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How does Xlibris promote my book?

Xlibris offers a wide range of promotional services to our authors, including Press Release and Newswire campaigns, Internet-based Marketing, Book Review Campaigns, Single Piece Accessories, Marketing Kits and Publication Announcement campaigns. Some of these are included in almost every publishing package, or you can add your ideal campaign to the publishing service of your choice.


Are Xlibris’ marketing services mandatory?

Certainly not. But always remember that regardless of what type of book you have written, if you want your book to sell, a marketing plan is a must. There is no right or wrong way to market your book, each manuscript requires a different tactic to optimize your book's sales potential. Xlibris provides a range of marketing services to help you reach out to your target audience and acts as your personal marketing firm, running campaigns on your behalf in order to foster interest, awareness, and ultimately book sales.


How can I market my book?

There are many things that you as an author can do to market your book. You can submit your book to reviewers and arrange to have book signings at bookstores and organizations in your area. You can distribute brochures or flyers to appropriate locations. You can approach local media such as television, newspapers, and radio for interviews. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing, so don't forget to tell everyone you know about your book.


How should I go about marketing my book?

Marketing plans need to be personalized for each book and each individual author, but here are some general ideas that will put you on the right track.

Write down a list of 10 to 15 potential target markets. Now, ask yourself "How can I best reach this audience?" Here are some effective methods:

  • Get an ad or free mention (by sending a press release) to a relevant media outlet
  • Send them printed materials with your book's cover and ordering information
  • Run an online direct email campaign to reach out to them directly.
  • Place a listing in a newspaper or journal, advertising your new book
  • Contact these organisations or groups to find out if you can talk to them about your book or conduct a special seminar
  • Send a marketing packet to each one on your contact target market list and follow up with them later
  • Create a web page as an important supplement to your efforts
  • Begin networking in the community and at local bookstores
  • Schedule book signings and handout printed materials about your book

All of these activities will enhance your marketing efforts and if done correctly, will improve your book sales.


When should I start marketing my book?

It is never too early to start thinking about how you will market your book. It is important that you be able to answer the question "Who will buy my book, and why?" The answer to this question should be the foundation of your marketing plan and will give you your starting point.


How can I arrange for a book signing?

In order to arrange for a book signing, you should contact your local bookstore's community relations manager (CRM). He or she will probably ask you for a press kit, your marketing plan, and a copy of your book and decide from there when and where a signing would be most appropriate. Together, you and the community relations manager will work out the time and location, and start promoting the event. Read more about Book Signing Tips.


What is Opt-in Email Marketing? (Isn’t this spamming?)

The service is nothing less than a huge email broadcast, sent out to people who have opted to receive commercial marketing messages. These are people who are ready and waiting to hear from you. They can then easily click through to your own website, to Xlibris' bookstore, to Amazon or wherever else they choose. It is definitely not spam and completely solicited.


How will I know if my marketing campaign worked?

Within a week of sending out your campaign, we'll send you a fulfilment report with all the details of your publicity efforts. For
example, the report for the Opt-in E-mail Campaign would include:

  • Number of emails sent
  • Number opened
  • Number of people who ultimately clicked through to the web page you selected


Can I choose my media targets?

In general, yes. For campaigns like the Press Release, Publication Announcement, Book Review and to a certain extent the E-mail Campaign, you will have a say as to where the promotional material is sent. For others, like the Newswire, it is sent to a large audience (over 6400 subscribers) which is fixed in nature


How does the Add-On list work?

Xlibris has designed a comprehensive range of book publishing packages to make your choices easier and to include everything you need to publish the book of your dreams. The Add-On services are designed to give you even more flexibility and truly customize your publishing experience. Simply choose the package that best fits you, and then if you would like to add features that are not included in your publishing package, you can select them from the Add-Ons list. For example, you may like the Premium Package but would like to make your book returnable. In this case, you can simply add the Bookstore Returnability Program to your Premium service. It's that easy to design the perfect publishing experience. We even have experienced publishing consultants standing by to answer your questions and provide you with a free consultation to help you choose the package and services that are right for you.



What does the Bookstore Returnability Kit do for me?

