Promoting books, specifically the backlist, those titles that are great reads, but out of the spotlight, and incidentally, filling most of your shelves just waiting for the perfect reader, meaning they are there right now for that reader who “has nothing to read,” is actually quite easy to do virtually. The one thing the library has in stock that bookstores do not is the backlist. We try to focus a large portion of our book promotion on the backlist. That gem of the library; the thousands of great reads just waiting on the shelf to be matched with just the right reader. In fact, backlist books are your best bet to target your virtual promotion of books, as I will show you. The new books are all over the web on other sites, but your backlist is a great asset and it is unique to the library. What do you do with your best asset? You play it up people!Publishers spend most of their time marketing the newest materials and trying to get you to buy the new (hardcover, so higher profit margin) titles. Even to libraries their marketing is mostly about the newest books. Once in a while there is some backlist marketing for book discussion purposes, but that is about it.
As I say above, there are thousands of options we can market to people at the library, options that are no longer easily available to browse at a bookstore, but we librarians have to create the buzz on our own.
But starting yesterday, we got a little bit of help promoting our extensive collection of backlist titles as S&S launched a brand new book discovery site called, Off the Shelf. From their press release: