Bestselling Author/Entrepreneur to Lead Supercharged BEA Marketing Seminar

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Bestselling author Seth Godin

On Thursday, June 3, from 10:15 a.m. - noon at BookExpo America in Chicago, the seminar "Marketing 201: Supercharge Your Current Marketing Efforts" will present ways that booksellers can dramatically increase sales without spending a lot of money. The session, which is part of ABA's All-Day Education Program, will feature bestselling author, entrepreneur, and "agent of change" Seth Godin. Michael Hoynes, ABA's former chief marketing officer, will moderate the session.

"Marketing 201" will detail how implementing a successful marketing plan requires research, communication, and feedback in order to spend promotional dollars more efficiently and drive book-buyers to the store. Godin will describe five easy and quick ways that booksellers can dramatically increase their sales and set their store apart from the rest. Godin told BTW that, for each bookseller, "every single person in your organization can help make your store remarkable."

In a world where people are being overwhelmed with advertising pitches, it is crucial that an independent bookstore get the right message through to the right people. For Godin, successful marketing hinges on a business' ability to offer its customers something out of the ordinary. "Marketing to people who are listening is more effective than yelling at people that choose to ignore you," he explained. "Remarkable products and services get talked about, and people listen to their friends. The stuff that makes something remarkable is usually soft and free and easy."

When asked what he sees as the main challenges for independent booksellers, Godin said, "Most of them are too focused on being a 'good' bookstore, instead of [focusing] on creating a remarkable experience that people will talk about. Add to this their aversion to creating a permission asset -- a group of people who want to hear from the store -- and you've got troubles."

For example, every person that attends a book signing is most likely willing to sign up to get an e-mail from the author a month later, Godin continued. "That e-mail could feature a short story or a recipe or news about something new," he said. "And that e-mail could be fun to forward to your friends, and [it] could invite the person to sign up for the bookstore's newsletter and on and on…"

In addition to being the featured speaker at "Marketing 201," Godin will join Jay Conrad Levinson, author of the bestselling Guerrilla Marketing series, at the "Marketing Plenary" session, from 9:00 a.m. - 10: 00 a.m. on Thursday. Godin and Levinson collaborated on three of the Guerrilla Marketing books. Godin's latest book, Free Prize Inside, will be published in May by Portfolio.

Both seminars are part of a full day of panels and seminars designed specifically for independent booksellers. ABA's Thursday education program runs from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the McCormick Place Convention Center and is free to all ABA member bookstores and their employees who register for BEA. (Booksellers must indicate on the BEA registration form that they are ABA members, and they must register for the all-day program. For more about the new BEA Super Pass, click here.) --David Grogan