We’re all susceptible to the impulse purchase. That’s why the grocery and discount stores line the checkout lanes with goodies to catch your eye. It works – you buy more.
Put this human impulse to work in your favor by using point-of-purchase displays to put your books in direct line of sight of people with their wallets already out of their pockets. We sell outdoor recreation guidebooks to trails for hiking, bicycling, and skiing. We’ve gotten them displayed on checkout counters in bike shops, gift shops, nature centers, wineries, coffee shops, and even gas stations.
When we make a sales call we offer a free plastic counter-top display stand if they buy 5 or more books. With the stand (and some not-so-subtle suggestions), nine times out of ten, our books end up being displayed on the checkout counter. We tape a business card to the back of the stand, which gives the owner of the shop quick access to our reorder phone number.
Of course, some shop owners say no – their counters are too crowded already. But, the ones who say yes end up selling many more books and we make our minimal investment in the display stand back very quickly. I’ve seen this work for other genres of books also. Target which stores you approach with the free book stand idea carefully. If your book appeals to grandparents, target stores where grandparents shop. If your book is historical (fiction or non-fiction) target stores where people interested in that history might shop.
Don’t limit your thinking to book shops. As I mentioned, even gas stations worked for us and ours were the only books they had ever carried. Think about what shops might by visited by your specific customers, then make a sales pitch to the shop owner. Offering a book stand is sometimes the tipping point that gets them to say yes rather than no.
We also use book stands to give our books a lift at festivals, book signings and seminars. We’ve spent time and money to get there, and often shelled out money for the honor of setting up our table. If we spread our books on the table (as I’ve watched many authors do) and sit back as people wander past, sending only a fleeting glance toward our table, an opportunity is lost. Instead, we capture that opportunity by using display stands to set our books upright at various heights. We’ve invested in designing captivating covers so we display them front-out to passers-by and let their glance light upon our covers, enticing them over for a closer look. This works well, even if you’re not an aggressive marketer. Some authors can engage people in conversation as they walk by, but many of us are too shy to do it successfully. Whether you’re shy or aggressive, displaying books on stands helps to entice potential customers to your table.
And, if you’re giving a talk or workshop, having your books on display stands on a table in the back of the room is much more noticeable to attendees. They’re more likely to see them upon entering the room and stop to browse. Browsing often turns into buying.
Try it. Use book stands to leverage your book’s exposure at retail stores and at upcoming festivals, exhibits, and book signings. Increase impulse purchases and watch your sales increase.
Written by Sue Freeman
Connect to us via our other social media buttons. Just pick your click!