Idea File

March 2004
by Wayne Dawkins

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Since the summer, August Press has concentrated on promoting its latest title, Rugged Waters: Black Journalists Swim the Mainstream, a history of the National Association of Black Journalists and its members in the 1990s. We participated in the Harlem Book Fair in July and the satellite HBF on Long Island in September. In November we sold books and did a presentation on independent publishing at the Hampton Roads African-American Book Expo in Norfolk, Va.

An effective marketing scheme I used at author signings was to offer a twofer: Rugged Waters and my first book, Black Journalists: The NABJ Story (1993) for $25, a saving of $5 if the books were purchased separately. To sweeten the deal, I gave customers who bought both books copies of Black Issues Book Review magazine. I’ve been contributing writer for BIBR since June. Customers are drawn to the colorful and comprehensive magazine. That helps me move matched pairs of books. My editor in New York sent me a great Christmas gift, two dozen copies of the November/December BIBR, featuring Toni Morrison on the cover. I’m angling for more twofer deals.

Wayne Dawkins

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