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Leveraging Bestsellers to Increase Backlist Circulation

Post by Nancy Dowd
Posted October 02, 2014 in

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How would you like to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your marketing budget?

While we can't give you the actual cash, we can show how you can use LibraryAware to leverage publishers' marketing efforts and increase circulation of titles you've already purchased. And that's kind of like adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to your budget, isn’t it?

The strategy is simple. Use the excitement around a new best seller to lead readers to read-alikes by creating a pathway of table displays, end cap signs, shelf talkers, online reading lists and social media postings that excite and engage your readers.

Before you tell me it's too much work, keep in mind that if you have LibraryAware the implementation time is super short because you can quickly create items for all those channels.

So this is what this strategy would look like if you used Lee Child's NY Times best-selling novel, Personal. I especially love this example because it’s part of the Jack Reacher series, which means you can bump up the excitement by promoting several series! (Psst: check out the full range of RA items we've created for Personal on our Pinterest board!)

Select the read-a-like series you want to promote and follow these 7 steps:

Hint- use NoveList and NoveList Select to find title, author, and series read-alikes.

1. Make a Display

Set up a display where people will be looking for the book. Since they'll be looking on your new and best-sellers shelf so set your display up right there. Use a poster or flyer that says, "If you like Jack Reacher, you'll love..." and display some books from other series.

Hint: We love the idea of using our reading map on the table as a visual backup just in case the books are all taken before you get a chance to refill the display.

2. Create Some Reading Lists

Make a few bookmarks featuring different series so folks can take them home, find the books in the stacks, or share the suggestions with a friend. Make sure you put them on the display table.

3. Create a Pathway for Readers to Follow

Lead readers to the stacks by creating fun signage for the end caps. This is especially effective when you want to encourage folks to use different formats such as audiobooks or ebooks. Keep the sign conversational with a strong call to actions such as, "Looking for Sam Capra books? They're over here!"

Hint: extend the excitement of your displays by keeping the same branding for your end caps.

4. Add Shelf Talkers

Add interest and excitement in the stacks by adding lots of shelf talkers. Leverage a best seller's cover and pair with annotations from other books. If your folks like QR codes, why not link to the online version where they can download? We make it easy to add covers and annotations so don't be skimpy!

5. Give Them a Parting Gift

Give out brochures at the checkout desk as as a final gift of love. Brochures are especially effective because there's plenty of space to add lots of books with annotations. When your patrons are home they can take the time to peruse the list and go online to reserve as many as they want.

6. Post to Social Media

With a push of a button, post the reading map to Facebook. Make it a realy cool experience and link the post to your NextReads NY Times Best Sellers newsletter. Do you use Pinterest? Get the image URL for your reading map and pin to one of your boards.

7. Encourage Readers to Keep Going

Readers can choose to get up to 22 NextReads reading lists emailed to them. Include links on your web and social media posts to remind folks that you offer this service! We've created amazing promotional materials inside LibraryAware promoting both NextReads and NoveList that are ready to go.

It’s easy!

To get you started, we've added all the items in this article to LibraryAware. Click on the topics drop down and click on Readers' Advisory. Select the items you want to save and publish. 

Nancy Dowd is the Product Lead for LibraryAware. Her passion is helping libraries connect to their communities.