Case Study #1: Roy H. Williams, aka The Wizard of Ads

Before the Campaign

Roy Williams already had a successful book launch before Michael Drew and Promote A Book took on Roy’s follow-up. Roy’s first book, The Wizard of Ads, sold well, and established him as a name, as someone who was both insightful and unconventional in his outlook toward communication. At the time, Roy’s agency, Williams Marketing, was the 8th-largest buyer of radio advertising in North America. Roy himself had become the highest-paid speaker in his industry. Between September
1998 and 1999, he gave 50 keynote presentations, earning $5,000 for each.

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Asset 2 Eric

The Best-seller Campaign

When Bard Press readied Roy Williams’s follow-up book, Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads, Michael Drew devised a plan to draw more attention to Roy and his book. Michael decided that he could leverage Roy’s name and reputation in the radio industry even more than Roy himself had done through his speaking and his growing reputation.

So just before the book was published, Michael and his staff mailed an advance copy of Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads to the general managers at more than 10,000 stations in North America. Michael included with each book a proposal that outlined the business that Roy’s ad agency could offer these stations. The proposal also reminded these general managers of the training they’d all received from Roy when he’d spoken at their state or province’s yearly radio convention (which every radio station general manager must attend). The proposal went on to argue that the medium of radio was the best form of advertising for a small- or medium-sized retail business.

The proposal asked that the general managers at these radio stations buy 20 books (at the retail price of the book) and run 200 radio ads promoting the book. As a bonus, we would give them Roy’s 12-course Video Training series that the managers could use to train their sales teams. Once the sales reps had completed their training, they would utilize their newly acquired skills and leave behind with a potential client on a sales call one copy of Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads (out of the 20 that the stations had purchased). The client was that much more likely to buy radio time as a result of the gift of that book.

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The Results

Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads sold more than 17,000 books in it first week of publication, and it was promoted with more than 170,000 radio ads. This successful best-seller campaign pushed Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads to the number-one spot on The Wall Street Journal business list and to number-three on The New York Times business list.

In the year following Roy’s best-selling success, Williams Marketing became the 4th-largest buyer of radio advertising, Roy’s speaking fees jumped to $20,000 per keynote, and he gave 67 keynote speeches, earning more than $1 million. Subsequently, Roy launched Wizard Academy and opened its private facilities, including student housing, in the countryside outside Austin, Texas.

To date, Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads has sold more than 100,000 copies.

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