Here is the first of what I hope will be a series. These are some ideas which may work for you. My hope is that they will spark new thoughts with regard to your own situation and perhaps you will share them so that others can benefit.
We do printing and publishing of seform and books, and very often we have this feeling that we help people publish and then they are left with a book and now what do they do with it, how do they market it? There are standard channels of marketing – we work with Feldheim, Kulmus etc., and there is someone called Bloy who puts into Shuls with a pushka, we will talk about it soon.
I just wanted to go through some other ways of marketing which are not so well known.
There is a email which features new seform and you can send a sample if you so wish, lets say the first chapter or, if a yomtov is coming up – something specific relevant to that yomtov, and you write that this is just a sample from a much bigger sefer, you could send it to them they will send it out. They told me it’s free. Eventually they will start charging for it but right now, it’s free. Their email is email@example.com they will be happy to put your sefer down there.
Another idea to use a list of an organization or of a shul. There are three ways of doing this. Number one, pay the shul for the list. Be very clear when you email people that you paid the shul for a one-time use of their list. “You might be wondering how I got your email. I paid the shul for the list, the shul is getting money from my sending this email so therefore we hope its Ok with you.” Obviously not bombing them with a million emails, but rather sending them one email discussing your sefer, maybe giving a sample or something of that nature. Hopefully people will be will be cool with that. A second way is to present it as a special that the school is giving to its members. The shul will give its members the opportunity to buy the sefer which usually costs $20 and through the shul, if you buy it from this email, it costs $18. So the shul will have an interest in sending it out to its people because this is a special offer for all of its members. The third way is if the sefer retails for $20 and if they buy it for $20, two of the dollars will go to the shul and people may buy just in order to help raise money for the shul.
A third way is to get in touch with partners in Torah – firstname.lastname@example.org and Torahmates – email@example.com – to have your sefer listed on their recommended reading list. When they recommend materials for people to learn, your sefer will be there with a very clear description of what people can hope to gain from learning your sefer.
Number four: there is a seforim blog – seforimblog.com – run by Rabbi Eliezer Brodt and if you send him a sefer and ask very nicely he may review it. The same with Rabbi Yair Hoffman on yeshivaworldnews who occasionally reviews new seforim he thinks are worthwhile. Other people review seforim on newspapers and websites, these are good targets for them to be speaking about your sefer telling people where they can get it.
Five: one last idea is that they are a number of weekly parsha newsletters. I know I get a few of them. If it’s something which lends itself to parshah treatment you can put one piece on the parshah – donate one piece every week with a note saying if this piece comes from this sefer, if you want to buy it write me at X, Y, and Z