Blind Date with a Book: How Self-Published Authors Can Use This Marketing Strategy

POSTED ON Mar 19, 2024

Elena Rapovets

Written by Elena Rapovets

Home > Blog > Book Marketing, E-Books & Readers, Marketing, Social Media > Blind Date with a Book: How Self-Published Authors Can Use This Marketing Strategy

Do you often base book choices on their covers? You probably do because humans are visual creatures. Even if you decide not to pay attention to the design, you might be intrigued by the title and drawn in by a familiar author’s name.

A blind date with a book introduces a new concept: what if we choose books based on fragments of information about them, which can be as little as its genre or the main tropes? This trend is getting increasingly popular on social media, where people show their delight in finding new stories to read. 

The idea is simple: the book is wrapped up, so you can’t see the cover, with just a few hints about the story written on the outside. This way, you pick a book based on what the story is about, not by its cover or who wrote it. It’s like going on a blind date but with a book, hence the name. 

This trend gives readers a unique way to discover books they might not have chosen otherwise. And this is a great opportunity for self-published writers to promote their work.

In this article, we’ll cover the essentials of the Blind Date with a Book trend and how you can use it to your advantage: 

Understanding the Blind Date with a Book Trend

“Blind Date with a Book” is about the excitement of reading something new without judging it by its cover. Here’s how it works: a book is wrapped up so potential readers can’t see the title or the cover art. On the outside, there are a few clues about what the story inside might be about. These clues can be about the book’s genre, main themes, or even some intriguing words related to the story. The whole point is the surprise element, so people don’t know exactly what book they’re getting until they unwrap it.

But it’s not just about the book. These packages often come with extra goodies like stickers, bookmarks, fancy pens, or chocolate. It makes the experience even more special, whether buying it as a treat for yourself or giving it as a thoughtful gift to someone else. Book lovers often have a sweet spot for things like stationery or treats that make the whole concept even more enjoyable.

This trend isn’t just fun; it’s also a great way to get people excited about reading. By focusing on what’s inside the book rather than its cover, readers might dive into stories they wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. It’s a creative way to push boundaries and discover new favorites.

How Can You Leverage the Blind Date with a Book Trend

“Blind Date with a Book” is making waves for self-published authors, offering you a new way to get noticed. This is an opportunity for you to reach readers eager for something new but who might not stumble upon your books otherwise.

First, this trend lets you highlight what’s special about your stories without the initial bias toward well-known names or covers. By sharing a few hints about the book, you can catch the attention of readers looking for that kind of story, even if they’ve never heard your name before.

Then, the bonus is getting creative with how these books are shared online. You can create eye-catching packages that stand out, especially on social media. Sharing these can get more eyes on your books and encourage people to talk about them, which is a great marketing strategy on its own.

Finally, everyone loves a good surprise. Making a book a “blind date” turns getting a new book into an exciting surprise, like opening a present. This fun experience can help make new readers into devoted fans. In short, “Blind Date with a Book” has a lot of potential to increase interest in your books. 

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Step-by-Step Guide for Implementation 

Starting Your Own Packages

If you’re an author with many different titles, starting your own “Blind Date with a Book” package is a great way to introduce your work to new audiences. You probably won’t have a variety of genres to choose from (or maybe you will?), but that’s not necessary. Instead, you can highlight what your book is about using descriptions, tropes, or unique themes; this will intrigue readers by focusing on what makes your story special. 

If you want to extend your offer, consider including books from your own library in the packages. First, using preowned books gives them a new life. Second, it lets you share your favorite reads with your audience, building a stronger connection.

Collaborating with Other Authors

If you have a limited number of titles or prefer not to go alone, you don’t have to. Instead, consider collaborating with other authors or joining forces with writers’ collectives. Such collaboration can broaden the variety of books you offer, enhancing your packages’ appeal. Working with others will allow you to leverage one another’s strengths and reach, introducing your work to a wider audience.

Packaging and Presentation

In the “Blind Date with a Book” trend, how you present the book is key. On TikTok, you’ll mostly find videos of people opening these books, so think about making the act of opening the book itself an event.

Think about using eco-friendly materials to wrap the book, adding personal touches like a handwritten note, or including extras that complement the book, like bookmarks or art prints. 

However, this trend is about more than physical books. You can create blind dates with ebooks as well! There are many ways to do this. For example, you can send an engaging email or make a webpage that maintains the element of surprise. This could involve a countdown timer or a special link that unveils the book’s title and cover after purchase.

Utilizing Social Media for Promotion

Instagram or TikTok are great platforms for promoting your mystery book packages. You can use the hashtag #blinddatewithabook to join the conversation on either platform.

For instance, create short videos that hint at the book’s content without showing its title. You can also run live sessions to wrap books or discuss their themes, keeping the titles a secret. Engaging with your audience is key; encourage them to guess the book from your clues or share their experiences with “blind date” books. The options for interaction and promotion here are vast and varied.

Engaging with Local Bookstores and Libraries

To spread your reach, you can try to share your “Blind Date with a Book” packages with local bookstores or libraries. Such collaborations can help you promote your work within your community.

That might be more challenging than sharing posts on social networks, but it is well worth a try. Some bookstores already run their own events with large displays of mystery packages. To get an in on this, create a simple pitch that explains your book and why it would be exciting for their customers or visitors. 

Collaborating with Existing Vendors

Another shot worth taking is teaming up with sellers on TikTok, Etsy, and Instagram. These platforms are great for reaching people who love the “Blind Date with a Book” idea. 

The downside is that if they have a big following, they might already have enough books to use for their mystery packages. Finding the right match and agreeing on how to work together might take effort; be prepared for challenges such as aligning expectations and negotiating terms. Start with smaller, more accessible influencers to build your portfolio of successful collaborations. If such deals work out, you can reach significantly more readers.

Gathering Feedback and Iteration

After people start picking up your “Blind Date with a Book” packages, it’s important to find out what they think. You can set up a simple way for them to give feedback, like a short form, survey, or a QR code leading to a Google Doc. This helps you learn what’s working and what could be better, and use that knowledge to make your next set of books even more appealing.

Final Thoughts

Jumping onto the “Blind Date with a Book” trend can open up new avenues for you as a self-published author. It’s not just about selling books; it’s about connecting with readers in a unique and engaging way. This trend offers the chance to boost your visibility and engage with readers on a deeper level.

Starting with either digital formats or small, manageable physical packages means there’s a low barrier to entry. You can experiment to see what works best for your books and audience. The “Blind Date with a Book” trend is a simple, creative way to bring your stories to life and into the hearts of new readers.

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Elena Rapovets

Written by
Elena Rapovets

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