PDA

View Full Version : Getting bookstores to stock your book



ixchel
08-09-2007, 09:37 AM
How do you get your local bookstore to stock your book? I don't know how to go about doing this other than calling the store and offering a copy of my book. My book is through a small press and is available through Amazon. Any ideas would be great!

Marlys
08-09-2007, 10:02 AM
I would drop by and ask to speak to the manager or an assistant manager. Frequently, bookstores be happy to stock a few copies of a local author's book in their local section. Some will even host a reading or signing.

Bring some info about your book--anything from a one-page flyer to a promo packet including postcards, bookmarks, a bio sheet, etc. Make sure you include the ISBN and information on how to order the book. They're unlikely to get it from Amazon, though, so find out which distributors your publisher uses and include that. If they don't have a distributor, or have one but it's not one the bookstore deals with, provide the publisher's contact info. If you don't already know it, it would help to know what the usual terms are under which your publisher sells to bookstores (discount, return policy).

Or if you can get them at a favorable enough rate yourself, some bookstores will buy directly from the author.

Best of luck with it!

lisanevin
08-17-2007, 04:17 PM
How do you get your local bookstore to stock your book?
Ask! Especially the independents!

flashgordon
09-24-2007, 09:11 PM
Yes, just ask the independents. The bookbuyer or manager is the place to start: some buy books outright, others will only take it on consignment. For the big chains, if it is not in Ingram or Baker and Taylor, you are going to have a real hard time. However, the local versions of Barnes and Noble, etc. will still be willing to host an author signing even though they wont carry your book. Strange but true.

ResearchGuy
09-25-2007, 11:44 PM
. . . For the big chains, if it is not in Ingram or Baker and Taylor, you are going to have a real hard time. . . .
Even availability through Baker & Taylor may not be enough. This has been a vexing situation with respect to a small-press book with which I am well acquainted. B&N and Borders say it is not available. Wrong. But the publisher did not jump through the right hoops.

--Ken

P.S. The problem was that the publisher neither followed the requirements of B&N's Small Press Department nor signed a deal with a distributor. It is a distributor that pushes the books into the channels. Big publishers probably do that themselves. Smaller (and especially small) publishers need a distributor. Ingram and B&T are wholesalers, not distributors.

SFAnn
10-24-2007, 11:26 PM
How do you get your local bookstore to stock your book? I don't know how to go about doing this other than calling the store and offering a copy of my book. My book is through a small press and is available through Amazon. Any ideas would be great!

Put that phone down and go meet them. Be a customer. We have a local bookstore that is a niche store serving Mystery and SF writers and they're just down the street from Borders. I support them and they support me. I started a SF crit group and got them to host it. They hosted a reading for me and are now looking forward to selling my first book (out on 12/15!).

The independents are easy. They usually like to support local talent. Start there. The box stores...that's a little harder. Good luck with that one.

That's my 2 cents.
Ann

Meerkat
10-24-2007, 11:32 PM
Not so fast there, Ann....

WELCOME TO AW!!!!! Hope you enjoy yourself immensely here!

AndyPolyak
10-30-2007, 07:44 PM
I agree that independent booksellers are better. Much better! Even if not so profitable, but easy to deal with.

twnkltoz
12-30-2007, 10:38 AM
I have a question. My small town doesn't have many independant bookstores. One of them is also a used bookstore. If you sell your (used) books on consignment there, they don't give you money, just put it on your account to buy books with. What if they only want to do that with my book? Would you do it?

Dustry Joe
12-30-2007, 06:46 PM
Not so fast???????????????????????

Yeah, I completely agree that personal contact is so much better than a phone call there's no point in even fooling with the phone. You are trying to sell them on being a local person--so show up and be local.

Independents are infinitely more open to you. Many chains don't even have a mechanism for buying your book. Especially if it doesn't have an ISBN. But beyond that, the customers at the indie store have qualified themselves as people who like local, individual and non-off-the-rack stuff so you have a better shot. Many have a rack for local authors. If yours doesn't, consider contacting other local writers about presenting a group request that they have a shelf for you up front.

Talk to the used book store. They may be willing to put your book up front on consignment at full value. I sell a couple of books at three local used bookstores and have had a lot of luck with it in the past.

For that matter, if you're a regular at the right type of coffeehouse, talk to them about having your book on the counter.

