Combining two things that are a big part of who I am, Business in the Books is a feature that was developed to showcase the promotions for books that stand out as effective marketing devices. In this feature, I will highlight the promotions that I find most intriguing as a reader and innovative for the business side of books, that hook readers by adding value to their purchases while effectively making them valuable life-long customers. *This feature is meant to highlight effective marketing tools. This does not mean I recommend these books, as it is possible I have not read them.*
How does it work?
[overview of the promotion and examples of what’s hot right now]
The new promotion going around is all about getting the reader to share content with their own followers in order to ‘unlock’ exclusive content. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
1. A Lady of Esteem by Kristi Ann Hunter
Debut author Kristi Ann Hunter’s first novel, A Noble Masquerade, is coming to stores this September. A Lady of Esteem in the free prequel novella coming in July to interest readers in her full-length novel. As you can see from the tweet above, readers were asked to add the novella to their Goodreads list and unlock the first chapter once 250 people added in to their TBRs. It has been unlocked, so if you’re interested, click here to read the exclusive chapter.
2. Among the Fair Magnolias, a novella collection
This promotion has readers sharing the above image of the book cover. Once it reached 300 shares with hashtag #FairMagnolias on social media platforms, the exclusive content was released. To see the exclusive content, click here.
3. The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd
Similar to the promotion for A Lady of Esteem, once 100 people add The Curiosity Keeper to their Goodreads list, three chapters are unlocked. This has been done, so to read the exclusive content, click here.
Now, let’s look behind the scenes a bit more…
Why Buy In?
[the incentive for readers to take advantage of the promotion]
The incentive varies depending on each individual promotion, but as you can see, the examples above offer a free first chapter(s) and exclusive content. Most of the time, the incentive will be referred to as ‘exclusive’ or ‘bonus’ content, which allows the publisher to share anything from new, previously unreleased scenes featuring characters readers already know or prequel scenes that give further insight of characters from full-length novels.
What’s the Angle?
[what the publisher gains when readers buy in]
Free marketing! Let’s take a look at how this works: Readers are sharing images and marketing tools given to them by their favorite publishers and authors in order to unlock exclusive content. They want this content enough to share with their friends and people who follow them on social media. And, let’s remember how important word-of-mouth is. Essentially, this is word-of-mouth social media style. And we all are more likely to take notice of a book if a friend or family member recommends it to us. So, the publisher offers something free and exclusive and in exchange they get free promotion from their loyal readers. That’s effective marketing.