Two ads printed in the American Booksellers Association’s January Indie Next List flier encourage customers to pre-order On the Come Up by Angie Thomas and Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World From the Tweets to the Streets by Feminista Jones from their local indie bookstore to receive a free gift. The new Indie Next List flier arrived this month in member booksellers’ December Red Boxes.
The first ad informs the consumer that customers who pre-order a special signed copy of Thomas’ second YA novel, On the Come Up, forthcoming from Balzer + Bray on February 5, 2019, from the bookstore where they got the flier will receive an On the Come Up pop-up CD-case-style card as a promo giveaway item to go with their signed book. The ad in the flier, which also includes the book’s $14.95 price, on-sale date, and publisher, reads: “Pre-order from us and get a free pop-up card. Signed copies and cards while supplies last.”
Booksellers who would like to offer this pre-order deal to their customers are invited to order a 10-copy signed carton of On the Come Up (9780062853776) while supplies last. To receive by the on-sale date, orders must be placed by January 14, 2019. The carton will include 10 On the Come Up pop-up CD-case-style cards, one for each copy in the carton.
The other pre-order ad printed in the January flier informs customers who pre-order Reclaiming Our Space, out from Beacon Press on January 29, 2019, that they will receive a 5.25” by 2.25” laptop sticker with their copy if they order from the bookstore where they picked up the flier. The ad, which also includes the book’s $14.95 price, on-sale date, and publisher, reads: “Pre-order from us and get a free laptop sticker. Stickers while supplies last.”
Going forward, the Indie Next List flier sent to booksellers in ABA’s Monthly Box mailings will feature pre-order ads for several different titles. These offers, along with many others, are detailed in the new Pre-Order Calendar on the ABA website. There, booksellers can view a regularly updated list of suggested titles with good pre-order potential, including ordering details and publication dates. Most books on the pre-order calendar will include special giveaways and/or signed books for added value to entice customers to order from their local indie.
The pre-order calendar title list is also available as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet. When available, titles on the calendar will also link to publishers’ downloadable digital marketing assets. These materials, including the ads for On the Come Up and Reclaiming Our Space, can also be found by clicking on the pre-orders tab on BookWeb.org’s Marketing Assets page under the For Booksellers menu.
In addition, ABA’s pre-order calendar page includes pre-order shelf-talkers urging customers to “Keep It Local,” which booksellers can use on their websites and newsletters or print out and use in their stores.
The ads, the calendar, and the shelf-talker are all a reflection of ABA’s focus on how indie bookstores can take part in the growing business of pre-orders, a conversation that gained traction earlier this year following the announcement of three significant titles — Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (Henry Holt), Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo (Chronicle), and Michelle Obama’s Becoming (Crown).
ABA also addressed the issue this fall at the regional trade shows with a new education session for booksellers, “Maximizing Pre-Order Campaigns,” and in creating a new pre-order task force consisting of 22 member bookstores, which promoted and recorded sales for seven pre-selected books between July and November 2018. Stores that are interested in promoting pre-orders can also review this cheat sheet on how to report sales at the on-sale date using any of the six POS systems listed.