PDA

View Full Version : Cold-calling bookstores



ACAuthors
03-26-2017, 04:29 PM
Has anyone ever successfully emailed an indie bookstore to encourage them to sell your book? Any tips? Would it be a good idea to send them a couple of free copies?

cornflake
03-26-2017, 07:33 PM
I'd think it depends on the store, the reason, and how your book is published.

WriterBN
03-26-2017, 10:25 PM
Has anyone ever successfully emailed an indie bookstore to encourage them to sell your book? Any tips? Would it be a good idea to send them a couple of free copies?
I did, although there are only two indie bookstores left in my state. I tried the one where I shop when I'm in town, since they do tend to feature local authors. They now carry my books on consignment, arranged a book signing for me last fall, and will likely do another this summer.

Don't send them unsolicited copies, though. They usually have a set procedure in place (I had to fill out a form and give them a review copy).

As cornflake says, it all depends on the store.

CameronJohnston
03-27-2017, 12:06 PM
Not an indie bookstore, but we did get an indie-published anthology into highstreet bookstores in the local area since they support local authors. Deal was that we provide the stock and they sell it and either request more from us or send it back if it's not selling. Costs them nothing.

I would think a face-to-face query would be more productive than an email in this case, especially if you are friendly and nice and clearly not a nutjob writer.

the bunny hugger
03-27-2017, 08:18 PM
You need to work out who does the ordering and make an appointment with them. This can work even with chain stores if they still have an ordering person you can speak to directly. Alternatively for very local stores where you could do a signing you can go in in person and see if a staff member can help you. But they will need to work with their manager or ordering staff as an advocate, odds are they can't just make it happen.

Super_Duper
03-27-2017, 09:12 PM
Most bookstores are very happy to carry a local author's book, even if they can only do so on consignment terms.

C Alberts
03-28-2017, 11:21 PM
I would suggest checking a store's website first to see if there are guidelines or a procedure for submitting a book. I would not recommend sending unsolicited copies - certainly not at your own expense. If you are going for local stores, you'll probably find that many of them will carry your book on consignment.

If you are reaching out further geographically, aim for stores that seem to specialize in the genre of book you write and make sure to let them know the ISBN and how to order your book. If you are self-published it will be difficult to get your books in stores outside your community unless you are making it available through Ingram or some other distribution network. Consignment is harder to do from a long distance.

Keep in mind - bookstores are already deciding between hundreds of new releases each week from established publishers with distribution. They have to say no to the vast majority of books that are released. Adding submissions by self-published authors to the mix (which are, by nature, more complicated for them to carry and sell in most cases), will be received better by some stores than others. Try not to take a 'no' personally - easier said than done, I know.

ETA: I know a lot about this from the angle of the bookstore, so if you or anyone else has questions or wants me to elaborate on the hows and the whys, feel free to ask!

ACAuthors
04-01-2017, 09:01 PM
I did, although there are only two indie bookstores left in my state. I tried the one where I shop when I'm in town, since they do tend to feature local authors. They now carry my books on consignment, arranged a book signing for me last fall, and will likely do another this summer.

Don't send them unsolicited copies, though. They usually have a set procedure in place (I had to fill out a form and give them a review copy).

As cornflake says, it all depends on the store.

I'm discovering that there aren't too many indie bookstores in my state either!! Thanks

ACAuthors
04-01-2017, 09:02 PM
I would suggest checking a store's website first to see if there are guidelines or a procedure for submitting a book. I would not recommend sending unsolicited copies - certainly not at your own expense. If you are going for local stores, you'll probably find that many of them will carry your book on consignment.

If you are reaching out further geographically, aim for stores that seem to specialize in the genre of book you write and make sure to let them know the ISBN and how to order your book. If you are self-published it will be difficult to get your books in stores outside your community unless you are making it available through Ingram or some other distribution network. Consignment is harder to do from a long distance.

Keep in mind - bookstores are already deciding between hundreds of new releases each week from established publishers with distribution. They have to say no to the vast majority of books that are released. Adding submissions by self-published authors to the mix (which are, by nature, more complicated for them to carry and sell in most cases), will be received better by some stores than others. Try not to take a 'no' personally - easier said than done, I know.

ETA: I know a lot about this from the angle of the bookstore, so if you or anyone else has questions or wants me to elaborate on the hows and the whys, feel free to ask!

Thanks!