Debbie Horovitch has been consulting businesses and marketing professionals on the latest trends in advertising media and marketing since 1996. One of the hottest trends this year is adult coloring books, and Debbie suggests that it could be a very low-cost way for you to create a lot of engagement with your business community of clients and prospects.
Adult coloring books are easy and low cost to create and publish in small batches, and if you want, you can sell them online promoted with digital advertising, and in relevant retail stores (in addition to Amazon and traditional bookstores).
Of course, there are arguments over whether or not they actually qualify as “art therapy,” but no one can deny the whimsy they inspire: for anyone who has underdeveloped artistic talents and who needs a new relaxing activity to do; that is portable, safe, and low cost, that can be done alone, with no electricity, no special skills or talents, or space, and is an entirely different activity than our daily responsibilities…
Adult coloring books have become so popular so suddenly, that local bookstores aren’t sure which category to sell them in, so they’re commonly found in Personal Development or Self-Help, near Diet & Cookbooks – if not featured prominently in a section of their own, at the aisle-end near the cash register.
“In the last few weeks, every woman I’ve spoken to about adult coloring books responds that she just received one as a gift or is shopping for one herself. Usually that book is The Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, by Johanna Basford,” says Debbie. This book is so popular, it’s sold nearly two million copies and inspired a series of adult coloring books that are available for purchase worldwide and in multiple languages, on Amazon. Since Amazon prefers books that sell well, as a result of their popularity the whole series is being further promoted for increased sales by Amazon – a financial benefit shared with the author.
Amazon allows book publishers to make print copies available through Print-On-Demand services: when a single book is purchased through Amazon, it’s then printed ‘on demand’ through CreateSpace, and shipped directly to the customer. The publisher receives monthly royalty payments from Amazon on all the books sold, without incurring any printing costs upfront.
“What I haven’t seen yet is a lot of small businesses embracing the opportunity – I mean coloring books can be so easy and enjoyable to create, in a way that expresses your business brand and personality, without blatant marketing. And while they don’t cost a lot to purchase, your clients and employees who receive them as a token for coming to visit you, will be going home and enjoying it themselves or regifting them and enjoying that. Your trendy gift is also a high-value, memorable, new-client referral tool.”
Debbie suggests that adult coloring books for your business should be themed to reflect the personality of your business. It can be based on any collection of photographs of art, or your products / services / events in action; the images can be commissioned by a photographer or artist, or donated by your clients based on a contest, with the winning entries receiving free, discounted, or VIP bonus products and services.
Get creative and encourage suggestions from your clients. Everyone who makes a contribution towards the theme or content of the book you’ll produce, is identifying themselves as interested in your brand, and in your coloring book idea.
To turn your art or photographs into coloring pages, scan your artwork and images, turn them into digital photos, then use a line drawing software program to produce the results you like. The point is to provide yourself a brand engagement tool for clients that’s a tangible item, branded your business and positively related to your business, for your clients and prospects to enjoy, show off, and share.
An adult coloring book is more engaging for a longer period of time for the people who receive it, compared to a regular text-based book about your business or expertise, research, or even your story, and it will usually require less time and energy, or money for you to print and distribute.
Why not make your personalized adult coloring book, be the first one your clients receive, this holiday season?
Debbie is currently organizing Create & Publish Your Own Coloring Books events and workshops hosted at local businesses, organizations, and conferences. Since her website was recently hacked, LinkedIn connections are welcomed her email debbie [dot] horovitch [at] gmail [dot] com for speaking opportunities or project inquiries, and everyone can Join the free Facebook group The Coloring Book Collaborative for Business, for event updates, shared pages, and specific business ideas and examples.