The comments about signs and promo materials is right on. I use a half-sized (5.5 by 8.5 inches) poster on bright colored card stock (same schoolbus yellow as book cover seen on this banner) extensivley. It pops an attractive name big, has the cute skeleton art, and a list of bullets regarding hot content. And the price. It's value in increasing sales when used is tremendous.
(Note: unlike many such things I see, it doesn't pimp ME, just the book. I have at times stamped "Local Author" on it)

Strongbear
01-01-2008, 01:45 AM
Ok, I'm thinking about this at the moment. What exactly would I say to the bookstore owner (perhaps someone could give me the gist of what they said (or did))? Are they that willing to take on someone they've never heard before and doesn't have a proven track record for sales? Or will they think of you as just some nobody who is just trying to hawk their work?

And what about local supermarkets or other bookstores like Waterstones or WHSmith (I live in the UK btw)? Who would I speak to there?

If you have self-published your work, are these bookstores (even the independent ones) still willing to stock your work or will they only deal with someone who is more of a big gun than you (ie some kind of publisher/ distributer etc)?

Any help appreciated.

Thanks.

Dustry Joe
01-01-2008, 08:01 AM
I always found a good line was, "Say, you've got an awful of glass windows and fragile books here! Hope you don't piss of many vindicative writers by refusing to stock their books. Speaking of which...."

Nah, here's the deal. You are going to the sort of people who WANT to do this. Forget supermarkets: books aren't their line and their purchases are huge complex stuff carried on at home offices in other cities.

You're looking for shops where they love books and writers. Preferably in you local neighborhood, so you are a homeboy.

What you say depends on your style, but what you are saying is, "I'm a local writer who likes stores like this and would like for my book to be available to your customers. You're independent and local, working among big companies that dwarf you. I'm the same way. I'd love to see if we can have some fun together, move some books and build up the local writer community."

Also, you might be talking in terms of an event for him ("James Bond Night" featuring readers of espionage with titsy blondes"? Readings in Austin Powers drag? I don't know. These things have a better shot if you are a group. A coalition of young writers who want a "Local Writers Rack" and could do a group reading, bring in all your hooligan spy-geek buddies.

If they already have a local writers' shelf...you are simply requesting to be included.

Strongbear
01-01-2008, 08:39 AM
I always found a good line was, "Say, you've got an awful of glass windows and fragile books here! Hope you don't piss of many vindicative writers by refusing to stock their books. Speaking of which...."

Nah, here's the deal. You are going to the sort of people who WANT to do this. Forget supermarkets: books aren't their line and their purchases are huge complex stuff carried on at home offices in other cities.

You're looking for shops where they love books and writers. Preferably in you local neighborhood, so you are a homeboy.

What you say depends on your style, but what you are saying is, "I'm a local writer who likes stores like this and would like for my book to be available to your customers. You're independent and local, working among big companies that dwarf you. I'm the same way. I'd love to see if we can have some fun together, move some books and build up the local writer community."

Also, you might be talking in terms of an event for him ("James Bond Night" featuring readers of espionage with titsy blondes"? Readings in Austin Powers drag? I don't know. These things have a better shot if you are a group. A coalition of young writers who want a "Local Writers Rack" and could do a group reading, bring in all your hooligan spy-geek buddies.

If they already have a local writers' shelf...you are simply requesting to be included.

Thanks for the suggestions and the response. I'll definitely have to try some of these techiniques. They'll be one of my New Year's resolutions lol.

BTW where would I be able to find a list/directory of independent bookstores in my area? I can't really think off hand of any around me that I know. The only one that comes to mind is a second hand bookstore, but I'm not sure that would be the best thing since people might be expecting it at a very low price since they are after bargains.

Dustry Joe
01-01-2008, 08:53 AM
Phone book. Also, find one such store even if it means going across town. (They often clump up in areas like antique shops, no?) Hit on the owner for your book and lay your situation out to him. There might very well be an association of indie bookselllers, perhaps even with a newsletter, meetings, etc. I think you woud find people like this more likely than not to be helpful to young writers.

Talk to the second hand bookshop. What the hell. Actually, talking to booksellers at any level or capacity is time well spent for you, I would think. It's not that unusual for a used bookstore to have a couple of new items up on the front counter...espeically local things.