How Booksellers can get involved
Illustrators play an important role in the book industry but their contribution to the sales of books is often overlooked. By enriching your sales listing and promotions with credit for the illustrator, you can boost your books sales too.
Why #PicturesMeanBusiness is good for business:
Power up your Promotions
Draw the crowds with Engaging Events
Widen Your Social Media Reach
When you share a new book cover or use artwork to illustrate a tweet, credit the illustrator who created that image. (There’s nothing more galling to illustrators than seeing people posting ‘inspiring’ quotes about creativity that ride on the back of unattributed art.) By tagging illustrators when you post their images, there’s a good chance they might share the image to their own fans on their timeline, and think more favourably of you as a shop to visit and help promote. People will also get more out of your messages, you’ll become more of a hub for people who want to find out more about the books, including about the cover artists and illustrators. Not all illustrators are on Twitter, so if they’re not, consider posting a direct link to their website so people can explore.
Diversity for your customers
You may notice in the picture book sales charts that they’re heavily dominated by a very few people. We think getting sales data on illustrators might help diversify these lists, making more room for up-and-coming writers. Right now you can track the bibliographic data for both writers and illustrators, but sales data only for writers. So if a picture book by, say, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler sells well, your data will encourage you to stock more of Julia’s books. But there’s a good chance Axel’s work is selling those books just as much as Julia’s. (Children will certainly gravitate to pictures when they can’t even read yet.) So it would make sense to stock more of Axel’s solo books or books with another writer. If he could carry his bestselling status away from his books with Julia, he could illustrate books by lesser-known writers and boost their sales, instead of having to start from scratch. We’re hoping the industry will work with Nielsen to discuss how this could happen, and your voice matters.