Last weekend we were delighted that two of our titles, Operation Blue Halo, a gripping military thriller, and A Little Local Difficulty, a cosy British detective story, were included in the Kobo Father’s Day promotion. This was a headline promotion that was given the prime position – slap bang in the middle of their home page. Retailer promotions are a great way for any author to increase the visibility of their title. The idea is that you tempt readers in with a limited-period price promotion to get people buying, reading, reviewing and generally talking about your book. Every month we work with the merchandisers at the top international online retailers to find out what kind of eBooks they are looking to promote and then pitch any of our authors’ eBooks that fit the bill.
What do retailers want to promote?
- Genre fiction is particularly popular with retailers as they know these titles tend to sell very well.
- Anything with a juicy discount. If your book is normally £1.99 and you are offering it for £1.49 that is not as much of an incentive as something being slashed from £3.99 to £1.49
- They also want something that looks good (has a really well-designed jacket) as they don’t want to give prominent “shelf space” to something that might lower the tone of their brand or waste time promoting a product that readers won’t like the look of. They are not just thinking about their website here, as price promotions are often publicised via email newsletters, social media etc.
- Anything that other customers have enjoyed reading. To find out more about the importance of customer reviews see this post.
- Some retailers run promotions in several countries at the same time, in which case they will be looking for titles that are available to buy internationally, rather than just in the UK.
Self-published authors need to look for any opportunity to promote their books. You might not obviously think “crime thriller” when someone says “Father’s Day” but for any retailer Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or even Valentine’s Day is a reason to temporarily drop prices, get people “through the door” and bump up sales volumes for the weekend. No doubt a lot of Kobo’s customers would have grabbed bargain books for themselves rather than their fathers, but that’s not the point. Authors, you need to start thinking like a marketeer to seek out these seasonal opportunities to push your book.