INscribe’s Hot Hand: Retailer Marketing

We are in full follow up mode here at INscribe after a successful week at BEA. Two of our primary objectives going into BEA were to meet with our existing clients to review their progress over the past year, and meet with our merchandising representatives for each retailer to discuss marketing and promotion opportunities for our clients.  We were thrilled with our progress in both cases.

A common theme that we heard in meetings with our existing and prospective clients was the burning desire to secure increased promotional placement with our retail partners: Kindle Daily Deals, Hot 100s, Nook Daily Finds and iBookstore’s Brick, Showcase and Thumbnail placement were all mentioned. The digital publishing landscape recognizes that securing a targeted retailer promotion is like hitting the lottery.

In a recent New York Times article, One-Day Deals Making E-Books Brief Best Sellers,  the author highlighted the recent success of Dennis Lehane’s crime thriller Gone, Baby, Gone. Lehane’s title was selected to be a Kindle Daily Deal where the price was reduced from $6.99 to $1.99. The day leading up to the promo, Gone, Baby,Gone sold 23 eBook copies. The day of the promo? The title sold 13,071 eBooks. That is a 56,730% increase in units sold!

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If securing a daily deal is like winning the lottery, then you may say that INscribe has a hot hand when selecting numbers. According to an article in CNN, the chances of winning a Powerball Jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510. The Amazon Kindle store has over two million titles, and only 4 Daily Deals, or at most, .073% . Securing a daily deal is heavily dependent on one very elusive variable: a direct line of communication to the merchandising representative. Cue INscribe!film Shaun the Sheep Movie


To date, INscribe has secured 10 Daily Deals, 6 Kindle Hot 100s, dozens of Big Deal titles, 8 Barnes and Noble Daily Finds, 4 targeted email marketing promotions from KOBO and a host of placements at the iBookstore ranging from Publisher Showcases to Brick and Thumbnail placement. Each of the promotions provided significant sales growth for the titles selected.

  1. BE PRICE POINT FLEXIBLE! If you have an opportunity to secure a promotion that requires you to heavily discount your title, DISCOUNT THE TITLE! Make sure, though, that if you drop your price that it has publicity support.  The eBook market is heavily price point dependent and being flexible with your pricing is not only a best practice but a smart business decision.  Don’t do it randomly, however; make sure that you are shouting it out along with the retailers.
  2. Look out for retailer promotion announcements and deadlines in our weekly Newsletter. While we try and reach out to our clients as often as possible to request titles for promotion, the most efficient medium for promotion notification is through our weekly Newsletter. Please: meet the deadlines, and submit your full information in the marketing template in order to be considered.  We have hundreds of publishers, and can’t look up every title; make sure you are setting yourself up for success!
  3. Be active/proactive and engaged with the INscribe marketing team. No one knows your titles as well as you do. You know what your top titles are and what titles may be underperforming. Set up a time to speak with Kelly or be on the look out for our Drop In Marketing Seminars (also announced in our weekly newsletters).
  4. Last, but certainly not least, pay close attention to drafting your descriptions, author bios and selecting your BISAC codes. According to Nielsen, these three metadata fields are the most searchable fields associated to your titles. If your author has won awards, put those accolades into the author bio. If your title is similar to a James Patterson novel, include the “If you like X Title or Y author, you will love this” relationship in your description. Our system allows you to associate 4 BISAC codes to your release: use them to your advantage and include 2 broad and 2 narrowly focused BISACs. This will increase your chances in charting in a narrowly focused genre.

INscribe looks forward to continuing our hot streak in securing promotions for our clients, but even more exciting, we look forward to enhancing our service offering in the weeks and months to come. Securing new partnerships with new services, building out our direct to blogger/reviewer list and increasing our notifications to our retailers. These items among many others are included in our 2013 initiatives to help you Make Your Digital Imprint!

Always on your team,

INscribe Digital