While that may be true, there are three important reasons to start planning back-to-school/fall promotions right now:
1) Back-to-school is one of the biggest times for shopping in the entire year;
2) Back-to-school shopping takes place from July to September, so it has already started;
3) Retailers are making promotional plans for back-to-school right now, so you should too!
Back-to-school season isn’t just a time to market children’s books—it’s a time for fresh starts (and last-chance indulgences) for everyone. And let’s not forget who has the pocketbook: PARENTS. It’s not all about what the kids need, you know!
Below are a few takes you can use to market your book—regardless of genre—during the back-to-school season!
There’s a reason summer vacation resorts lower their rates at the end of summer and early fall—it’s to capitalize on all those shoulda-woulda vacationers who felt like they missed out on living up the summer months! How can you use this to market your book? This is a great one for that terrific beach read—the biography of that Olympic-medalist athlete, or the mystery novel with just a touch of decadent smut! Connect with vacation resorts or tourist shops to sell your book, or connect with a travel agency to throw in a copy of your book with every vacation package they sell!
I’m not a mommy, but I remember my own parents (many years ago) loving back-to-school time because a) they didn’t have to pay for all-day childcare during the school year; and b) they knew we were occupied with constructive activities, and no longer needed to worry about any shenanigans we were getting into involving a neighborhood cat (well…at least until 3:30). While back-to-school seems to be all about the kids, this is also a great time to connect with parents looking to give themselves a little indulgence; they need it! If you’ve got a great self-help book on personal affirmation, connect with a spa person and sell it in a spa package. Connect with some great mommy bloggers, and see if you can do something together!
Back-to-school isn’t just a fresh start for kids—parents are also familiar with that nostalgic fresh-start feeling we get in the fall. This is a great time to market books that can be converted to classes or personal development books. If you have a book on living a gluten-free lifestyle, consider teaching a short class with recipes and shopping alternatives for new gluten-free families. If you’re a piano teacher who has written a biography on a famous concert pianist, consider giving a free copy to every new piano student you get between July and September.
Authors, what methods have you used to market your books at back-to-school time? What is the most successful idea you would pass on to other authors?