Why Companies Should Use (Your) Books As Promotional Products

books as promotional products

Books are tasteful, customizable, and convey a touch of class to a promotional effort — so why not pitch your books as promotional products to corporate buyers?

Corporate buyers purchase coffee mugs, cameras, apparel, watches, and other items to use as promotional items. They use them to increase sales, encourage buyers to remain loyal to a product, or to keep their brand front-of-mind. More and more, companies are using books to accomplish these goals, though you may have to convince corporate buyers of the viability of using your books as promotional products.

Here’s a list of reasons why books are superior to many other promotional items.

Easy to redeem

A book can be delivered in a variety of formats, so the cost of the promotion can be reduced while providing consumers with the same content. For example, an eBook can be delivered quickly, reducing the consumer’s acquisition cost and the company’s shipping costs.


Books are appropriate because they are classy. Their high perceived value does not demean the sender or recipient. In a way, a book defines the taste of the giver. Plus, people like a premium that flatters their intelligence, and books do that.


Books can be used to reward, motivate, educate, or entertain employees, salespeople, customers, and dealers. And a title may be coordinated with a season or holiday. For example, Nestles, Betty Crocker, or Pillsbury might seek a cookbook as a premium offering recipes for Christmas cookies.


Books can be customized to quickly identify the provider by adding the corporate logo to the cover. Or, you might ask the company’s president to write the foreword. Some companies may want to include a page of advertising or links to related products and services. The content may also be tailored to fit a special occasion or season, to recognize service anniversaries, or celebrate a company landmark or anniversary.

Promote additional purchases

A book can create incremental demand, spurring purchases that might not otherwise be made. This is a common effect of multi-tiered promotional programs (silver, gold, platinum) where each higher tier requires more purchases.

Create a sense of momentum

Even when status levels are not part of a program, a valued reward can lead consumers to increase the velocity of their purchases. The further along members are in a promotional program, the more motivated they become. Companies can encourage this by including the “first book free,” giving a little push to get the program moving.

Author involvement

People like to meet the author, and you can get a lot out of conducting book-signing events. For added impact, arrange an appearance on the company’s premises or at a trade show.

High touch

A book provides a tangible medium for repeatedly communicating an ad message. Books can be targeted for an entire family or to individuals at any age in the family.


Books are not easily damaged, which makes it more likely to be given to others to read (the “pass-along” factor), further extending the reach of the message.


Because they’re durable, books — and your prospects’ ad message — are permanent. The message is long lasting, unlike food or flowers. There is no loss of quality over the years — apparel fades, glass breaks, carry-on bags can rip.

Consumer engagement

Readers get involved with their book for the entire time it takes them to read it. Being user-friendly is important for relationship building.


Books can create and solidify your prospect’s brand image and create customer interaction, further extending the impact of your potential buyer’s positioning statement.


If a book is used as a premium, it can be easily integrated with traditional media. This creates synergy and multiple impressions.

Books provide a versatile, profitable and effective promotional item that can help corporate buyers reach their objectives. Once you convince them of the viability of books as promotional tools, then you must persuade them that yours is the one to choose.

Your path to self-publishing


  1. Thanks for this concise outline. Our tiny nano-publishing house in the UK did well with corporate sales, but I’m in a new market now, where books are not often (if ever) used this way, and the whole publishing industry is much more limited. You’ve given me extra arguments – many thanks.

  2. This is one of my marketing strategies. I created a flyer to promote special editions of my book. My genre is green business. Thanks for sharing ways to explain the benefit to companies.

  3. Nice fluff, but WHICH books (besides the obvious business-oriented personal development) are good candidates for the process, and HOW do you find a company that might be interested?

  4. This is a great article! I have a strong fortune 500 sales background and agree with all of your points. Since my book will release at the beginning of summer my marketing plan will begin with holiday corporate gift sales.


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