Marketing to Bookstores, Libraries and Book Clubs

The business of writing requires you engage in specific book marketing strategies.

In preceding posts, attention has been drawn to getting your published work in bookstores; agreeing to be strategic in your approach will accelerate your success in this process.  Getting your books listed with the wholesalers who will complete the fulfillment is the first step.  The following quick tips are designed to keep you actively engaged in promoting your book – each action taken enhances your opportunity to experience success and profitability.

Check into a service such as the Publishers Marketing Association where you can save a lot of licking and sticking on direct mail campaigns – utilizing the co-0p mailings to get your book before close to 5,000 members of the American Booksellers Association.

Spend some time at your local library, asking to see the bookstore directories houses at the Reference Desk.  While there get all the information you can on the procedure for getting your book stocked on your local library shelves.  Your orders will be smaller and the size of your market harder to verify, but if history repeats itself – roughly 90% of the libraries that respond to your mailings will order from a wholesaler such as Baker & Taylor.

Your  book might be the perfect genre for certain specialty shops.  If you have taken time to identify your ideal audience BEFORE you write and publish, you will probably have a pretty good idea of where these shops can be found.  For example, if you have written a book about fishing, you will probably generate more sales by getting it stocked at a sporting goods store than a general bookstore. Alternatively, if your book is a collection of poetry, you might do quite well getting it into a quaint little coffee house somewhere.

Do not discount Book Clubs!  They might offer you a smaller profit margin, but you exchange that for significantly more prestige.  Established in the mid-twenties, both Book-of-the-Month-Club and the Literary Guild serve over a million members.  This is what – in general marketing terms – is known as plucking the apple from the highest part of the tree. At last count, there were over two hundred such clubs, and each will have it’s own individual protocol for the relationship they create between you and their readership.  The mind boggles… just thinking of what impact you would have in looking at the “business” of writing if you focused entirely on these book clubs!

These are just a few ideas to whet your appetite for marketing your book to bookstores, libraries and book clubs.   I encourage you to pick one and give it a try!    If any of these has your head spinning with more questions… you know where to reach me!

Anna Weber
… always, encouraging you to engage in the kind of positive, life-altering book marketing that will provide you with profitable, long-term benefit.
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