Category Archives: Darren Herman

Initial Thoughts as an Author (stats, etc)

First off, thank you to everyone who has purchased my first book, Coloring Outside the Lines. I’ve gotten quite a few requests to follow up my book launch with details and statistics and I think it’s about time I shared them.

As it turns out, 62% of you preferred to order the print version of Coloring Outside the Lines where 38% went digital. In the first 24 hours, 60% of the overall books were sold. The average size of a book order is 1.1.

The stats on the banner ad that you see on this site (and delivered a 3.23% CTR in the first week of the book launch (just the banner, not counting other links).  In the month of March, the banner delivered a 2.00% CTR and in April, 1.5%.  The banner was never creatively refreshed.

I’m not surprised that 60% of the overall books were sold within the first 24 hours. The book business is similar to a hit driven business (video games, Hollywood, music) where upon release, most transactions are completed (be it opening weekend or CD release). I’m fairly certain there will be additional sales of the book every so often, but the 24 hours surrounding the launch was the big bang.

Note: I chose not to go with a big publisher for the release of this book as I wasn’t trying to set NY Times Bestseller records and I didn’t want to sign my life away to a publisher (having spent time in the music world, I know what a deal looks like). Had I gone with a big publisher, the hooplah surrounding the book launch and retail promotion would have been exponentially greater, but I’ve proven to myself that if you can create awareness and solve a need, a book can sell on its own and can generate revenue (not peanuts).

Thank you again for everyone who sent in their comments and thoughts – it’s certainly been a learning experience for me and the initial reactions from everyone have been awesome. Fee free to leave a comment or contact me if you want to speak further about the book.

Continual Improvement

In advertising, we’re always looking to continually optimize campaigns to make sure that we meet and exceed our clients goals. I’d personally like to improve this blog and would love to ask YOU what you think I could be doing better. If you have a spare few minutes, please fill out the comments area of this blog with your thougths and fill out the poll. I really appreciate it!

Some questions to get you thinking:

  • Why do you come to this blog?
  • Where does this blog give you the most value?
  • What would you like to see improved?
  • What is this blog doing correctly?

The Past 24 Hours…

The past 24 hours have been pretty insane.  Yesterday was the global release of my book, Coloring Outside the Lines and I awoke to a flurry of emails from friends and colleagues all over the world who had purchased the digital copy and started reading it.   Overall, the reactions have been extremely positive (and to be honest, a few negative) as many people are saying that they’ve never read a book quite like this.  Like I’ve said many times in the past, it’s not a heavy read nor a how-to, but a bunch of experiences linked together and some insights into a changing digital media market.

As an entrepreneur, we all derive inspiration from different places and at a lunch-&-learn yesterday here in the agency, I had the opportunity to introduce John Battelle, someone who I admire greatly (Wired, The Industry Standard, Web 2.0 Expo, Federated Media).  We’d been planning his speech for a few weeks now, and yesterday was the day that he was in town to speak to all of us.  We exchanged signed copies of our books (he wrote The Search:  How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture) and he spoke about social media and where everything is headed.  In future posts, I’ll be writing in reaction to some of the comments he made during his presentation.

I spent the evening with some of my closest buddies over at Madison Square Garden at the Big East tournament and we had a great time catching up.  It was nice to escape everything and spend time talking about everything non-business related.

I also received my sales numbers for the book and have to say I’m extremely impressed!  In just one day, we’ve raised hundreds of dollars for entrepreneurs in Africa and Asia and I look forward to sharing the Prosper experience with everyone.

Thank you to everyone who purchased a book, commented on the blog, or contacted me…. you made yesterday a blast…

Global Book Release: Coloring Outside the Lines

March 12 is here… finally. I’m proud to announce that my first book, Coloring Outside the Lines: Confessions of a Digital Native is officially for sale. It can be purchased online at the book marketplace, Lulu.

I’ve spoken about the book for the past couple of weeks and even have run some promotional advertising for it, but the day has finally come where the talk stops and it’s universally available for all. The paperback version of the book is fairly priced at $14.95 and the digital download is $0.76. Please note that profits from the book will be invested through Prosper to entrepreneurs in other countries who are trying to feed their families. I will post about this experience seperately over the coming weeks.

