Every year, thousands of new books find their way into print. But those venturing into the self-publishing niche are learning quickly that it is difficult to get your book on the retail shelf of the prominent retail chains.
Before you get started with your new publishing venture, it is time to create a promotion plan for the book. The placement in a store with high book transactions can be the culmination of years of editing, writing and finally publishing the book. Think of retail as the final stop, the pinnacle of your career as a book publisher.
The following best practices define the way to convert your effort into sales through retail shops:
Build your tribe before retail placement
If you want to be successful at selling your book, inform your target audience that your book will be available in retail soon. Build relationships with the audience that resonates with your book title through blog engagement, social media engagement, newspaper ads, and other such promotional tactics.
Encourage people to share the announcement with others. It can drive foot traffic when just a few hundred people are willing to buy what you have published, and this is also a good way to increase retail demand for your publication.
Work with your retailer to highlight the book
There are many ways to highlight the book in retail shops so the consumers get to notice it. Cardboard display racks and point-of-purchase floor displays can market a product through structural creativity and eye-catching graphics. Corrugated cardboard displays are great for promoting books, and there are some companies that make these cardboard displays and offer high-end printing capabilities to ensure the book jumps out and grabs the attention of consumers.
You can even get a custom cardboard shelved display solution for the book promotion. Some retail displays will also allow consumers to shop from all four sides for optimal book presentation. Custom point of purchase displays and retail packaging might be a great option in giving an optimal boost to your book sales.
Promote through contests
If the theme of the book allows customers to do something to showcase their interest, you can promote the book through contests. It will also result in lots of pictures of customers holding your book, which can make a winning difference to your sales strategy. For example, a book like Harry Potter could be promoted through witchcraft and wizardry themed contests.
A chain in San Francisco, Pizza Orgasmica, hanged framed photos of customers and has a gallery on its site of customers who share images of them wearing custom tees. The photo contest can also be promoted on social media to drive greater engagement.
Try to get pre-orders for your book in advance. It would also be beneficial to show some existing revenue; if you can prove that your book is selling well, it will increase the chances of your publication getting in well-known retail shops. It is also important to have ample supply to fulfill a sudden rise in demand.
Bookselling continues to change and more publishers are going with direct-to-consumer models, which assist them in leveraging new sales channels against traditional retail models. This will be a shift in the way publishers promote and sell books in the future.