Monday, January 28, 2013

The Stamp Of Good Book Marketing

Postal Rates Rise, But Book Marketers May Benefit

First-class stamps went up from 45 cents to 46 on January 27. Last year, at this time, they had gone up a penny as well. Stamps have gone up many times in the past decade. Perhaps the fact the US Postal Service operates as a huge deficit has something to do with it. It lost nearly 16 billion dollars in 2012. That is an average of 40 million dollars a day.

That is not a leak - -that is a gusher. Major changes are expected over the next few years, including closings of post offices and reducing the number of days mail will be delivered. However, the mail system is still a viable way to market a book and perhaps because it is becoming less popular to others it is becoming even more important to authors and publishers.

Writers and publishers - -along with advertisers, subscription-based businesses like magazines, movie rentals, and book-of-the-month clubs get hit hard by any postal increases. People still use the mail system, but not as often as they used to thanks to the Internet and email, online bill-paying, and e-readers. But if one uses the mail, what can they do to limit their costs?

1.      But Forever stamps - -they remain good long after any postal rate increases
2.      Mail fewer things.

I cannot remember the last time I received a handwritten letter though I do cherish hand-written cards and thank you notes. Because the mail is not utilized like it used to be, any non-junk mail that one receives actually sticks out and can make an impression. If you can utilize the mail - -especially postcards (less expensive and don’t have to be opened to get seen) – as part of your book marketing efforts, you may get it to pay off.

Everyone is using email or sometimes the phone to promote and market their books or sell other wares. But the mail gets more attention from the recipient than other forms of communication. It doesn’t go to a spam box or voice mail. Real mail touches people. The physical world still trumps anything electronic. Next time you want to reach someone, do e-mail or call them but also try a well-written, hand-drafted letter with a 46-cent stamp. You may just find it pays off.

Barnes & Noble Claims It Will Be Around In 2023

Well, that is one way to read things. Another is that B & N is shedding about a third of its bookstores over the next decade. It announced it will close 20 stores per year over the next 10 years. It used to close around 15 stores per year, leading up to 2009, but it also used to open about 30 in each of those years, so there was a net gain. Last year it closed a dozen and opened none.  The chain peaked in 2008 with 726 stores. It now operates 689 retail outfits and will be down to about 475 - 500 by 2023.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

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