‘Self-serving’ was the term that came to mind while I was pondering doing this.
Or ‘totally self-serving’, though I dismissed that one. It’s not.
So anyway, today we have one of our occasional ‘half-price ebook of the week’ offers.
This in part because I have a new marketing assistant, whose task it is to help me flog ebooks to Italians learning francese, spagnolo, tedesco, and also to work on the Italian, French, Spanish and German websites other than this one, which I do myself.
And to this end, we’re experimenting with the tried and trusted ‘eBook of the Week’ offer format also for those sectors and segments, see?
What’s all this marketing-speak got to do with you, you may be wondering.
I’m getting there.
So for the half-price ‘eBook of the Week’ offer, for the sake of convenience/synergy, I picked a title (one of our older ones) that we have ‘localised’ into all of our target languages, the idea being that we save time preparing our mailings and so on, but also that we are able to compare which particular community of language-learners has greater or less potential, which will help us better focus our future efforts.
So, I have basically the same story, originally set in a small town in Italy, modified so that it takes place in a small town in Spain/France/Germany, etc. With me so far?
And you’ll recall, perhaps, that while I personally have no great need to improve my Italian, having lived in Italy for what now seems like an eternity of bureaucracy, complications, taxes and missed opportunities, I am currently learning Spanish, and also seeking to reanimate the French I studied at school.
Now, the advice I usually give to students, when encouraging them to begin reading/listening in the language they’re learning, is to do a little every day, to try and make a daily routine of it, to work on making it a habit, and then to sit back and watch the benefits of all that regular reading/listening come rolling on in!
When it comes to shifting ebooks, for example, I’ll point out that ours typically have eight short chapters, which can be finished in a few minutes if you choose the right level, and that, were you to commit to doing one chapter a day, you would get through the story in just over a week. At which point you’d hopefully feel more confident, and perhaps even ready to step up a half-level, or level, and begin another easy reader ebook. So reinforcing and strengthening your reading/listening habit.
And there’s me, wanting to improve my French and Spanish… yet not following my own advice!
So a CHALLENGE, to myself, this week, starting today, ending next Monday: I’ll read/listen to the Spanish and French ebooks that Barbara and I are promoting. A chapter a day, probably. Watch this space.
I expect the French to be easy, as the level of the ebook is lower than the level I once reached in French. Though the Spanish should be harder, because my level in that language is low.
I have no idea what the effect of doing a chapter of both language versions on the same day will be. Confusing probably.
So anyway, perhaps you’d like to join me in my challenge?
At which point, I will stop you right there, before you jump to the conclusion that you have to BUY SOMETHING, and point out that just last week I was pushing our FREE beginner-level ‘easy reader’, Il ristorante (written by yours truly, translated into Italian by my wife).
Meaning that, if you are a beginner in Italian, or know the language some but have never tried reading/listening to it, you can give the one-chapter-a-day, create-a-habit thing a go without spending a penny, so to speak.
Only if you really desire to should you feel free to splash some cash on this week’s eBook of the Week offer, which you’ll find on the homepage of our online shop (careful to choose the right language or languages…)
Yup, I’m not going to do the hard sell. There’s no image of the ebook cover, no mention of the offer deadline, and I’m not going to tell you that you’ll miss out if you don’t buy a copy RIGHT NOW.
This week, I’m leaving the marketing to Barbara, while I do my one-chapter-a-day challenge and, hopefully, improve my Spanish and French!
A mercoledì, allora.
Like I said, no hard sell this week. If you want the half price ebook there’s a link above, and another below. It ain’t hard to figure out.
But the number of subscribers, the number of website visits, and so on, are just that – numbers. Doesn’t mean that the subscribers or casual website visitors are actually using the site to improve their Italian, right?
You know how I know when it’s going well, or when it isn’t?
Each of the thrice-weekly EasyItalianNews.com bulletins of ‘easy’ Italian news is recorded as an audio by my son, Tom. Each one is eight or nine minutes long. As mentioned, there are three bulletins each week, so approximately half an hour, and fifty-two weeks in a year, as you’ll be aware.
So we’re creating around twenty-five hours of original audio (with transcripts) each year, which are then listened to by unknown thousands of subscribers and non-subscribers.
In part it’s seasonal, of course. Things are quieter in the summer, and busier in January and at the beginning of the school/college/U3A years.
But just how many of the 8986 current subscribers are actually listening to the material? Half? A quarter? An eighth? Five percent? Finding that out isn’t as easy as you’d imagine. Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg might be able to spy on your every thought, but I can’t.
The audio recordings, twenty five HOURS of them a year, remember, each one listened to at least hundreds, perhaps thousands of times, would be much too heavy a load for the server where the website lives. Our server handles the words and the images, but couldn’t cope with audio or video content.
For this reason, we upload the .mp3 audio files to one of Amazon’s AWS servers. Yes, that Amazon, the one that brings little boxes of goodies to your home. They also rent out space on their vast I.T. infrastructure.
Of course, Amazon charges us for the privilege of hosting our audio content. It’s not a massive amount of money per download (each time someone clicks the audio link, we pay), but the more people that download or just listen to the broadcast, the more the montly bill comes to.
And there you have it, my metric of success!
The more money I have to shell out to Amazon each month, the better things are going, because more people are listening to the bulletins our team creates each week.
Instead of measuring sales (EasyItalianNews.com is free, though users can donate – see who has), I keep an eye on the costs. And in this particular case, the more I spend, the more you guys are learning!
E’ la giornata internazionale della donna.
Read about it (in Italian) here.