Getting Books into Bookstores; Great Resources / Techniques / Suggestions / Local Author Book Routes

Executive Summary: This is a wonderful article with a large number of links and articles. Here is one quote from the article. to-bookstores_b51732 Bookstores That Accept Self-Published Books “No questions asked, we’ll take five copies of a book on consignment,” said Bagby. The terms are 60/40, and the store keeps the books on the shelves for 90 days. “If they sell, we’ll get back to the author right away and reorder. If they don’t, the author needs to pick up their books.” … Find and visit the Independent Bookstores near you. Build a Local Author Book Route. —————————————————————————- ———————————————- The recent combination of the Thanksgiving holiday, Small Business Appreciation Week, and seeing President Obama go to a bookstore got me thinking about independent bookstores. I spent a bit of time on the site which is the association/voice of independent bookstores in the US. On the IndieBound site they have a very nice lookup so that you can find independent bookstores near your location. . (I will assume that there is something similar in other countries and if you know of a link like that, please send it to me). Your book should be listed on their site as well. They are not a sales organization for books, they are the association for independent bookstores, so keep that in mind. They have some other interesting widgets and sales items that you might enjoy, so please give their site a read. (NOTE: SBPRA cannot answer questions about their site and what they do, so if you have questions, ask them, not us, smile). Your 2014 Book Marketing Plan – Add Physical Direct Distribution to your Online Efforts: —————————————————————————- —————————————— Please allow me to suggest that you make it a goal in 2014 to have some local physical outlets for your book, starting with the indie bookstores near you. Good stores are always looking for new ways to bring customers through the door and the ‘local author’ concept is picking up speed again. With Amazon, and ebooks believe me, bookstores are having to adapt to survive. Plan to visit each of the stores in your area and let them know that you are a local author, and that you support independent bookstores and that you found them on IndieBound. (This shows that you are somewhat knowledgeable and will separate you from the other authors that are just barging in to the stores). If you visit them, you will find that they either are very supportive of local authors, or they won’t give you the time of day. It will be hit or miss… but as we say, “it just takes one”. An Easy First Step – Read their Website: ———————————————————– First read their website. That will tell you many things. o Do they support author visits? o Do they have catalog and mail order? o What is their focus? Here are two examples of websites from indie bookstores. Notice that this store is very specific about African-American and metaphysics. This bookstore in Miami has a tremendous number of author signings and visits. Notice the “Story Time Every Friday” graphic.. If I were a children’s book author, that would make me salivate! As you can see, you can learn a lot about the store from their website (and you can find the stores on the IndieBound website very easily). Suggestions about how to call on an Independent Bookstore. —————————————————————————- ——- If you feel that the bookstore is a match for you, plan to go see them. If you see that they have ‘local author’ programs then call ahead and make an appointment. Be sure to time your visit to when the owner/manager is there. You might talk to them about selling on consignment or they may simply choose to order your book through their normal channels. (Consignment typically means that you give them the books to sell and they pay you after the books sell). Remember, cash is always troublesome for indie stores. Luckily if they are “pro-local-author” they will know how to handle you. If they are NOT pro-author (see below) then you will find that out right away. And of course, you will want to ask them to carry your book and/or let you do a reading or author signing. Bring signed copies, they like that. Also take some of your pictures or postcards, if they will be working with you they will certainly put them out. (If you don’t have any author/book/pictures or postcards, please email us). Handling Objections and Negativity: —————————————————– You may encounter objections to carrying your book. For every ‘Yes’ response you may have to deal with a few ‘No’ responses. Don’t get discouraged. Plan ahead. Have copies in hand when you visit in person. The negative store personnel will respond with things like, “we don’t carry self-published books”, or “we can’t even order your book”. These are all just smokescreens and indicative of a store that doesn’t support local authors, or a store that is going out of business. So, we suggest that you pretty much ignore any bad vibe stores and people. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything. Spend your time with winners! And please keep this in mind. One of our authors said this, “I’ve never had an indie store not carry my book if I’ve asked and brought in signed copies”. So, don’t worry unduly and in general, your visit with them will be a positive experience. Closing the Sale – We stand ready to help you – Let us handle the numbers: —————————————————————————- —————————- Our book order team has a substantial number of indie bookstores that we work with on a regular basis. We know their processes and questions and concerns and we can handle them. We can help you close the deal. Don’t get hung up on the details. If they start talking prices, and money and costs tell them “if you don’t mind, my publisher will finalize all that with you”. Then simply get us their contact info and we will take it from there. Contact Us: ————————- If you have any questions about book orders or building a Local Author Book Route, please contact Suzann in the Book Order Department. If you have worked with her, you know what a professional she is! Suzann is also the person that you want to connect to your store. Suzann Durrette Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency Operations Manager ~ Book Orders & Accounts Accounting at 888-808-6197 USA CST ONE FINAL VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: THE ‘LOCAL AUTHOR BOOK ROUTE’. —————————————————————————- —————————- We have seen some VERY successful authors that use this “local author” concept to create a “book route” of about fifteen locations that include indie bookstores, airport gift shops, local restaurants, local shopping areas and more. The authors simply visit the stores as part of their traveling around during their normal work week. If each of the fifteen locations sells even two books per week, then that’s 30 books per week and that’s 1500 books per year. SBPRA IS VERY SUPPORTIVE OF THIS MARKETING PLAN AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH STANDUP DISPLAYS AND OTHER MATERIALS IF YOU CAN GET THE ROUTE GOING. If you like this idea, just reply to this email and we can discuss it with you in more detail. In general, once you have four locations up and running for 30 days we can start supplying you with display and marketing materials at our cost. Best! Robert Fletcher – CEO Linked In: Twitter: @Robert_CEO, CEO Blog:

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