Thursday, January 3, 2008

Submitting Content Opportunities – Beyond the Bookstore Example

One of my favorite industry-related books is Beyond the Bookstore by Brian Jud. It helps publishers and authors who understand and appreciate that “the worst place to sell a book is a bookstore” determine other possible sales outlets.

I heard Mr. Jud speak at Book Expo America last year and also enjoy reading his Special Sales Newsletter. In an e-newsletter last month, the author mentioned that he is working on a second edition of Beyond the Bookstore and asked for Special Sales success stories from readers he could include as examples. We have a good amount of success in this area so I told him about our success working with Civil War Preservation Trust. Here’s a brief run down: Because our general and military history titles appeal to such a niche audience, we are always looking for ways we can sell books outside of the book trade. Over the years we have developed a good relationship with Civil War Preservation Trust, the largest non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields. They frequently focus on obtaining donations for a battlefield that is in particular need of protection by offering a premium to those who make a donation. We stay in constant communication with CWPT so we know what battlefield they will be raising money for next. If we have a book on our backlist or coming down the pipeline that details that particular battle, we let them know they can offer a copy of the book as a premium to whoever makes a donation.

We have done this successfully with a number of our titles such as Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg and Chicago's Battery Boys: The Chicago Mercantile Battery in the Civil War's Western Theater. CWPT tells us how many copies they are interested in buying and we work out a discount based on that number. We have even timed the premium to coincide with the release date of a paperback version of a title. We latch their order onto our print run which brings our printing cost down. We try to provide the organization with something special to entice their members to want to donate and receive a copy of our books. Often we have the author sign bookplates which they include with every book.

I told Brian Jud that this is a great way Savas Beatie can work with an organization we support, help spread the word about our books to our target audience, and sell copies we wouldn't have sold in the book trade.

Mr. Jud wrote back, thanked me for the info, and said he would include it in the next edition of Beyond the Bookstore! That’s definitely a good reason to add the second edition to our bookshelf. =)

I frequently come across opportunities like this. Authors looking for content for their books. Journalists looking for information for an article they are working on. Editors gathering content for their newsletter or journal. Answering requests like this by offering your ideas and examples only takes a few minutes and can pay off in terms of exposure.