direct mail marketing for the sale of books

In the days before email, the web and social networking how did people survive? Think about that and try and envision what life would be like without your iPad, computer or email account. Would you be at a grave loss in running your life or your business? How would you promote your new book?

Well, old is new again and in fact it never ceased to be an important marketing factor in the selling, promotion and marketing of books. Think of this: The publishing industry may not even be where it is today if not for the direct mail marketing of books. Yes that’s right, books were marketed then AND now via a sales and marketing message via direct mail marketing.

Thomas L. Hall used direct mail campaigns to sell his books with sales letters that he wrote himself and stated that “he learned about 10% of what I needed to write successful sales letters from books. The other 90% I learned by doing.” He was famous because not one project made less than a million dollars. Parker Books was another company that also was successful at selling their books by its use of direct mail marketing.

My good friend Earl H. Roberts, who from Oklahoma City metro who owns and writes books under the name of Lin Stone” has informed me of Hall’s marketing via direct mail and to quote Earl, “I bought everything he wrote and read everything 50 – 100 times.”  Earl further offered; “Direct Mail Marketing WORKS! It seems to me it ought to be much easier to get your offer looked at because so few people use it anymore.”  Earl must have read Robert Frost as well, as direct mail marketing, now with the flood of email and social network marketing, while ever present is now “the road less taken”.

There are a variety of methods available to the author to use for a direct mail marketing campaign. Thomas L. Hall used a one or two page letter with envelope that in the best language of sales, the U.S.P. (Unique Sales Presentation) extolling the benefits to the reader of acquiring his book and included an order form that could be filled out and returned with an enclosed check or in today’s world a credit card authorization to charge the sale.

Other methods include a direct mail postcard, a brochure which could include quotes from your book, a picture of the cover art and one of the author as well as order information.  The post office still offers bulk mail rates that cannot be beat. A bulk mail letter is about 25-28 cents and if EDD (Every Door Direct), assuming you have a book of very general interest can be as little as 16 cents per piece. The best deal in town is the price to produce the printed materials and with the Post Office still providing cheap rates, including Library and Media mail to ship the books, direct mail marketing may not only be a time honored and proven source for the sale of books but may even be the best game in town.

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