Marketing the latest book: a competition for publishing people

book launch

It’s nearly launch time here at BookMachine. The third book in the Snapshots series is about to arrive on publishers’ desks. There’s something slightly awkward about selling books to those in the trade. Yes, we are huge book buyers and love to read; but we all get so many freebies – how can we justify buying one more book to add to the already-bulging bookshelves?

So here is how you can help. Below are three ways that we are going to market Snapshots III, BookMachine on Publishing. If you have any other suggestions of how to market this book to publishing pros then please add them in the comments below. At the end of this week, and next week, we will pick the tip of the week and the winner will find that Snapshots III lands directly on their desk (or in your mailbox if that’s how things work in your office).

1) Free launch event with option to buy the book

Every good book needs a party, right? BookMachine have organised 4 free events in 4 cities with awesome speakers. Guests can get a ticket for free, or buy a copy when they are signing up. The London event will ‘star’ contributors from the book, giving an insight into what the book contains.

2) Old-school adverts

Every week BookMachine emails are sent to around 5,000 inboxes. The advert is going to be clear, bold and enticing and take readers through to a link to buy the book. The emails are content-rich and interesting for publishing folks (yes, we are very humble); so this is non-intrusive but also relevant for email subscribers.

3) Content marketing

We know that content is no longer king.  However, publishing people like to read; and Snapshots III has some interesting contributors with a lot to say about the industry. So watch out for interviews and snapshots of what these publishing pros think – and if you are so inclined you might be tempted to join us…

So that’s the start of the marketing plan.*

What comes next? What would you suggest?

We look forward to hearing your suggestions (good or bad) and picking our winners.

*You can probably tell that we have only shared a ‘selection’ here.

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  1. Seed the market – send advance copies out to influencers like Sam Missingham and get them to rave about it on twitter for you.

  2. I love this idea. OK, here’s a starter for 10: buddy up. Join forces with the key players in the publishing pro field, particularly those focused at the early stages, where they’re still keen and don’t get so many freebies – APE (Association for Publishing Education), IPG, PTC, PA, whoever’s game, and get them to promote the book on your behalf with a special members’ offer. They win (they’re offering a benefit to members, look), the members win (discount, lovely!), and you win (massively more exposure and hopefully more members, plus more copies sold direct at decent margin, yay). Joint ventures FTW.

  3. Following on from Alison’s comment about getting people who are relatively new to the industry and learning – special offer for recruitment agencies. And personnel depts of larger publishers (with membership offer) to encourage purchase for employees as a training and development tool.

  4. I think you’ve done this before in a different campaign, but I really like the idea of a photo competition: take a picture of your ‘snapshot of publishing’ for a chance to win a copy of the book. The photos are content you can share on your social media channels to encourage others to participate.

  5. The target demographic hangs out on Instagram. Take photos that symbolise the titles of the articles (eg collages, Rebus writing) and post on Instagram as pre-launch teasers for the contents of the book. Share the photos directly from Instagram on Facebook and Twitter. Give a free book to the first person to correctly identify the themes of all the photos you publish.

  6. You could try hosting online events (like SYP Scotland’s #SYPChat on Twitter) for the people who can’t make your free events. Get a couple of your contributors to agree to spend an hour fielding questions online and offer some kind of discount code to participants.

    On that note, connect with SYP committees across the UK to get the word out further – people starting out or looking to get into publishing are often looking for as much industry knowledge as they can get.

  7. Well, having come fresh from the Facebook conference, I would say you need beautiful shareable visuals and maybe a video. Perhaps you can turn some juicy quotes from the book into graphics using a quick, free tool like If I’m correct, there are quite a few contributors to this book so if each of them could start sharing these images, it could start to gain traction. Good luck!

  8. Send a copy to me and, within one week, I will have read it and – in a free 2.5 minute youtube video I will send you at the end of that week – (a) capture the main points (not a review) and (b) how it’s likely to help me and others.

  9. Following on from Leila, visual content on social media can create a great ‘buzz’. Why not go one step further and begin a social media competition? Like you said, everyone loves a freebie, but making that freebie a little different could attract more attention. Perhaps it could be not to just win a copy of the NEW book, but a ‘Snapshots Binge Box’, which could include all three of the books, along with some other book related goodies, which could be donated by professionals in the industry (in return for a small mention in a short letter)?

    I saw a book binge box online a while back, which contained a series of books, a can of Redbull (for all night reading!), a bar of chocolate and a book light. This would encourage people to share and create some excitement, and furthering the reach of your posts and news of the book launch! You could also offer a binge box as a prize at each event…

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