The Secret to Marketing Books?

Persuading the public to part with a tenner for the book you've just published requires a marketing campaign. And marketing books can feel like throwing money at a wall and seeing what sticks. Besides all that, it's not why people enter the publishing business, so we tend not to be good at it.

Here's a way that the marketing might work.

Turn a book launch into an event. I went to (yet another) opening of the Royal Academy’s exhibit of lesser known works of Picasso. At the risk of stating the obvious, that’s not how they sold it. Instead, they sold an experience.

Its opening night was a recreation of the vibrant and edgy world of Spain and Paris at the end of 19thc and the beginning of the 20thc. Brimming with cafes, circus acts, singing, flamenco, bright lights and eroticism, the RA was transformed and crammed full.

People came to see and be seen, dressing in floor-length frocks or fancy dress. It was glorious fun, indeed almost bizarre to see such exoticism in the staid chambers of the RA. Oh, and there was also an exhibit on Picasso.

Now translate that selling books and you’ll have a bestseller on your hands.

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