Sizzling Marketing Ideas for Cookbook Sales

Cookbooks stand apart in the world of publishing. They aren’t typical coffee table books, yet they rely heavily on visual appeal. They’re distinct from novels, biographies, and travelogues, despite containing elements of narrative, history, globetrotting, and personal context. Cookbooks encompass a multitude of elements, presenting a unique marketing challenge.

Since October is National Cookbook Month, Outskirts Press proudly presents these tips for cooking-up some massive cookbook sales:

It’s Fun to Share

Cookbooks are a gift to the world that offer a piece of your personal history & travels by sharing delicious recipes from your neighborhood and abroad; so a natural marketing tactic to attract potential buyers is through giveaways or promotions. Consider limited-time discounts on your cookbook or related products (like, for example, a gift basket including your cookbook, spices, and measuring cups all bundled together for an attractive price that is still profitable for you). These make great gifts as we come upon the gift-giving season.

Share free content related to your cookbook on your blog, website, and social media platforms. This content could include recipes not available in your cookbook (but perhaps in your next one as a sneak peek).

Table for Two

Partner with platforms like Goodreads, Amazon, TikTok, SnapChat, FaceBook or others to enhance your cookbook’s visibility. They all offer low-cost advertising options.

Presentation is Key

Consider recording a video or series of videos as you personally prepare your recipes on-camera. You don’t even have to show your face if you’re shy! It’s all about the food.

Through the use of efficient editing and a friendly voice-over, you can create a time-lapse video that visually demonstrates your recipe from start-to-finish that is under three minutes long. This is the optimal time for a recipe video as it allows you to use all the major video platforms today, including YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, among others.

Upload your video(s) to as many social media platforms as you can, using a well-crafted title that includes important keywords describing your recipe and its ingredients. If you consistently upload new recipes on a weekly basis, you’ll be amazed as the results.

Reservations for Ate… er, Eight

Partner with fellow cookbook authors to amplify your reach and share effective marketing tactics with each other. Tap into the influence of food bloggers, particularly on visually-driven platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. Offer free copies of your cookbook to bloggers or influencers in exchange for interviews, video features, and collaborative content. Offer to reciprocate by featuring them on your platform. Create your own blog or influential channel on one (or more) of these popular social media platforms to help other collaborators, authors, and chefs find y ou.

If you’re uncertain about where to begin with marketing your cookbook (or any book, for that matter), consider seeking expert assistance. A Book Marketing Specialist could be your recipe for success.

Speaking of cookbooks, right now, you can save $1000 on the exclusive One-Click Publishing & Marketing Suite for Cookbooks from Outskirts Press.

This all-inclusive self-publishing package is simply scrumptious! It includes all the ingredients you need to whip up a professional cookbook that will tantalize your readers’ taste buds. With its included mouth-watering custom cover design, enhanced interior layout, 30 included full-color photograph insertions, expedited service, worldwide distribution, and more, you will be serving your cookbook to the world before the timer buzzes.

See everything you get with this amazing One-Click package by clicking here and use promotion code: occooksave at check-out to save $1000 instantly!

But hurry, this offer ends October 11th.  Don’t miss this chance to publish the cookbook of your dreams before your goose is cooked! Click here to start publishing today.

Have you written a book that you’d like to publish?

Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help YOU publish YOUR masterpiece:

Outskirts Press stands behind our book printing and design services with the best 100% satisfaction guarantee in the self-publishing industry. Start publishing today.

Click above to watch the video. New authors, click here for your free publishing kit.

Get Shelved: 5 Tips for Being Stocked by Bookstores

Though many people buy books online, it’s not just gratifying to see your title on a bookstore’s shelf—it’s also smart business. We still like to hold something in our hands before we buy it. When a book is on the shelf, a reader can find it even when they’re browsing the store for other things. And you cannot put a price on the worth of the passion of a bookseller selling your book face-to-face to a reader.

Here are a few points to consider as you go for the bricks-and-mortar gold:

Be proactive. Start early when it comes to your relationships with stores and your relationships with readers.

