Kate Allan

The online diary of Kate Allan, author

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

21st century book marketing

Online book marketing pioneer M J Rose has just launched her latest experiment. A two week charity donation based viral campaign to get website owners and bloggers to link to the vidlit of her new book The Halo Effect.

Well, there I've linked to it, so that's 5 US dollars going to a reading charity, and one less link M J Rose needs to get to reach her target of 500.

It reminds me of one of my mantras - that innovation in marketing can bring spectacular returns. If you can innovate, rather than simply follow the crowd, you'll get that attention. As word of mouth is a key cornerstone of book marketing, I'm now wondering why we've not seen more viral type online campaigns. I think after M J Rose shows it can be done, we will.

Meanwhile, reading offline UK magazine Marketing today, I see that Borders are rearranging their store formats to make stores appear as if they stock a greater breath of range. So promotions, currently front of store, are moving back. The new format is currently being tested in their Swindon and Oxford stores. Borders say they want to compete better with online booksellers.

Interesting. Perhaps this might mean a move to stocking a greater range of books, not just appearing to do so. I'm also wondering if sales volumes from promotions are falling. This would mean that the lower profit margins deep-cut promotions bring are less attractive, making this retailer think they need to be upselling to their customers the non-discounted (i.e. more profitable) stuff.

Marketing's an interesting thing for me because I work in it so I live and breathe it most of the day. I see it as a way of thinking, and I'm sure most authors can do it, and be good at it, once they understand the principles, because they are creative people. A while ago I set up a closed e-mail list, for bona-fide book published authors only, to discuss marketing here and most authors who have joined the group seem to be getting something out of it I think.

RNA Conference stuff tomorrow, promise.

PS Romance Junkies have given The Lady Soldier the top 5 ribbon rating! Read the review.


  • At 7:44 am, Blogger Stephen said…

    Putting promotions towards the back is fairly common practice in the big US bookshops. It has the advantage of pulling customers further in to the shop so that they pass more shelves than they would if the special offers were all near the door and the tills, as seems to be the case in British shops.
    Oxford Borders is a good shape for testing this on us Brits; might be a challenge for the main London Borders with its very vertical layout.


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