Welcome to 2021! The time has come again for us to reflect on where we are and make goals for where we want to be when the end of this new year rolls around.
As you consider your publishing goals and plans for 2021, we’d like to offer a few suggestions to help you increase sales and build for a better future.
1. Diversify your lineup
When the COVID-19 shutdowns started last March we had no idea that those shutdowns would lead to the changes we saw in book sales over the course of the year. Publishers with a wide array of titles, and especially titles in specific categories, were much more likely to see success in the midst of those changing buying patterns. There is no telling what the future might hold, so diversification of your publishing programs is looking like a solid business decision for many publishers. If you have the ability to spread out your list into some of the better-selling categories this year, that might be a worthy goal.
2. Enhance your metadata to drive more online sales
The percentage of book sales that were transacted online last year compared to in-store could be as high as 85%, and numerous research reports over the last few years have proven that online sales are impacted directly by the quality of the metadata you send to partners. The recent shift to online sales channels has also lead to a shift in backlist title sales, as readers look for content that interests them and are not limited by the space available on bookstore shelves, typically taken by newer titles.
This year, we encourage you to take the time to engage the metadata on all of your titles, including your backlist, in targeted ways.
- Create at least 200 characters of keywords for each title
- Add book excerpts to your Eloquence feed (in the Comments section)
- Add other data elements, such as Product Details and Prizes (new section for Prizes now available!)
- Clean up your book descriptions, and add bolded Lead-Ins to the top
- Get in the habit of linking related titles in the Title Relationships section
These and other cleanup and enhancement tasks really can make an impact on your sales.
3. Watch your titles, fix issues, and grab opportunities quickly
At the Community Conference in November we heard how Our Daily Bread Publishing increased their sales by actively watching their titles on retail sites and fixing issues that arose from bad data, missing cover images, third party sellers taking the Buy Box, and more.
You, too, can watch your titles daily, and gain all the benefits of a powerful tool that warns you when issues arise and opportunities emerge. Take a look at our Eloquence on Alert platform, the most powerful and flexible title performance monitoring system available.
We hope you have a wonderful 2021, and we look forward to hearing how these and other resolutions help you navigate the ever-changing waters we are in.