  • Buy books yourself from the bookstores you want to carry your book. You’re not bribing them—and they still don’t have to stock your book; instead, you’re becoming a part of their community and putting action behind your words. Do you want the store to be around to sell your book? Shop there yourself.
  • Introduce yourself as a new author. Engage with their stores on social media.
  • If you plan to travel, contact bookstores there ahead of your visit. Ask if you can stop by and bring copies of your book to show them. (It helps if you have ties to that community and/or your book’s subject matter connects to that store’s customers.)
  • Be prepared to share a sample of your book with booksellers.
  • Consider placing your book on consignment to independent bookstores. Often, independent bookstores already have a consignment process in place. With this method, stores don’t risk funds on a currently unknown, new author; you get immediate placement on the shelf. It’s a win-win!
  • Know your target market, where they can be found, what they enjoy, and how you plan to get your book in front of this market. Bookstores want people to request and buy your book. If a bookseller believes you have done the work to nurture an audience, they are more likely to want to carry your book on their shelves.

Think about your book from the bookseller’s perspective.

  • What’s in it for them if they carry it?
  • How will your book delight their customers?
  • How can selling your book make the store money?
  • Will it bring them some positive new media exposure?

Be confident in answering those questions when you meet with the bookseller. Focusing on these questions also helps steer you away from the temptation of bulk emailing. Each store is unique—treat them as such and engage in one-on-one emails or, better yet, call or visit in person.

Make sure your book is available in multiple formats. Give book buyers as many choices as possible. Hardback and large print are essential to bookstores. Audiobooks and eBooks are also great, especially for those stores with smaller physical spaces. Make it easy for the seller to sell to everyone, regardless of their preferred format.

Make sure your books are returnable. If a bookstore buys your book, and it doesn’t sell, they have three options, and only one works in their favor: (1) return it to the wholesaler to get their money back, (2) mark the book down to a clearance price to get it off their shelves, or (3) throw the book away.

The bookstore loses some or all its money with those second two options. A returns option, however, is like an insurance for them. It lowers the risk when it comes to carrying your book. This is especially important when you aren’t a well-known author who’s proven your books can and will sell.

Schedule a book event or signing. Both you and the store will appreciate a captivated audience who are sure to buy copies and may purchase other items while in the store. Remember that hosting an event, in person or online, is work for bookstore staff and can appear risky since they need to commit to ordering several copies of your book so that everyone in the audience can buy. For this reason, ramp up your marketing efforts to fill those seats. Offer to write something for the store’s newsletter and let the local press know you’re available for interviews. Record the event so that you can use clips in future marketing efforts.

Outskirts Press’s Publishing Consultants can help you set your book price and establish a returns program for your book (we call it Retail Returns). In addition, our Book Marketing Specialists can guide you in developing a sound book marketing plan, including using our First Chapter Preview option, which sends an excerpt of your book to more than 3,000 independent bookstores. This excerpt will also go to libraries, reviewers, and other select readers. And, of course, all our top publishing services include Ingram wholesaler distribution and availability, the top pick of most booksellers, big and small.

Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help YOU publish YOUR masterpiece:  

3 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Plan

Book Marketing Specialists Outskirts Press

Almost every blog, workshop, and website about self-publishing advocates for creating a book marketing plan even before your book has been printed.

You will already have read about several marketing methods, from virtual book tours to book signings to book fair partnerships to glossy mailings featuring your book. Have you followed that advice?

Sometimes, even when we answer “yes” to this question, our sales numbers may not reflect our hard work and the (usually) good advice we receive. You might even be following—to the letter—every piece of advice you’ve been given. So, how could this be? And more importantly, how do we fix the problem?

The simple truth is that your book’s marketing plan may have a fatal flaw, and this flaw may be costing you sales. And truthfully, this is a common problem among self-publishing authors, which means you’re not alone. But rest assured, we’ve figured out some surefire ways to troubleshoot the issues.

Instead of looking at your book marketing plan as an “enemy” actively working against you, ponder these three questions. Your answers might just help reshape your marketing plan to be more insightful, effective, and successful at moving your book off the bookstore shelves.

