Book Marketing To Change

In the good old days, book publishers sent their best authors out on the road for book tours. And newly published work appeared in trade catalogs mailed to buyers at major bookstores, libraries and schools. But the digital world has changed for book marketers.

Some industry experts believe that iPad apps could become the new book. But others say that won’t happen right away. Instead, authors of some categories see the iPad as a tool to promote their book.  They can develop a video game type app to emphasize parts of a book. After users download the app, they can be targeted as prospective buyers of the book. Jonathan Eig told Sarah Weinman, writing for DailyFinance, that "Books don't sell the way they used to… So you have to think creatively about getting attention." Other authors are using app developers to create video add-​ons to promote their books.

Weinman writes, “ It's too early to draw accurate conclusions about whether app sales have an effect on book sales. Book publishers and authors need to take the apps market seriously, even if publishing apps runs the risk of cannibalizing book sales.”

Changes are taking place in the promotion of children’s books, too. Tanzina Vega, for the New York Times, writes that established companies like Scholastic are still using their traditional catalog. But they’re also turning to “social networking, expanded e‑commerce and new back-​to-​school promotions.” Analysts say one reason for emphasizing new marketing channels is because teachers are mobile workers who change school districts or frequently leave the profession.  It may also be that Scholastic is acknowledging the power of the online world. To reach more buyers, an increased online presence makes sense.

Whether it’s coming from authors or publishing houses, book marketing is looking a whole lot more digital these days.

[Sources: Weinman, Sarah. iPad and iPhone Apps Revolutionize Book Marketing – and Reading. Dailyfinance​.com. 16 Apr. 2010. Web; Vega Tanzina. Scholastic Books Revamps Its Marketing. New York Times. 1 Sept. 2010. Web. 16 Sept. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.