In this industry where thousands of new titles are published every week, it’s in a publisher’s and author’s best interest to do everything they can to make their book stand out. KWL often advises authors to consider the cover, their author brand and a strong synopsis in order to help their book stand out within an online catalog listing.

But there are other things that can be done; unique elements that can be added in order to stand above the crowd.

Within the book industry, it has long been common for publishers to send advanced reader copies (also known as ARCs) to booksellers and reviewers prior to a book’s release in order to solicit potential merchandising or advance reader review interest in a forthcoming release. Booksellers and reviewers sometimes get these books 6 months prior to a book’s release.

Recently, with UK’s international bestselling thriller author Peter James scheduled to visit Kobo’s office for an early summer meet and greet with booksellers and a live “Kobo in Conversation” interview with KWL Director Mark Lefebvre (which will appear in a forthcoming episode of the Kobo Writing Life Podcast), Peter’s Canadian distributor Publishers Group Canada sent a few copies to the Kobo office.

Peter James Book Package

The seemingly unassuming Publishers Group Canada package sent to KWL’s Director of Author Relations

Kobo, like many other booksellers, newspapers, book bloggers and reviewers, receives hundreds of ARC submissions every week. So, considering that, what can a distributor, publisher or author do in order to get their new or forthcoming title a second (or third, or even forth) look?

Perhaps it can start with the package itself.

Below are a series of additional elements that the fantastic promotions department at Publishers Group Canada added to the advance review copies that they shipped out for the new Peter James’ novel Love You Dead.

Back of the envelope for LOVE YOU DEAD

Flip the envelope over and discover an interesting message related to the book . . .

When Mark first flipped the package over in his hands, he was delightfully surprised to see an interesting message on the back of the envelope.


. . . a message that continues when you open the envelope and see what’s inside.

He was also quite intrigued to see that message (the book’s title) continue on the inside packaging.

But then, when he flipped that over, there was more great brand marketing: an EVIDENCE tag created by Detective Superintendent Roy Grace (the hero from James’ DEAD series of novels) with the release date, one of the novel’s main victims and primary villain written onto that tag.


And, flipping that over is another unique element that screams “crime novel” all over it


Overall, a package that demands a potential reader’s attention

All in all, such a memorable and unique package for a hot new thriller that it not only commanded extra attention, but our KWL Director was so inspired that he took the time to take snapshots of the package as an illustration of what a little bit of imagination can do towards bringing a book some important early release attention.

And if you think the packaging was compelling . . . wait until next Wednesday when we post the interview with Peter James in Episode 61 of The Kobo Writing Life Podcast.