The Bath and Body Works 75% off sale is over, I am incredibly torn up about its ending. Not only because that sale offers the best deals on the planet for those of us addicted to scents, lavish lotions, potions, and all things body wash, but it is the ending to another book marketing lesson. They have this incredible sale twice a year and I go to it to learn about book marketing, just as much as to over indulge.
How is a bath shop connected to book marketing? Glad you asked. They have learned how to create an experience for their loyal followers. They have learned the art of creating anticipation for their customers. They have mastered continuity products. Finally, my all time favorite is their ability to create connectivity. As far as book marketing goes you need all of that to maintain and expand a fan base. They are genius at it. Every author needs to visit a Bath and Body Works store at least once. For male writers they have a line of men’s products too, so you have no excuse.
The experience. Bath and Body Works makes you want to shop. They have created a way to instantly engage the senses of sight, smell and touch. Whatever they want you to engage with, they put it at the entrance of the store and that draws you in. Once you are in the store the chances of you coming out empty handed are pretty slim.
That “experience” is your book cover. You’ve got to instantly engage the reader. Your first page should make them want to read the rest of the book. The last page of your book should make them want to buy the next book. I am always studying book covers and it never fails that the ones that impact me the most have maximized my sense of sight.
Creating anticipation. Loyal shoppers know about the 75% off sale. One of the reasons the event is so popular is because they bring back discontinued scents during the sale. You never know what scent they are going to bring back and it is fun anticipating what that scent will be. If it is your favorite scent then you know that is the time to stock up because you never know when they will bring it back. Last year they brought back Tuberose and it instantly sold out. I had to visit three stores in order to stock up. This year they brought back Juniper Breeze it was bought up as well.
What can you do create to bring anticipation for your book? For my cookbook I held an annual Healthy Happy and Whole for the Holiday’s seminar and packed it out every year. People looked forward to the event. I always had some new food samples for them to try or some type of door prize that built anticipation. People like to be involved give them what they crave. If you have a romance book why not start an annual couples retreat for your loyal readers? If you have a mystery book why not set up an annual Mystery Dinner Theater?
Continuity products. There is always a new product at Bath and Body Works. Every season they have new candles – holiday scents, fall scents, spring scents and summer scents. Every few months they change out the bath products, hand soaps, lotions, creams and salt scrubs. They are always introducing new room deodorizers sprays and oils. Because they keep offering new items, their fan base keeps purchasing. You can do the same thing with your book by offering a series, or adding new characters, or creating specific interconnected topics to write about; or by expanding your product line – T-shirts, mugs, calendars and posters. Think about what Stephanie Myers did with the Twilight series. She started a pop culture phenomenon with all the products she offered as a part of the book series.
Connectivity. You will rarely walk out of a Bath and Body Works store without them giving you a coupon. They don’t give worthless coupons either. A worthless coupon is one in which you know they are really not discounting anything. They give the type of coupon that will make you want to buy another product. If they don’t have a coupon they will give you a receipt for $10 off your next purchase if you take a survey or they offer a free item. Since I shop there a lot, I always do the survey so I will always be able to buy something on sale at any time. The coupon is for connectivity. They want you to come back, and they have provided incentives for you to do so.
Think of ways to provide connectivity for your readers. What can you do to make them want to support your book? Could you create a newsletter that keeps them connected? Could you offer a monthly drawing with a gift certificate that would make your readers want to stay connected? Could you give a reward for every new reader that left a positive review? Could you start a book club just to keep people connected to you, then when your new books came out you would have an instant group of reviewers? Connectivity builds a long-term fan base.
The reason I have been loyal to Bath and Body Works over the years is because they built valuable connectivity. Many new authors are only concerned about selling books, without fully understanding that selling your brand is far more important. The things that I have discussed in this article today are how Bath and Body Works created a brand. Now it’s your turn. Create your brand. That is the best book marketing you can do.
About the Author: Linda Leon loves helping authors and writers learn to have a writing career and market their books. If this is you and you would like to learn more about what it takes to shift from the role of frustrated writer to writing for income, then check out this new report where she shows you how to get started selling books and start a writing career.