Create Book Bundles for Gifting

I love brilliant marketing ideas, especially those related to books. Recently, a publisher in Brazil began using an outstanding idea to market books and promote literacy.

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Brazilians only read about two books a year, much lower than the reading rate in America (see “Reading on the Decline in America”). In hopes of raising the reading rate in Brazil, one publisher, L&PM Ediores, has created Ticket Books.

Ticket Books are paperback books that double as subway passes. Each Ticket Book comes with an RFID card built right inside the cover. Subway turnstiles read the cards like a regular train ticket. Now subway riders can use the book they are reading as a subway ticket as well as entertainment.

Each Ticket Book comes charge with 10 trips. Readers can recharge the RFID card inside the book online when the trips are used up. They can also pass the book on to a friend who can also refill the card with additional subway trips.

You are probably thinking: “That’s a cute idea, but there is no way I could afford to do something like that. I’m just one person.”

You’re right. The idea is a grand scale idea, but there is inspiration in it for you.

The holiday season is upon us. At Christmas people give gifts, including books. However, people don’t just give gifts at Christmas; they give gifts at birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, graduation, etc. You can do something similar to that of Ticket Books to create more interest in giving your book as a gift.

Instead of embedding a subway ticket inside the cover of your book, you could offer a bundle. For example, you could offer a $10 Starbucks gift card with your book as a great gift bundle. If you have a craft book, offer a gift card to Hobby Lobby with the book to encourage people to purchase your book bundle as a gift. If you have a business book, offer a gift card to Staples as a bundle deal for gifting. The ideas are endless; just use your imagination.

Offering a gift card with your book as as a bundle does not require a lot of money or time. All you need to do is pick up a few gift cards to have on hand to bundle with your book. Then let your readers and fans know about your gift-giving special. As orders are received, you simply put your bundle together and mail it out.

I hope that you not only market your book as a gift this Christmas season, but that you also give books as gifts to your family and friends. After all, gifting books promotes literacy—something that benefits everyone involved in writing and producing books.

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Related Posts:
Market Your Book as a Gift
Use Bargains to Lure Customers
Do You Give Books as Gifts?

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More Good News

The economy may be sluggish, but for small publishers and independently published authors, the news is very positive. My blog post last week on “Self-Publishing has Become Main Stream” reported that 40% of all books published in 2012 were self-published. Today’s post is full of more good news for you.

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BISG’s latest Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading study (the study BISG is discontinuing at the end of this year) found that readers are interested in paying more for ebooks if they got more in return. The study found:

  • Consumers are very interested in “bundling” print and digital versions of a book, with 48% of survey respondents willing to pay more for bundles.
  • Just over half of survey respondents would pay more for an ebook if it could be given away or re-sold.
  • Consumers do not distinguish between ebooks published by traditional houses and independently published options when making buying decisions.

While there is not much small publishers and independently published authors can do about making it easier to give away ebooks or allow readers to resell ebooks, the other findings from the study are actually good news for those who produce books.

This study showed that almost half of the respondents were willing to pay more for a bundle—buying both a print and ebook together. That means you should be offering this option to your potential customers. Offer the print book alone, the ebook alone, and a bundle of the two together. Also, make use of Amazon’s new Matchbook service to sell bundles via Amazon.

If you are unfamiliar with Amazon’s new Matchbook service, you can do the research and find out for yourself—or better yet, just join Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). CSPA’s member publishers were informed all about Matchbook and how to access and use the service when it was launched. Join now and you can use our article index to find out about this new resource.

The other really good news in BISG’s ebook study was that the study found that customers do not tend to distinguish between traditional houses and independently published options when making buying decisions. We can conclusively say that there is little sigma left in self-publishing. Hoorah!

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