Tips For Using Books as Premiums

Non-fiction, paperback, books are perhaps one of the most cost effective and long lasting premium products you can use to building your business. They are generally kept for long periods of time and carry a higher perceived value then many other less personal products. There are several ways in which your company can positively impact your business and strengthen customer relationships by adding books to your premium product mix. To make the most out of premium books, follow these simple tips below.

1. Source the book properly — The book being used as a premium should form a close tie between your companies’ products and your customer or prospects needs or hobbies. For example, if you’re a corporate recruiter, and want a premium book for use at a tradeshow, a book about the workplace would be a good match.

2. Make the book an attention grabber at your booth — One of our clients built a huge display of books at their tradeshow booth. Passersby tried to buy the books but were told they were not for sale, however, if they would spend a few minutes with an account executive, they could have one for free. The company tripled their sales over the same show the previous year.

3. Buy right — In order to freely give your books away, it’s important that you buy them properly. By ordering in sufficient quantities and working with someone who specializes in bulk sales, you should be able to negotiate a discount that would put a typical paperback book, in the same price range as most other low cost premium items. Depending upon the quantity purchased, you can usually expect a discount ranging from 40 to 70% off the cover price.

4. Have the book customized — By ordering in sufficient quantities, typically 5,000 and up, you may request that the publisher add your logo to the front or back cover and even include a page or two with your marketing message inside. Some companies have inserted coupons right into the book itself. Books are highly customizable and, dollar for dollar, you gain a lot more exposure than you would from most other types of premium products.

5. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes — As with any sales process you’ll want to think about what your customer would want. For example, if you sell to new computer users, a book of computer software tips might be the perfect premium for you. On the other hand, if you know that a high percentage of your customers share a common interest you may want to match the book to that aspect of the person. If used properly the simple, little, inexpensive paperback book can bring you an incredible return on investment.

Jim Donovan is the author of several books that have been translated into six languages, a motivational speaker and “The Book Coach.” More about Jim and a subscription to his newsletter is available from

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