The Promotion Pieces Match Game: How to Give Each Part of Your Market the Right Material

September 2004
by Bobbye Middendorf

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Reviewers, retailers, wholesalers, rights buyers, and all the other gatekeepers who can help you get books to readers in their particular territories don’t necessarily want information in the same way, or even the same words.

As you prepare the marketing and PR materials for any book, it’s important to keep different needs, uses, preferences, and quirks firmly in mind.

Here are some broad guidelines and some specific tips for developing and tailoring promotional materials that will appeal to each important part of your market.

Trade Catalog Copy

For whom:

Decision-makers who can choose to stock your title for sale to their customers/outlets–book wholesalers, bookstore and online buyers, specialty catalogers, gift trade buyers, club buyers, other rights buyers.

When: 6 to 10 months ahead of pub date.

What questions to answer: Why this book and this author? What problem does the book solve? What distinguishes this treatment of the topic? What’s the hook?

What basics to cover: Show the cover and include all book specifications–ISBN, publication date, price, trim size, number of pages, number of illustrations–plus marketing, publicity, and promotion plans for the book.

Tip: Don’t use “you” in this copy. You aren’t speaking to your book’s end user.

Sales Kits/ Title Tip Sheets

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