  1. Have you clearly defined your target market? When you wrote your first book, you just knew that everyone would love it. It would make you the talk of the town (or maybe even the talk of the nation . . . or globe). It would be the “it” book everyone would want to read. But . . . that’s a rather lofty goal. Many might even say it’s an impossible goal, in that even the most successful authors (like Stephen King, Tom Clancy, and Jan Karon) cannot reach everyone with their books. And that’s fine; they have developed loyal followings among readers who are committed to them and their books. That’s where their success lies, and even if you’re not a blockbuster breakout success on the scale of a Stephen King, one can learn from that core truth: loyal followings sell books. How, then, do you seek them out? First, ignore all the white noise, and dispense with the idea that your book is for everyone. There isn’t a book on earth that’s for everyone. So, who is your book for? Who is your intended audience? Start locking in the details, from demographic information like age and occupation to the qualities people look for in books. Define your target audience with care and with specificity. If you can’t name some specific characteristics, you can’t market to them.
  2. Have you figured out what differentiates your book from the other books available to your target market? Can you tell us why your book is both different from and better than any other book on the market in its genre? Is there a lesson taught in your book? Are your characters easier to relate to? There has to be a reason why readers want to buy your spy thriller instead of the latest from John le Carré. As daunting as it is to consider as a competitor THE AUTHOR who leads the pack in terms of sales in your genre, doing so will help you figure out your book’s strengths. You aren’t just churning out another Vince Flynn action book; you’re publishing a book with its own strengths of plot and character. Find out what makes your book special and use that as your unique value proposition . . . in marketing as well as every other context.
  3. Have you updated your book marketing plan lately? The book marketing industry, like any other, evolves with blinding speed. If you don’t keep your plan up to date, it can quickly become irrelevant, and your book sales will flag. Therefore, we recommend that authors review and update their book marketing plan at least once a year and make sure to get eyes other than their own on their plan. Having that external insight is vital to ensuring that every detail of your marketing plan serves a purpose!

Have your book sales been flagging, and you can’t figure out why? Perhaps it’s time to consult with one of our Book Marketing Specialists. Right now, Outskirts Press is offering an instant 10% savings off the regular price of $349 when you claim 5 hours of 1-on-1 marketing assistance with one of our book marketing specialists. Enter promo code salebms at checkout to instantly receive 10% off.

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

Get started with your personal Book Marketing Specialist today!

How Book Marketing Specialists Are Helping Self-Publishing Authors

As a self-published author, do you know how to develop a book marketing plan or even what should be included in it? Do you have the time and know-how to snag and schedule book signings? Are you confused about when, where, and how to implement these and other elements of your book marketing plan?

A professional book marketing specialist can assist you with all these tasks—and more!

What, exactly, can a book marketing specialist do for you?

  • Develop a marketing plan. A book marketing plan is as vital to the marketing of a book as an outline is to the writing of it. And a marketing plan must be continuously tweaked to stay aligned with your goals. When you hire a book marketing specialist, you will receive a customized marketing plan with recommended actions and invaluable information you can use TODAY to sell more books.
  • Arrange book signings. Book signings are special moments for any author and book fans. Your book marketing specialist will help you schedule these events and coordinate all the important details.
  • Develop your author platform. Your online presence says a lot about you as a person and can say a lot about you as an author. An internet presence explicitly tailored to your needs will help you fine-tune your image, get the word out about your book(s) to a large, targeted audience, and give readers important and helpful ways to find you and buy your book. Your author platform includes a website, social networking accounts, and more. A book marketing specialist can ensure you make the most of this helpful marketing medium!
  • Follow-up on marketing leads. When life gets busy, it’s nice to hand off the little details to someone else—like following up with potentially valuable marketing leads. Your book marketing specialist will chase down these leads for you and ensure you get ’em while they’re HOT!

Marketing a book is not a cookie-cutter science. Instead, the successful path depends upon the book, the author, and their goals. That’s why it is imperative to meet with your book marketing specialist first, typically via an initial telephone consultation. Once you determine you and your marketing specialist are on the same page (pun intended), you can work together more efficiently and effectively.

If you haven’t yet secured the services of a professional book marketing specialist to help you market your self-published book, perhaps 2023 is the year to do it!

About Outskirts Press

Since 2002, Outskirts Press has helped thousands of authors just like you develop, publish, and market thousands of high-quality, award-winning books featuring . . .

  • exceptional cover design
  • professional interior formatting
  • high-quality printing
  • award-winning publishing
  • worldwide distribution
  • and extensive book marketing services