Interesting approaches to marketing & selling books

Thinking about unique approaches from indie booksellers — marketing devices, sale structures, or similar creative ways to get people buying more books.

Here’s one fun one from Two Dollar Radio: book recommendation equations!

Our books aren’t for everyone. We value bold, ambitious, subversive works that sometimes leave people feeling…weird. But obviously our books are for you since you’re here, reading this newsletter. …

One way we try to help people find the books they want is through our math formulas. …

Below you’ll find a series of problems. Our math formulas are supposed to be amusing anecdotes, similar to shelf-talkers in bookstores that say “If you like X, you might enjoy Y,” or “This Book is like Cormac McCarthy writing an episode of Saved by the Bell with a soundtrack by Philip Glass.” If one of the formulas make sense to you (I like this + this is cool + I LOVE this), click the image and snag your new favorite book.

“Indiana Jones + House of Leaves + Inception” (Found Audio)

“Aimee Bender + Renata Adler + Joan Didion” (Seeing People Off)

“James Baldwin + Margaret Atwood + Badlands” (Triangulum)

They also have a cool thing they’re calling “Double Exposure Sale” — offering a discount if you get multiple books by the same author:

With this Two Dollar Radio sale, buy one book and get another book by the same author for 50% off!

One of the great joys of publishing is getting to work hand-in-hand with our incredibly creative and talented authors. So it’s always special when we get to work with them on a second, third, or even fourth book. We want to make it easy for you to engage with their work, and are pleased to offer our Double Exposure sale, where when you buy one book by an author, you can score a second one for half off!

If you’ve come across anything like this, whether fun email strategies, innovative bookselling events, clever marketing approaches, bundles etc. — I’d love to hear about 'em!

Couple other good ones—

Coffee House Press has a “subscription” where you can get all 9 of their upcoming titles for one bundle price:

Dorothy (awesome micro-press!) has a special bundle where you can get all 20 of the titles they’ve ever published for a flat $200. So many of these books look great…should I jump on that deal?!