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Ads and Distribution for a Self-Published Map


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#1
Steven Gordon

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I'm planning a two-sided city map that I would self-publish and distribute. The map is designed for people considering relocating to the city and for new residents.

The map side will be a standard city map. The back side will be a guide with information on services, schools, recreation, city events and attractions, medical facillities/services, and so forth.

The back side will have five 8" x 4" panels that I could fill with advertising. I've never sold map advertising and so I'm hoping I can get some pointers on how to do it.

My plan is to approach realtors, mortgage banks, and commercial banks to buy ads. I'm wondering how to work the ad price and distribution.

For example, a realty company wants to purchase a full-panel ad and I suggest a price of $1000 (not sure if that's high or low). While they get value from advertising for new customers, do I also give them copies of the map to distribute? Or do I sell them copies?

Would that company expect me to guarantee, or show proof of, distribution? I expect their realtors will want to distribute some maps to their clients. I have lined up a couple distribution sites that won't be advertisers (city, school district).

Also, how many maps in a print run would they expect for the price they paid for the ad?

Are there any general guidelines for pricing?

Thanks for your comments.
Steven Gordon
Cartagram, LLC

#2
Charles Syrett

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Welcome to CartoTalk. Are you the same Steven Gordon we used to see on the Map Mac list?

I have very little experience in ad sales for maps -- only enough to know that even things like carpentry or dentistry have more in common with cartography (in terms of skillsets and aptitude) than selling ads does.

A frequent poster here, Jean-Louis, does manage to do both, and perhaps he can weigh in on this.

I do have a brother who publishes maps and sells ads, and I just spoke with him about your questions. After the usual caveat that pricing depends on the nature of the project, as well as your prospective advertisers, he offered the following pointers:

• He charges around $1300 for a full panel, $900 for half, and $450-550 for a quarter.

• Yes, definitely give away copies to distribute; that's the hook that brings the advertisers in. They can then sell the maps themselves and get their money back (or more). But just give away enough for a season. If they run out and come back for more, then charge for the extras. Make sure they understand this from the start.

• No need to show proof of distribution. (He's never been asked, in nearly 20 years of doing this.)

• These pointers assume a print run of 25,000, and perhaps even as low as 15,000.


Hope this helps!

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#3
Steven Gordon

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[quote name='Charles Syrett' date='Dec 30 2010, 10:18 AM' post='35601']
Welcome to CartoTalk. Are you the same Steven Gordon we used to see on the Map Mac list?

Yes...I used to frequent the Map-Mac List. It was a great resource...and so is CartoTalk.

Thanks for putting my questions to your brother. His answers give me a feel for the territory.

The city I'm developing this map for has about 40,000 residents. I'm planning a print run of between 3000 and 5000 copies. Of that, 1000 would go to the school system's central office (which processes all school registrations), maybe 500 to the city to include in their relocation packets, and most of the remaining to advertisers. Whatever is left over I would bring to local realtors, insurance agencies and others and sell them.

Any idea of what an acceptable number of free copies should be given to those who take out an ad? If someone purchases an ad for $500, how many copies should they get for free?

Thanks!
Steven Gordon
Cartagram, LLC

#4
Charles Syrett

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I spoke with my brother again, and here are some more pointers:

• relative to the number of maps you give away, fewer is better
• the last thing you want is advertisers sitting on top of piles of unsold maps
• maybe try 50 maps to start with
• always make it clear that what they're buying is ads, not maps -- otherwise, if they still have maps next year, when you call them they'll say "no thanks, we still have some maps left over"
• don't fall into the nice cartographic habit of having numbers on the map, referring to names on a list -- put the advertisers names directly onto the map!
• ideally, you should collect 100% of the revenue up front
• since this is your first project, you may be lucky to collect 50% in advance
• on the other hand, if you have a strong endorsement from a chamber of commerce, real estate board, etc., you may do better than that with collections
• do the marketing first -- make sure the project will work first, before spending time doing the nice part -- making the map!!


Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#5
MapMedia

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I was in San Francisco yesterday where at a kiosk was a tear sheet (stacked with one side glued) of 8x11 street maps with advertising on the back. They are free. The front is 100% map, and well done. The 2nd side is all adverts, with location info referring to the grid (Located in A4). The maps are for tourists so the adverts are for bike rentals, etc. etc. Just make the connection between map user and ads as logical as possible. So basically I imagine the ads are sold, the printing is done (likely overseas) and the maps are free (ad revenue minus printing and distribution costs = profit). I imagine this is ideal route to go for tourists and students - they demand free street maps.

Chris

#6
Jean-Louis

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Hi Steve,

I have spent most of my life doing Ad maps and know this gig very well.

Let me underscore everything Charles said in the previous posts.

One formula that works well is to surround your map with about 40 small 'boxes' of ads that simply show the logo, address, phone number and website of the client and a reference to his location on the map. This way you dont have to design display ads for everybody and you can sell those at around $350.- $500. each.

The biggest asset in making sales is your list of clients. It can take weeks of grueling footwork to sign up your first 10 but it then goes exponentially faster as your list grows.

A lot of merchants have been burnt because many people start ad maps and do not deliver. Be ready to reassure many prospects that they can pay when they get the map delivered.

If you want, you can contact me direct when your project has a bit more shape to it and I can help you tweak your program.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#7
Steven Gordon

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Thanks to all for your suggestions. It's been difficult trying to see how ad price, print run, and distribution need to be assessed before trying to sell the ads. But I've gotten some good ideas from all who have responded to my original post. Thanks!
Steven Gordon
Cartagram, LLC

#8
frax

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Steven - I upgraded you to full privileges now, so you should be able to send/receive private messages! (I have a hunch that you are not a spammer!)
Hugo Ahlenius
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#9
Steven Gordon

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Thanks again to all who responded. Charles and Jean-Louis have helped considerably.

New question: is there a standard advertising contract available online that pertains to map advertising?

I've found some sample contracts by googling "contract for map advertising" and "contract for chamber advertising." They include legal language that's valuable.

Can anyone suggest some benefits and drawbacks to the contracts they've seen or used in the past? Are there any tips to producing a simple, effective contract for getting advertisers to commit to a map?
Steven Gordon
Cartagram, LLC

#10
Jean-Louis

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Thanks again to all who responded. Charles and Jean-Louis have helped considerably.

New question: is there a standard advertising contract available online that pertains to map advertising?

I've found some sample contracts by googling "contract for map advertising" and "contract for chamber advertising." They include legal language that's valuable.

Can anyone suggest some benefits and drawbacks to the contracts they've seen or used in the past? Are there any tips to producing a simple, effective contract for getting advertisers to commit to a map?


Hi Steve,
Yes I do have some sample contracts, one of which I am preparing as we speak for a client.
I am very busy at this momemt but will send you some stuff and samples to your email some time this weekend
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal





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