Publisher's Pre-release Promotion Boosts Orders

  • Aug 17, 2010

Publishers have a tough task trying to get attention for new novels in a crowded and competitive field. Booksellers have so many options to choose from, that even works from well-known authors sometimes get overlooked. Doubleday wanted to increase exposure and awareness of a new novel among consumers and retailers.

To support their goal, they decided to capture the Louisiana setting of James Lee Burke’s new novel, Sunset Limited, in a collection of promotional items, all tied together with elements from the book. Some of these items were sent in advance, while others were used on sales calls. An in-store display was created to “spice up” selling opportunities. T-shirts were created for Doubleday sales reps to hand out when they called on chain and independent bookstores. A display was created consisting of a tackle box with a custom imprinted label, a copy of the book, a bait box filled with gummy worms, an imprinted fishing bob, Cajun foods and a CD of Cajun music. The complimentary display was provided to accounts ordering a predetermined number of copies of Sunset Limited with the agreement that the tackle box would be displayed for a minimum of two weeks. In addition, custom imprinted fishing bobs were distributed at book signings and other personal appearances by the author.

The consistent theme had the desired attention-getting result, bringing Doubleday a 50% increase above their sales goal. And the tackle box gained publicity in a Wall Street Journal article about the program. The sweetness of free publicity was a nice bonus for taking a spicy approach to marketing.

Spicy and cajun-flavored promo items helped promote a new novel