Commissioned Books As An Add-on Sale
There are many ways that a book printer can advise a publisher how to sell more books, which helps to sell more printing. One of the frequently overlooked techniques is to print a “commissioned” book.
A commissioned book is one that is written specifically for a sponsor, usually a company, that helps sell an idea or product. The organization commissioning the book pays for the writing, editing and printing of the book. Many times the commissioner also distributes the book.
Commissioned books may be a misnomer because the commissioned product may be a pamphlet, a condensed version of an existing book or a completely new book written book.
A commissioned book differs from a variable data book for a corporate sponsor because the material is written for, or modified to suit, the sponsor. A variable data book is a standard book, with no modifications, that carries a company’s logo.
I read this interesting news short in John Kremer’s bi-weekly newsletter that reminded me of the topic of commissioned books. The article said, “McDonald's is encouraging hip-hop artists to integrate the Big Mac sandwich into their new songs. Artists will earn $1 to $5 each time their song is played on the radio.” McDonald’s is commissioning music to reach its target audience in much the same way a company commissions a book to reach its target audience.
The opportunity for book printers is to examine the material currently being printed for publishers to discover potential sponsors to commission a book from that publisher’s current material. Urge the publisher to contact the potential sponsor with a sample of the current book. The ideal job function within the sponsor organization is the Vice President of Marketing or Marketing Manager. These people are responsible to find new ways to differentiate their products from the competition, and having a book written specifically for the company or product does that.
Have the publisher propose to customize the book for the sponsor (a variable-data book) or to rewrite the book into a pamphlet or abridged book. If none of those ideas appeal to the potential sponsor, have the publisher suggest writing a completely new book based on the material contained in the original book.
Commissioned books are one way to help your publishers sell more books, thus generating more sales for you. Book printing sales are as much about helping the publishers market as they are about selling the actual books. The more value you bring to your publishers outside of the act of printing the book, the more locked into your business that publisher becomes.