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.
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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