It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

Innovative ways to sell and market books.

Earlier today, a blog post appeared on The Bookseller's website about The Curzon Group's launch into 'red-eye' promotions at UK airports.  After Richard Jay Parker's launch party on Thursday evening of last week, he set out, along with fellow Curzon Group members Matt Lynn (author of The Bookseller article above) and Leigh Russell for a mid-day Friday and 05:30 Saturday start at two UK airports for a WHS book-signing.   Definitely innovative on their part and they signed and sold quite a few books.  They are now ready to pursue the supermarket route, showing they know where major sales are at.  Good for them!

StopMe 001 StopMe 004 Before I left Richard's launch party, he thrust something into my hand.  It was a beer mat, bad photos to the left.  If I remember correctly, he said he'd issued them at a recent beer festival.  Now that's what I call marketing.

So, any innovative ideas folks?  Based on settings or topics in the novels you've read recently?

For me, one that immediately sprang to mind was L C Tyler's Ten Little Herrings as it takes place immediately after a postage stamp conference in the Loire.  To Len and Malcolm Pryce and Jasper Fforde, who share a cover illustrator in Mark Thomas, I say "Get thee hence to a philately exhibition/sale asap, offering your novels as signed limited editions along with an exclusive set of stamps featuring the beautiful covers of Mark Thomas on your books."  If there's one within Swindon, Aberystwyth, London or the Loire (for real), you're laughing, so get organised now!  If there's not; well, try pushing or organising one of your own making.  But really, if you could add an exclusive and limited stamp collection to your 1st edition books, I think you would sell some and attract attention for the future, to be developed as desired.

Chris Ewan's 'The Good Thief's Guide to…' series has already taken in Amsterdam and Paris and will move to Las Vegas next, before embarking on Venice.  A traveller's dream?  Chris could hook up with travel industry guides and tour operators; and again, organise airport signings at peak times for travel to the destinations in his books.  Why not leave a set of flyers at Schipol?  (At the very least…)

On twitter, Ali Karim (@AliChemist) recently divulged that he has a palm-sized list of recommended books to give out when he goes to social gatherings.  His most recent was a wedding and I suggested he could slip it in to the order of service.  He replied that he wouldn't go that far.  But think about it, if you feel you have the right audience…  We've seen this on YouTube re weddings for example, (and I hope the couple has a long and lasting marriage).  Be innovative!

Over to you.  What innovative examples of marketing and selling books can you come up with?


4 comments on “Innovative ways to sell and market books.

  1. Maxine
    August 19, 2009

    Good post. I think there could be a lot more in tours of areas in which books are set- there are already Rebus Edinburgh tours and Wallender Ystaad tours – must be more scope for these. Even virtual ones via video on the web.

  2. Ali
    August 19, 2009

    The palm-list of recent book recommendations work, trust me, I keep it neat, it also acts as reminder of what books have impressed me.
    As reading becomes less mainstream, as the men-behind-the-curtain dumb down society, in order to control us, the problems being over-population, lack of energy et al Books will suffer as will reading.
    We need to enthuse people to read, once they read a reall good book, they’ll pick another and realise, reading is important and feed the mind.

  3. Rob Kitchin
    August 19, 2009

    John McFetridge has written a post on book promotion today. Talks about the usual stuff – websites, promo trailers, signing tours, etc, but also loss leader give aways of previous work.

  4. First edition books are collector’s items and are definitely great to own. While first editions of some books can be exorbitantly costly and out of reach for common people, hyper modern first edition books are often available at reasonable price. If you are lucky, these modern first edition books can even be signed by authors which make them even more valuable.

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2009 by in Author Events, Debate.