“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!”
This old saying still holds truth. It warns you not to put all your prospects or resources in one thing or place—lest you lose everything.
Is all your book promotion done digitally online? If so, you are guilty of placing all your marketing efforts in one basket.
Traditional media—radio, television, and print—is not dead! Do you still watch TV? Do you listen to the radio? Do you read print magazines and catalogs?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you can rest assured that your target audience is also utilizing these forms of traditional media. In fact, studies show:
- Over two-thirds of Americans still read print magazines.
- 23% of Americans still read a paper copy of a daily newspaper.
- 48% of Americans listen to local radio.
- 56% of Americans say receiving snail mail is a pleasure.
Yes, digital media is significant and you should be using content marketing and digital advertising to promote your books. However, don’t neglect print. Utilizing both mediums is a more effective strategy in reaching readers—and you’re not putting all your efforts in one basket.
Following are five easy suggestions for including traditional media in your book promotion activities.
1. Mail postcards to your customers announcing new books or specials you are hosting.
Snail mail is more expensive than an email blast, however, it has a higher open rate. The average open rate for opt-in email newsletters or updates is about 22%. However, the open rate for snail mail is closer to 70%. Surveys show that 79% of snail mail receivers act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45% for email.
2. Advertise in a print catalog or magazine.
Interestingly, VistaPrint, which is a large online printing service recently began sending out print catalog of their products to customers. In the past, they have sent promotional mailings, but recently, they have added a print catalog. Catalogs are still powerful. All the major companies and book publishers still invest in print catalog. That is why Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) provides our members the opportunity to participate in a cooperative print catalog to showcase their books each year.
3. Send a select number of media pitches with your media kits via snail mail to local radio shows and print publications.
Of course, you don’t want to send all your press materials and pitches via regular mail—that would be too costly. However, send a few to local sources and track your responses. After all, 70% of people open most of their mail. If you hand address your envelopes, you will increase your chances of your pitch being read.
4. Participate in in-person events to promote your books.
There are many in-person events that you can attend to promote your books. From local festivals to book fairs to national book trade conventions. This is one reason that Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) provides our members with Trade Show Representation. We make it affordable for our members to attend in-person book events. Coming up in early 2017, members of CSPA will be able to attend the upcoming National Religious Broadcasters Convention with us to showcase their books and connect with media personnel and ministry leaders.
5. Print business cards and hand them out.
Business cards are still widely used. Every time I go to an event and meet people, business cards are still exchanged. A business card helps me remember the people I meet and provides an easy follow up reminder. When printing your business cards, I suggest that you include a coupon or a code for a dollar amount off the purchase of your book. Make the code specific for your business card, then you can track how effective your business cards are.
Overreliance on any one book promotional vehicle reduces your chances for success. Studies show that people need to hear about a new product multiple times in different ways before they are ready to act and purchase the product. The same is true for your book and your target audience. Use multiple vehicles for promotion, including both digital and traditional media, to increase your chances of success.
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