Details on Deal of the Day
Having a book selected as Amazon’s Deal of the Day can send its sales skyward, so it’s no surprise that IBPA members have been asking what it takes to get a title selected. Here’s what a “services launch specialist” at Amazon wrote us: “To be considered for inclusion in the Daily Deals a product must first be in Fulfillment by Amazon. Once the product is in FBA you can nominate it for inclusion in Daily Deals by submitting the ‘contact us’ form on this page: amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=13685551.” Requests regarding Kindle books should be submitted from this page: amazon.com/kindlesupport.
Amazon clarifies: “Submitting the request does not guarantee inclusion.”
Books don’t have to be new, or even popular, to be included as “deals.” One Kindle selection this winter was American Patriot’s Almanac, a 2010 Thomas Nelson publication with its hardcover edition now a “bargain” book.
What is required for physical products is inventory stored in Amazon warehouses. As the Fulfillment by Amazon page explains: “Pay as you go—you are charged for storage space and the orders we fulfill. And the cost of shipping is included in your fees with no extra charge for FREE Super Saver Shipping and Amazon Prime. Fees for Selling on Amazon and optional services may apply.”
Amazon’s example indicates that fulfillment charges alone for books are about $2 each. More information is at amazonservices.com/content/fulfillment-by-amazon.htm.
If you’re interested in other online retailers that offer deals by the day—or the hour—click on through to Groupon, for information on its Groupon Goods (grouponworks.com/merchant-solutions/groupon-goods).
“Deal tracker” Websites that show dozens of online retailers and their current offers include dodtracker.com, dealsucker.com (search for “books”), and todaysdod.com.
Selling with Simple Displays
Displays sell books, but too often the units require expensive artwork and quantity orders. At Cypress House, Cynthia Frank reports that two of her author clients are creating inexpensive, effective countertop displays.
Carmen Richardson Rutlen, author of Dancing Naked . . . in Fuzzy Red Slippers, combines display boxes with self-easels. Exclusive of the boas and slippers that sometimes embellish the displays, these cost about $10 each. One Santa Monica retailer reported selling 158 copies of the book the first month the display was in place.
Gift, stationery, and lingerie shops all do well with this combination of memoir, essays, and poetry, although booksellers sometimes can’t decide where to shelve it, Frank says. Now in its sixth printing, Dancing Naked has sold almost 40,000 copies since 2004.
Selling equally fast, Finney’s Finds by Michael Finney was launched last fall and has already sold through its first press run of 3,000. Finney has placed simple displays—a cardboard box with label whose total cost is less than 50 cents—in more than 20 outlets of a regional gift/stationery store. Finney also offers retailers miniposters that he has printed for about 60 cents each.
Offering Titles for Espresso Book Machines
If you’d like to have your books available via print-on-demand in certain bookstores, you can upload them to EspressNet, the software that connects to Espresso Book Machines in more than 30 bookstores in the United States and Canada and to several in foreign countries.
All you need to provide are two print-ready PDFs per book (interior and cover). Currently there is no fee to upload titles. Participating publishers determine suggested retail prices, which must be at least 1.4 cents per page plus $1 per book, and they receive 25 percent of a book’s price for every copy sold.
For more information, see ondemandbooks.com and select EspressNet SelfServe for U.S. Publishers or EspressNet SelfServe for Non-U.S. Publishers.
In the Media
● The new Sourcebooks biography of Georgette Heyer, “mother of the Regency Romance,” was reviewed at length in a January Wall Street Journal. For Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller, Jennifer Kloester had access to the author’s private papers, which the Journal praises her for using to “enliven” the narrative of Heyer’s “every book and travail.” The Washington Post review, noting that Kloester had spent 10 years on the book, called it “meticulously researched.” In late 2012, Library Journal had also recommended the book, writing, “Heyer enthusiasts and readers interested in popular romantic historical fiction or the Regency period of English literature will enjoy this.”
● The Wisconsin Historical Society Press got coverage about sales of two of its regional titles in “Ka-Ching: Indie Booksellers Ring Up Strong Holiday Sales” in a January issue of Publishers Weekly.
● In the same issue, “The Good, the Bad, and the Brave: Two Fascinating Takes on Women in History” featured Chicago Review Press title Women of the Frontier: 16 Tales of Trailblazing Homesteaders, Entrepreneurs, and Rabble Rousers.
● Other IBPA members with titles recently reviewed in PW included:
● Oceanview for Zero Separation
● Sourcebooks for two Casablanca titles—If You Give a Rake a Ruby and A Shot of Sultry
● University of Oklahoma Press for Gunfighter in Gotham: Bat Masterson’s New York City Years
● Publishers Weekly and Publishers Marketplace both covered the way Chelsea Green celebrated its first year as an employee-owned enterprise—with a $2,500 cash bonus to each employee—and quoted CG president and publisher Margo Baldwin. “If Random House can give all their employees a $5,000 bonus for 50 Shades of Gray,” she said, “then Chelsea Green can give everyone a $2,500 bonus due to the phenomenal success of The Art of Fermentation.”
The company reports that sales were up 30 percent year-to-date through November 2012. By mid-December, The Art of Fermentation, a 500-page hardcover reference book with a foreword by Michael Pollan, was among Amazon’s top-selling 600 books, and Library Journal had raved, “Fermentation foodies will be ecstatic.”
Spotlight is compiled by Linda Carlson (lindacarlson.com), who welcomes members’ news of notable special sales and licensing deals, significant recent media coups, movie and television options, and other achievements at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please report on how you accomplished something as well as on what you accomplished so others can benefit from your experience as they applaud your achievements.
Note: We must have URLs for accessing any media coverage you’d like us to mention.
Please submit your news for Spotlight in the text of your email (no attachments) and remember to include:
● your name and title
● the name of your publishing company as it appears in the IBPA membership directory
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Since information for this column is needed about eight weeks in advance of an issue’s publication date, news you submit by March 14 can be considered for the May and later issues. News that is time-sensitive should be directed to email@example.com for consideration for the IBPA e-newsletter, Independent Publishing Now.