We noted short items in the past regarding how the Boulder Bookstore charges all the self-published authors who want to connect with the store rather than sending them away empty-handed, and now a Nieman Journalism Lab piece offers more details.
The fee structure ranges from $25 to stock five copies and $75 to feature a book in the Recommended section, up to $255 for an in-store reading and book-signing (plus website and newsletter mention). Our first instinct was that they are charging too little for the more elaborate plans, knowing what third-parties are charging for marketing plans–and indeed, head buyer Arsen Kashkashian says “mst people will come in at one of the higher fee amounts.” The store even has a two-page consignment brochure explaining the program and giving other tips to authors.
But here’s the real payoff, as we’ve discussed before: not only does the store turn what was drudge work into something that generates cash, but they also reinforce a truly local connection that chain stores and online stores can’t match. That’s what Local Loyalty is all about–making the most of what your community wants from you, rather than making your community guilty that they don’t want to spend full price for commodity goods.
“Kashkashian says, have been generally grateful for the opportunity to sell and promote work that might otherwise be seen and appreciated only by their friends/spouses/moms: ‘I want the marketing, I want the exposure. I worked so hard on this project, and you guys are the only ones who could help me with it.'” That’s worth a lot, and it turns grateful, paying authors into the store’s own viral marketers when they bring in friends and spread the word. They pay you for the privilege of promoting your store!
We’ve also long been fans of experimentation with new types of subscription plans–from Powell’s Indiespensable selections, Roxanne Coady’s Just the Right Book venture, and Safari Online to Disney Publishing’s new subscription website, Bloomsbury’s growing library subscriptions, and publisher Open Letter’s “season subscriptions.”
In that mode, Unbridled Books announced yesterday subscription plans for 3 and 6 books from the house, shipped pre-publication, at $60 and $100 respectively. Plus they throw in a free backlist title and a discount on the other books.
The Chicago Tribune reports on Borders’ initiative to host book club gatherings within their stores. “Signs and posters telling shoppers to bring their book group to the store have gone out from corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor.” Spokesperson Mary Davis says, “We’re encouraging stores to reach out to the public to say, ‘We’re here.’ It’s a way to drive traffic to the stores.”