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Tap the Combined Power of 900+ Independent Bookstores

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This summer, national print advertising funded by the American Bookseller Association will promote the Book Sense name and the toll-free # (1-888-BOOKSENSE) which will direct book shoppers to their local independent. Book Sense will also be a sponsor of the June 6 Tony Awards on PBS. On the local level, over 900 stores are already featuring Book Sense door decals, bags, bookmarks, and posters in-store and the Book Sense logo in newsletters and local ads. Book Sense is also a positive, proactive talking point with local media.
This fall will bring the launch of BookSense.com, a central site for independents, and hundreds of individual store sites will all share the Muze 1.6 million title database and fast fulfillment by Baker and Taylor. The sites will feature rich and varied content, from local author features and staff picks to an eclectic assortment of featured titles, category highlights, and theme round-ups. Also this fall-and maybe sooner-plans are shaping up for Book Sense gift certificates. These certificates will allow independents to act as a national gift-giving network. In the Book Sense campaign, there will also be e-mails and newsletters to stores and consumers about great books to watch for, urgent media updates, and the like.

What This Means
for Publishers of All Sizes

Book Sense will be a vehicle for publishers to work with independent bookstores and for a wide range of wonderful and eclectic books to be put before a vast and dynamic readership shopping at Book Sense stores and at BookSense.com sites. There will be:

  • Banners, featured books, theme round-ups, and category highlights on the Web site
  • Placement in regional and national Book Sense print ads
  • E-mail notices direct to consumers
  • Store-based efforts still in discussion.

Our plan is for the booksellers to choose 75-100 notable books a month which will populate the areas noted above. After the books have been picked, publishers will be contacted for support. Final prices are not yet set, but we plan to offer great exposure for $250 to $2,000 depending on the duration (one to four weeks) and visibility (featured spot vs. category highlight), with special consideration to be given to books with small first printings, first novels, backlist, and series. (The print ads will cost more; additional book choices for theme sections may cost less.) Stay tuned for a complete summary of all options and costs-this is a work-in-progress. Book Sense plans to make marketing opportunities available to presses of all sizes.
The power of Book Sense will lie in the 900+ stores talking about your books, as well as handselling and reordering them. You will see the effect in reorders and we will be tracking Web site hits as well as combined sales over the many Web sites.

 

If you are interested in tapping the power of the independent stores:

1. Please send me two sets of fall catalogs, ideally with Post-it notes and comments by any books you particularly love in one of the sets, and
2. Please begin sending me a finished copy or two of any books you feel are great for the Book Sense programs. Reading copies also very welcome. Send the catalogs and books to Carl Lennertz (ABA, 828 S. Broadway, Tarrytown NY 10591). Several of us who are in charge of the Web content and newsletters will be reading as much as we can. The more you want to send the better. Make sure we’re reading and discussing your books too!
Note: In the 75-100 featured titles each month, we will be looking to have choices from every category and store specialty, from travel to gay/lesbian, from art to business, mystery to sci-fi, and well, every subject matter that the range of independent stores sell!

To participate in co-op supported promotions, contact Carl Lennertz at carl@booksense.com. Booksense.com technical questions should be directed to Len Vlahos at len@booksense.com. General marketing questions should go to Michael Hoynes at michael@booksense.com or Jill Perlstein, jill@booksense.com. Phone contact, 914/591-BOOK and fax, 914/591-2724.This article is from thePMA Newsletterfor June, 1999, and is reprinted with permission of Publishers Marketing Association.

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