Monetise your backlist

Monetise your backlist

In 2017, the top bestseller lists were surprisingly filled with backlist titles. Both the No. 1 bestseller for Amazon and NDP BookScan were backlist titles as well as Margaret Atwood’s backlist title, The Handmaid’s Tale, taking the top spot for Amazon Kindle e-book sales. With HarperCollins reporting substantial increase in backlist book sales the question for all our publishers is how to make the most of your backlist?

E-Commerce has made this possible - with digitised metadata and an advanced website search all your titles across your inventory are visible. Supadu’s Supafolio enriches metadata and allows you to add a weighting boast to any book metadata to ensure that it comes to the forefront of your user’s search results at no additional cost.

In the past, publishers have found it too time consuming and costly to put together a backlist catalog manually but in an era of automation and enriched metadata publishers have already digitised their back list so they only need to increase visibility in their online environments.

Tips to succeed

  1. Find a book or series of books (or e-book) for which there was a good broad following and strong brand. Strong branding was also the key to Bragg's health food bestseller, 2008’s Apple Cider Vinegar by Paul C. Bragg and Patricia Bragg. This title sold 274,000 print copies since 2008, with 27,000 sold so far in 2018
  2. Find a suitable event to make a story - anniversaries and milestones make great focus points around which to market a title. The University of Michigan Press marked a 10th anniversary for Mardi Link’s true crime books which have been steady sellers for the publisher
  3. Buy a list or obtain access to a genre-based audience to capitalise on this marketing opportunity
  4. Offer a discount or free e-book to bring people to your site

The backlist is an additional much needed revenue stream, cheap and easy to monetise - give it a go!

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