I couldn’t have written this book without the strong support of YOU – the readers of this blog, my family, friends, and colleagues. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

If you don’t step out of line, you end up waiting.

Pick Me Up Love! – Summer Dates for DMB 2008

Summer Tour

Today’s a beautiful day here in New York City – sun is shining and everyone seems to be in high spirits.  The day just got better…. received an email from The Warehouse, the official DMB fanclub with the 2008 Summer tourdates and some more information that’s gone overlooked…

Fans attending DMB shows this summer will be the first to hear the latest material from Dave Matthews Band as the band debuts songs from their forthcoming record!  DMB is currently in the studio with Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Alanis Morrisette) working on the yet-to-be-titled album.  Guitarist and long time friend Tim Reynolds is playing on the album, marking his first recording with DMB since 1998’s Before These Crowded Streets.

I’m excited to see what Rob Cavallo comes up with for this album.  Having produced Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and Alanis Morrisette in the past, it should certainly have an edge.  There is a connection here – as Alanis Morrisette appears in the DMB song, “Spoon” on the album, Before these Crowded Streets.

As for the tour dates, I’ve not decided which show’s I’ll be at just yet, but I can almost garauntee at least one of the Saratoga Springs (June 20) shows (Saturday night probably) and potentially head out to Arizona for some others.

Click here for the full list of dates (quite a few).

Coloring Outside the Lines: Update

I’m getting excited as it’s about 12 days until the launch of my first book, Coloring Outside the Lines.  The details of this book are fairly fuzzy unless you’ve been over to the official site for the book, but wanted to update everyone as to what to expect:

  • Content Sections:  8 (w/6 chapters)
  • Total Pages: 131
  • Beginning of book:  all about entrepreneurship, raising capital, startup ups/downs
  • Ending of book:  trends in digital media
  • Style of book:  paperback
  • Writing style:  relaxed, blog-esque writing (my preferred all around style)

The content/chapter breakdown list is as follows:

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Some preliminaries
  • Strategy
  • Raising funds
  • Branding and marketing
  • Trends in the digital age
  • Conclusion

Looking forward to sharing the book with everyone!

It's Coming…

Book CoverAbout a month ago, I mentioned that I was writing a book on digital media and entrepreneurship.  We’re just a week or so away from releasing the book and thought I’d share the cover with everyone and a few tidbits…

The book is not a how-to or a media 101.  Rather, it’s a collection of thoughts, experiences, and annecdotes about startups, entrepreneurship, and of course, digital media.  The book covers topics such as selecting a co-founder, fundraising, strategy, failure, and ad dollars.  It’s not the end-all-be-all, but a fast read that hopefully will add some more color to your startup.

Do you need to be an entrepreneur to read it?  Not at all.  Where will it be available?  The usual online suspects… Lulu and Amazon.

Get excited… I know I am.

On a side note, fellow entrepreneur Ryan Allis has re-released his book, Zero to One Million and it’s doing awesome on Amazon.  Check it out here.

I'm Not Finished

I was catching up on my RSS feeds this evening and saw Greg Verdino responsed to Seth Godin in regards to one of his posts entitled, “Workaholics.”  I think Greg nailed it when he stated, “Because I’m so passionate about what I do, I have become addicted to my work.

I’m the kind of person when interested, will put in my 100% attention and get the job done.  I also want to learn everything and anything that occurs on the path to getting the job done.  Carrying around my Blackberry, iPhone, MacBook or notebook is a common occurance and will get to the office early (7AM – often) and will work when I get home (10PM+).  Do I look at it as work?  No.  I look at it as play because I love what I do.  Instead of spending late nights out at the pubs or hitting up the latest clubs, I can be found furthering my knowledge of the digital media space. My wife is pretty much the same way, just in a totally different industry.

I’ll admit that I’m addicted to work and my team can attest to that.  I think my addiction has made it much easier for them over time and allows me to challenge myself personally and grow quickly.   I make time for the gym, photography, cooking, and friends, but I certainly spend the majority of my time with digital media.  I don’t regret it.