Book Titles That Deliberately Inhibit Sales – It’s a Bad Idea!


What kind of sales strategy allows a title of a book to inhibit sales?

You may be all in favor of “telling it like it is,” but shouldn’t that be confined to the pages inside, and not on the spine?

I remember delivering a synopsis several years ago at the First Friday Book Synopsis of a book entitled The No Asshole Rule by Dr. Robert Sutton (Business Plus, 2007) .   It actually came NoAssholeRuleCoverfrom an article the author wrote for the Harvard Business Review.  It is the correct term.  The book, and all of its advice, was clearly about one of them.  I always thought the book was really good.  It’s not the kind of title, however, you would carry with you during the day, or display on your shelf.  You probably wouldn’t want people to know you are reading it.  The Park City Club, where we hold the First Friday Book Synopsis,  would not even publish the title in its advance publicity in its monthly magazine.   People asked me in advance how I would handle the term.  I said, I would only say, “A_H_,” and hope I would not slip up.  I never did, especially at client sites, and I never have.  That took concentration and focus.   Why a good book would deliberately cut sales because of an unsavory title is strange to me.
MoodyBitches cover

 

So, here’s another one, released on March 3, 2015.  It’s called Moody Bitches, by Dr. Judy Holland (Penguin Press).  It’s all about what happens to women when they go off their medications.  Do you really want to carry that book around with you?

These aren’t the only ones.  I can’t possibly reproduce these titles here.  We would lose our license.  But, if you will click here, you will see 40 more titles and book covers that will make you wonder how the titles ever got through the planning stage by any marketing professionals.  I have to admit that as I went through this site, I gasped and laughed.  You will too.

But, how does this happen?  Why deliberately inhibit sales by offending consumers, or making them afraid to show others they own the book?

I have to admit this is one reason to read a book on your tablet or phone.  No one knows what you’re reading!

Overall, deliberately cutting sales so you can have an offending title is not too bright of an idea in my view.

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