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The Advertising Role of Professional Critics in the Book Industry

Humanities Perspective 2011(SoSe 11)

(Germany) “The Advertising Role of Professional Critics in the Book Industry”


ABSTRACT: Based on a large data set from the German book market, we estimate the effect of a well-known TV reviewer (Elke Heidenreich) on book sales in the short, mid and long term. We contribute to the existing literature about critics in measuring the advertising effect of critics in the entertainment industry. Furthermore, we control for the selection bias of critics who might be biased towards potential best-sellers or star authors and prefer to review these books. Consequently, the probability to review a book by the reviewer will strongly correlate with book sales raising the question of causality. Therefore, we reduce this selection bias by using a combination of propensity score-matching and difference-in-differences methods. Our study of the advertiser’s role of an individual critic produces two key findings. First, our analysis shows that mass media critics are influencers – even when they are just predicting well. Our empirical study supports our theoretical reasoning, because we find strong dynamic effects on sales by the reviews of Elke Heidenreich. Second, our probit analysis reveals substantial indications about selection effects of individual critics which allow publishers to better address critics in order to “motivate” them to review a new book.

BIO: Professor Dr. Michel Clement joined the University of Hamburg in 2006 and holds the chair for Marketing and Media Management at the Institute for Marketing and Media. He has been a faculty member at the University of Passau (Marketing & Services in 2005/2006) and the Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel (Innovation, New Media and Marketing from 2002-2005).

Professor Clement holds a doctoral degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration (marketing, innovation management and psychology) from the Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel.

During 1999-2002 he worked in several management positions in the media industry: In September 1999 he joined Bertelsmann mediaSystems as a consultant for media technologies. He worked in the “Think Tank” and was responsible for scouting new technologies within the media industry. He was specialized on peer-to-peer networks, devices, TV, agent technologies, and venture consulting. One year later he joined the Bertelsmann eCommerce Group where he reported directly to the CEO. In 2000 he founded with two partners GmbH, a software company of the Bertelsmann Direct Group. He served as a vice president (responsible for finance, business development, and marketing) in the board of the company.

In his research he focuses on managing entertainment media products, new technologies, and customer management.

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