Copyright 1999 Carol
market is a $5 Billion market and many publishers ignore it because
they mistakenly believe in some marketing fables that have been
circulating around this market for many years. It's time to take
understand the facts not the fables!
FABLE: We don't need to market to libraries because
they don't order from the publisher and their wholesalers supply
all their needs.
FACT: Wholesalers sell their services they
don't sell individual titles. Wholesalers offer a valuable resource
for libraries with one-stop shopping, discounts, recommended lists,
standing order tracking, cataloging, and more but they cannot create
a need for your title in the library. Only you can do this by advertising,
catalogs, obtaining reviews, and all the other time-tested, librarian-responsive
FABLE: Librarians hate "junk mail" and most of
it ends up in the wastebasket.
FACT: Of all the people I know, librarians
are the least likely to throw away information. Catalogs are information.
Catalogs tell the librarian what's newly published. What information
is currently available to their patrons. Librarians not only don't
throw away catalogs, they circulate them to other librarians, file
them for reference, and refer to them for up to three years after
the catalog is mailed.
FABLE: Librarians are serious buyers. They do not respond
to "gimmicks" or "sales".
FACT: Nothing could be further than the truth. Librarians
are consumers just like everyone else. They want to "get a
deal" because it stretches their budgets so if they save on
one thing, they can afford to purchase something else. One publisher
I worked with had a lot of microfilm locked in their vault that
had never sold one copy in 3 years. Not only was this product very
"esoteric" but it was also expensive priced in
the thousands per title. I suggested they put all of this product
into a sale catalog and price it at 50-75% off the regular price.
Within a year, this one catalog generated over a million dollars
from the library market.
FABLE: Librarians won't buy a book that hasn't been reviewed.
FACT: While reviews are extremely important for some
libraries, the simple fact is that most books don't get reviewed
because of the editorial policies of the review journals and the
limited space of librarian-oriented magazines. Librarians do purchase
un-reviewed books if they fill a gap in their collection. If you
have difficulty getting reviewed, then obtain endorsements from
your library customers and use this in your promotional copy.
Marketing to libraries is one way to increase your total sales of
books, software, and other published materials. Don't let fables
cloud your judgement!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This article was written by Carol Ann Waugh, President of Xcellent
Marketing, a marketing and new business development firm specializing
in the educational and library market. Xcellent Marketing offers
a variety of marketing services to help publishers increase their
revenues and profits from identifying new markets, providing critiques
of web sites and marketing communications such as direct mail,
catalogs, advertisements, etc. as well as developing effective
traditional as well as Internet-based marketing plans. Carol can
be reached at (303) 388-5215 or at firstname.lastname@example.org