The Bookstore Returnability Kit ensures book buyers that they can return unsold copies of your book for a complete refund. Your book will be designated as "Returnable" in Ingram’s iPage for retailers and Baker & Taylor’s ordering system for libraries. (Ingram is the world's largest wholesaler and distributor of books.) Xlibris has developed the Bookstore Returnability Kit to help your book meet industry retail standards for stocking and be provided the opportunity to be more competitive in the marketplace.


If my book is stocked, will I retain royalties for unsold copies that are returned?

Yes, you will not be charged back for royalties earned on the sales to the store if your books are returned.


When will my book be listed as returnable?

Your book will be designated as returnable on Ingram’s ipage within two to seven weeks. It can then take 30 to 60 days for returnability status to appear within individual retailers’ systems. Confirmation of your title’s listing in ipage is available upon your request.

For Baker & Taylor, your book will be tagged as returnable 90 days after setup.


If I purchase this kit, how long will my book be listed as returnable?

The initial period is 1 year, once listed at Ingram and Baker & Taylor. If you want to opt in to the returnability program for more than one year, you can choose the 24-month kit or the 36-month kit.


How do the bookstores know where to return the unsold books?

Booksellers return unsold books to the wholesaler from whom they made the purchase.


What happens to the books when they are returned?

Books are sent from the store retailer to Ingram and then recycled into cardboard or paper products. Books returned to Baker & Taylor are destroyed.


Can Xlibris ensure booksellers will stock my books?

By making your books returnable, the Bookstore Returnability Kit helps your book reach common retailer standards for stocking, but does not guarantee that it will be ordered or stocked. Bookstores are businesses; it is the prerogative of bookstore owners and managers as to what books to order and display on their shelves.


What is Ingram?

Ingram Content Group is the world's largest wholesale distributor of books. Xlibris uses Ingram Content Group for the distribution of all titles.


What is Baker & Taylor?

Baker & Taylor is a leading distributor of books to libraries. After 180 years in the business, Baker & Taylor has developed long-term relationships with their partners and customers.

They maintain one of the largest in-stock inventories of books in the United States—about 385,000 titles in inventory and more than 1.5 million titles available for order.


Retail Focus

What does the Retail Focus guarantee?

The Retail Focus campaign is a marketing program targeting independent bookstores. Your book will be pitched to 25 independent bookstores in the United States with a focus on your local area or state over a 90-day period.* Three progress reports are provided, and the final report will detail the locations that have agreed to test your book. At least two independent bookstores will agree to carry a copy for at least 2-3 weeks on a test basis.

*Other types of campaigns targeting libraries and children’s bookstores are also available. Contact your Marketing Consultant for more information.


Will my book be on display at these bookstores?

No. When a bookstore agrees to test the book, they are agreeing to put the book on the category shelf. Stores charge extra for in-store promotions. There is a chance, however, that the book will be displayed if it’s a new release, or if there is local interest in the book.


Will bookstore chains be contacted? (e.g., Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc.)

No, chain bookstores cannot make decisions at the local level and require approval from their main offices.


What criteria are used to select bookstores?

Your location and book topic determine the 25 independent bookstores that are targeted during the 90-day period. Bookstores that specialize in your book’s topic are more likely to agree to a test, as are bookstores in your area (as they are often interested in promoting local talent).


How are the bookstores contacted?

The contact begins with a direct phone call to the buyer-in-charge for each bookstore. The sell sheet about your book, a specially crafted cover letter, your pitch, and a copy is sent to the bookstore, and succeeding follow-ups are done via e-mail and/or phone. A call to confirm that a test copy of your book is available in-store completes the pitch process.


For how long will a test copy of my book be available in the bookstore?

If unsold, bookstores typically keep a test copy for 2-3 weeks.

Your final report will contain the names of the bookstores that have agreed to carry a test copy of your book. However, some books may sell faster than others and your book may have already been sold by the time you receive the third report.


How many copies do bookstores usually carry as a test?

Bookstores will usually carry 1-2 test copies of a book.


Will you be pitching the hardback version of my book?

While some libraries may prefer to purchase the hardback version, the campaign will focus on pitching your book’s paperback version.


Will you provide the name of the bookstore buyers?

In the final report, Xlibris provides the addresses and phone numbers of those bookstores that have agreed to test your book. Make sure to read some helpful tips appended to your third report, before contacting these bookstores.