Beyond Co-op: Better Ways to Help Booksellers Sell Your Books

July 2004
by Linda Carlson

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If you think a shoestring budget means you can’t think big when it comes to book promotion, think again. There are dozens of economical ways you and your authors can work with booksellers to do a better job of marketing–and not one of them includes traditional co-op advertising. In many cases, it’s simply a matter of being more effective at what you’re already doing: Web sites, press releases, author appearances.

Hard to believe? Here are some suggestions based on the book marketing I’ve done since 1982 as a publisher, as an author, and as a publicist for other publishers.

What Publishers Can Do

Add “Where to buy our books” to your Web site.

Link the names of stores to the Web sites of the retailers selling your books. This gives you a reason to contact booksellers to promote your book and provides you with something free to offer them. It also ensures that your Web site will turn up frequently in Google searches.

Create an e-mail list of retailers for multiple uses. To create the “Where to buy our books” list, you must compile bookseller contacts. Use this valuable list to send out excerpts from reviews, offer author appearances, advertise new titles–and elicit testimonial comments you can use on your Web site and in flyers and catalogs.

Co-sponsor book tie-in events. At Parenting Press, we’re running an ongoing “Fish Lips Face” photo contest with boo…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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