How To Get Your Book Into Bookstores
If you’re like most authors, you’ve envisioned your shiny new bestseller on the Barnes & Noble bookshelf, followed by hundreds, thousands more like it. With that said, it’s likely not lost on you that the invention of the eBook has turned the publishing world on its head. Being in a bookstore doesn’t guarantee a sale- nor does it guarantee eyes on your book. Bookstores are probably one of the least lucrative ways to promote your book, but nevertheless, it is still a thrill to have your work featured on their shelves! It’s worth a little bit of elbow grease to make it happen. Plus, the photos and digital PR and notoriety you get from having your book in store DOES count for more than you may realize.
1. Be your best salesman
In the traditional publishers world, there are teams of professionals with binders worth of materials, ready to go into meetings and convince them of rates and other things on behalf of the author. The point is that no one is going to do that work for you- you have to make those cold calls, in person!
Hot Tip: While phone calls and emails may be necessary to reach far away bookstores, visiting people in person is proven time and time again to make a huge difference in sales success. When you can, go in person, and leave something of value behind!
2. Create and edit your sales pitch
Instead of talking about how good your book is, stay on the topics that your “buyer” really cares about: your book will sell really well on these shelves and online! Also, remember to include your brief resume surrounding the book and personal history in the industry. Awards, notable blurbs, reviews, bestseller achievements, and media appearances should all be mentioned! It’s best to create “leave behinds,” such as a graphic designed (on brand) resume, and a one-sheet, outlining things like the book’s pricing, description, and author’s biography.
3. Start local
It’s common to find shelf space dedicated to local authors, so take advantage of this angle in your pitch at these local shops.