‘real’ print books I buy anymore to add to my library.

    The date doesn’t bother me at all, a non-issue really.

    Reply
    • 09/07/2016 at 11:40 pm
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      Thanks Dave. That’s useful feedback. A lot of people are cutting down on ‘real’ books and magazines. In fact, that’s why CONTACT is now digital only.
      Brian

      Reply
  • 09/07/2016 at 6:15 pm
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    Mainly price, but also I read every issue cover to cover and didn’t want to pay for stuff I thought I had probably already read. Maybe if it was something like “all the published stories of 2015 exercises/deployments/new equipment (all 3 or just one) with more never before published photos” I’d be more keen. Big glossy photos in high res are a draw card for me.

    Reply
    • 09/07/2016 at 11:42 pm
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      Thanks Phillip. I’ll definitely consider ‘freshening up’ the content when laying out the next Yearbook – especially unique photos, where possible. You’re not the first to mention big glossy photos – I’ll keep that in mind too. Thanks mate.
      Brian

      Reply
  • 09/07/2016 at 4:59 pm
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    For me it was mostly price. Watching every dollar lately means I probably wouldn’t have considered buying a copy unless it was under $30 posted, which is obviously well under what it’s worth. That’s just where my spare cash sits vs need for a book on the coffee table.

    Also, I previously thought it was just photos with captions not whole articles. After flipping through the digital version, I have have mixed feelings. The articles were great and very welcome, but for me if I am paying good coin for a book of this type, I would expect more full page high quality glossy photos.

    Your first point of age didn’t factor into my decision, but after reading your point, I would think a 2015 year book really needs to be released in the first few months of 2016. Unfortunately that would miss potential Christmas sales but would make it more timely and relevant.

    Reply
    • 09/07/2016 at 5:03 pm
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      Mis read your first point so my last paragraph only makes marginal sense, sorry!

      Reply
    • 09/07/2016 at 5:33 pm
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      Thanks Troy. That’s all good feedback and very much appreciated.
      Brian

      Reply
  • 09/07/2016 at 4:47 pm
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    As you know Brian..I love CONTACT on paper…& when this yearbook was first mooted I was in ! To me , a book lover from wayback , & I’m talking real books…you know , ones printed on paper , are so wonderful…you can pick them up at any time to look for an article without having to first turn on a damn computer , tablet , kindle, whatever. I have every issue of CONTACT printed & often refer to various copies for research etc., I think one of the problens is the fact that younger people are so used to ” electronic ” books that this held no appeal….if only they knew what they were missing out on…please, please go ahead with Yearbook 2016 …take my order now !!!

    Reply
    • 09/07/2016 at 4:55 pm
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      Thanks Sue. Yes I do know your obsession with paper 🙂
      And I love your support and feedback.
      I have pretty much already decided to go ahead with the 2016 version – mainly because of number 1 above and the fact that there’s only one way to prove if my theory is right.
      I’m not organised to take your 2016 order yet. But you won’t miss the opportunity when I do put it on sale – I’ll be singing loud and clear from the rooftops.
      Cheers for now, Brian.

      Reply

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