Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Retail Partnerships Are A Marketing Necessity

How do people purchase cookbooks? This is a question that certainly has more answers now than it did 5 years ago. In today's world, consumers have many more options on how to purchase a cookbook (or anything else for that matter) than at any time in history. There are multiple online options as well as online format options. The retail options are also numerous.

Many of the retail options offer little, if any "direct affect" opportunities for you the seller. By "direct affect" I mean the opportunity to interface with the consumer or exert any personal influence on the buyer. However, one avenue still exists where you the seller can influence the consumer and affect sales. This opportunity exists within your local bookstore or gift store.

Let me explain.  With the advent of online sales such as Amazon and the exit of local bookstores the art of selling books has been diminished greatly. However, there currently exists a new wave of local, independent booksellers that are doing quite well in sales and revenues. With the departure of Borders Books and the ongoing struggles of Barnes and Noble, we are seeing a rebirth of the local bookstores.

In my opinion this is a GREAT thing. Books are not commodities. They are unique by nature. By reaching out to the local independents you have an opportunity to demonstrate to the store owner or manager what is unique about your publication and can often take advantage of local marketing options from these stores. For example, one Junior League I am familiar with has a great relationship with their local Barnes and Noble, a very popular local deli and a gourmet grocery/restaurant that each offer opportunities to partner and promote their books.

Having retail partners who can tell your story to consumers looking for book advice is a partnership worth its weight in gold for you the author. Let me encourage you to reach out in person to these local opportunities and develop personal relationships with the owner or manager. Make sure they always have ample inventory of your title. Keep them updated on local media regarding your book. Offer taste tests on occasion. Offer personal service for free delivery if at all possible. Mention these retail partners in your media and on your website.

Remember partnerships work 2 ways--find out what you can do for your retail partners and they will work to sell your book.

1 comment:

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