Investing in Better Bookstore Business: Seven Ways to Buy "Pull"

February 2004
by David Cole

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Getting your books into bookstores can be a Pyrrhic victory if they sit on the shelves and then get returned. In marketing terms, you have created “push,” but you also need “pull”–consumers walking into the stores and buying your books–thus generating bookstore reorders and long-term success.

To create pull, you can use public relations, direct mail, author promotions, and the Internet, but for certain books you can also use some specific bookstore tools.

Special Placement

Bookstore chains offer publishers the option of buying into marketing programs that include bookstore “real estate” and certain promotional categories, some of which are available regionally or seasonally. You can pay to get display space on endcaps (shelves at the end of aisles that are perpendicular to the main shelves and that feature special selections); you can pay to get shelf-talkers (customized labels that draw attention to certain books in a section); and you can even pay to get shelf space in a particular featured section of the store. While these programs are expensive, they can be successful not only for new books but also for backlist sales of a line or a title in a publisher’s niche, and the costs are somewhat offset by orders for copies to fill the purchased positions.

Point-of-Purchase Displays (Dumps)

While bookstores usually initiate special placement programs, publishers can manufacture and p…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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