Special Sales: Divide & Conquer

February 2002
by Divide & Conquer

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The term “special sales” is commonly used to represent revenue opportunities outside of bookstores. Tales of orders for hundreds of thousands of books whet our appetites and generate alluring visions. However, after spending fruitless months or years contacting prospective special sales buyers, most independent publishers learn that these visions can be mirages.


This doesn’t have to be so. If you divide the special-sales market into its component parts, you can create tributaries that create a significant revenue stream. This task is easier if you view special sales as having three parts:

1. The special distribution sector, which utilizes existing distribution channels to reach consumers.

2. The commercial sector, which encompasses sales to corporations that use books as sales-promotional devices.

3. The niche-group sector, which involves direct marketing to people who have an identifiable need for the information in your book or books.


Special Distribution

This part of the special sales market follows a pattern much like the one most independent publishers currently use in marketing books–i.e., distribution partner Þ
retailer Þ
consumer. Examples include using Advanced Marketing Services to sell your books to warehouse-buying clubs, or Anderson Merchandisers to resell to Wal-Mart, or Levy Home Entertainment to sell to discount stores. Other dist…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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