Oldies But Goodies: Analog Marketing is Still the Winner

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

Last week, we asked PP readers which book marketing techniques they found most effective. Is is a surprise that analog marketing took first, second and third place in our list? Despite all the hype about social media marketing, author blogs, and book trailers, it seems that publishing folks stick to the tried-and-true.

Reviews in national publications took first place with 53 percent of voters ranking this among their top three choices. Bookstore promotions came in second with 31 percent, and readings and events came in third with 27 percent.

Interestingly, these choices correspond pretty well with an article in the Huffington Post about what motivates readers to buy a book. Admittedly, both the HuffPo article and this poll are not so scientific, but I think they show that publishers are on the right track in terms of reaching readers.

Of course there are many more ways that publishers can find their audiences — as Chad Post points out in his fantastic, two-part editorial (Part 1 and Part 2) about building an audience for translations — but the most effective techniques are not always the newest.

Here are the full results of last week’s poll:

Which marketing technique is most effective for you?

  • Reviews in national publications (53%)
  • Bookstore promotions (31%)
  • Readings and events (27%)
  • Online advertising (20%)
  • Contests and giveaways (18%)
  • Author blogs (18%)
  • Print advertising (16%)
  • Facebook (14%)
  • Twitter (14%)
  • Other (8%)
  • Book trailers and videos (6%)
About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.