15 FRESH IDEAS for Marketing Your Books

Try these fresh marketing ideas to hook your audiences and sell more books!

  1. Send a personalized letter with reader reviews or comments about your book.
  2. Produce a buck slip or sell sheet about your book and include it in a membership mailing — or ask a sponsor to include it in one of their mailings.
  3. Develop a cross-referenced list of titles. When you ship a book, insert a sell sheet about a related title.
  4. Test a new campaign (email and/or print) to learn what inspires your target audience to act and improve your response rate. Variables can include:
    • Different email subject lines
    • A new offer or price point
    • A different call to action
    • A new list or segment
    • Enhanced personalization
  5. Acquire new lists. Review your sales for common titles, organization types and business functions. Based on these demographics, look-alike list services can help you identify and purchase lists.
  6. Add a PURL (personalized URL) to your email or direct mail piece that links directly to the web page for your book. This creates a customized experience for the recipient and supplies you with new data.
  7. Offer a free PDF of a section of your book in exchange for information (e.g., an email address or a response to survey).
  8. Offer a discount for prepaid book purchases. You can do this through discounted or prepaid gift cards — e.g., $200 for $250 worth of books. A great way to boost profits, as prepaid sales are rarely fully used.
  9. Create incentive programs, rewarding customers with “Book Dollars” to use toward a book, other merchandise or a retail gift card. Ideas include:
    • Starting a frequent buyer program (e.g., a punch card for a series of titles)
    • Printing a trading card for several books and distributing them to customers and prospects (in mail campaigns, with association mailings, at events, etc.). Those who get the full collection win.
    • Asking customers to write a review for a book
    • Soliciting “likes” for posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, or comments on a blog
  10. Start a “squares” grid for the Super Bowl, March Madness or other sporting event, assigning each of your best customers a square. Email them showing the prizes they could win. Great PR and client appreciation!
  11. Send a thank you email, postcard or letter to each buyer and give them the opportunity to write a review of the book (be sure to include a link to your review page).
  12. Post book reviews to social media, along with a “Buy Now” link to your site.
  13. Add a “Buy Now” link to each of your authors’ blogs.
  14. Set up a blog for each book you sell to generate comments and build SEO for your site. Convert the bloggers to brand ambassadors.
  15. Create book-themed promotional items to build awareness of your titles and/
  16. or as gifts to send with shipments.

Cross-Media Book Marketing Campaign

To increase interest in your books and better target your marketing, try this integrated marketing approach.

• Initiate a PURL
(personalized URL)
campaign via email and/
or direct mail, enabling
each recipient to select
or suggest the books or
content that are most
relevant to their work.

• Based on their answers,
direct respondents to a
web page for the book(s)
that best fits the titles/
content they describe.


• If you develop a new
book based on their
suggestions, send a
personalized letter or
postcard to relevant
respondents. Include a
picture and description
of the book and copy
that reads, “You spoke,
we listened… The topic
you are interested in is
now available.”
• Once the responses are
compiled, you can further
engage customers by
creating content that
matches their request.

• You can also promote
books based on the
responses you collect.
For example, “75% of our
members think this topic
is of critical importance
this year.”

Campaigns like this provide immediate feedback on who should receive follow-up information and what information they should receive. It also identifies those with no interest, which helps reduce printing and postage costs.

The result will be more engaged customers and prospects — and, ultimately, more sales for your association.