If today is the first day you thought about creating, a cookbook or if it’s the day you submit your order, there is no time like the present to get a sales plan in place.
Make Sure Your Cookbooks are Visible
- Check with local shops to see if they will sell a few copies. Sometimes offering a commission of even $1.00 a book will encourage them to not only sell the books for you, but also promote them. You can also check with local tourism offices as regional cookbooks make great keepsakes!
- If your group has put together a fundraising book, challenge each person to sell a specific number of books, but keep it reasonable; for example 3 to 5. Then send those books home with them. If they have the books on hand they are more likely to sell them.
- Keep some in your car. It sounds crazy, but some of our most successful cookbook accounts have a history of keeping books in the trunk of their car and some even carry an extra copy in a plastic bag in their purse so they are always prepared to sell a copy.
- If your book is a fundraiser ask local churches if they would be willing to put a copy on display. Have order forms available along with envelopes to collect money and then the next week deliver the cookbooks that were sold for people to pick up.
- Events are a great way to sell books! If you or your group does not have a booth at an event, consider asking someone that will be there if they mind selling your books. Again, offering a commission is a great way to ensure they will promote sales.
Important Note: Cookbooks tucked away in a box do not sell. Keep them out. If they are in front of you then you are more likely to sell. If the cookbook is for a group, share that responsibility and keep them out at the office or send some home with a few select people. The more they are “in your way” the more likely you are to sell them.
Visibility Isn’t Just About Physical Book Presence
- Consider Social Media posts to promote your book. If you or your group has a Facebook page, consider sharing a recipe from the book along with information on how to contact someone to purchase a copy.
- Newsletters are a great way to get the word out. If you have a health cookbook, see if the local hospital will include it in their newsletter. If your cookbook is filled with recipes from the area, check with the local tourism board. If your cookbook is a fundraising cookbook, consider asking area churches to add your book to their bulletin or newsletter.
- Share a recipe with your local newspaper. Telling them about your book and sharing a recipe is a great way to promote your book locally.
Thinking Outside the Box
- Show people your cookbook makes a great gift! Tie some ribbon around a book with a bow and a utensil tucked in. Show it displayed with a gift card from a local grocery store. Display the cookbook in a cake pan or slow cooker as birthday or wedding present idea. Take photos of these to post on social media or display them at local events. You may even be able to coordinate with a local gift shop or florist to feature your books in gift baskets.
- Offer a discount. People love a special! Charge just a little more than what you would like to collect for each book, then offer a special for purchasing two copies. For example, 1 for $15 or 2 for $25. You can also offer coupons at events to encourage people to purchase a copy. Offering special sales for holidays or events creates urgency for people to buy now because it’s on “sale”.
- Keepsake books mean so much more than just a cookbook. Encourage your contributors to autograph their recipes or offer to autograph the books. Remind people cookbooks are meant to be written in. Cookbooks can be purchased and the person gifting it can write little notes throughout the book for a special gift that will be filled with treasure to be discovered over time and cherished. Imagine receiving a cookbook filled with “love notes” to find whenever you open the pages.
- Always create urgency with sales. No matter if you have 5 books or 200 left, let people know they need to purchase NOW before you run out. People often put off making a purchase until later and then forget. If you let them know that there is a limited supply and a possibility of running out and you are unsure of a reorder, it creates urgency to purchase the book now.
- If you haven’t ordered your books yet, start presales or a list of interest and keep track of people’s contact information so that when the books come in you can get a start on sales right away.
Resources that Cookbook Specialists can Help With.
- PDF of an 8.5×11” poster with your cookbook cover that you can print and post around the community.
- Social Media post with the cover of your cookbook.
- A PDF or jpg image of your cookbook cover.
- Wire stands are available for purchase so you can easily create a display that shows your cookbook. Additional stands can also be purchased and resold as a way to earn additional profits since they can be used in the kitchen to keep cookbooks up off the counter.
A Plan on Paper
Don’t just have good intentions for selling, sit down and write out what your plan is. Planning for upcoming events and when you will post on social media helps keep you on track. Having a goal of how many books you want sold in a specific time period helps keep you accountable for getting the word out to meet those goals. Don’t forget that if you sell through your books, Cookbook Specialists can create a reorder for you so don’t stop selling. Keep collecting names and contact information while your reorder is processed. Typically reorders take one to two weeks depending on the time of year.