With all the buzz about going green and selling on Amazon many authors are not putting too much thought on selling their books in their local bookstores, often just making the effort of listing their books online and focusing on online promotion. But good relationships, especially with your local and independent bookstores, can result in significant sales and publicity.
Most people who love books still visit bookstores, so not considering Indie and big books stores is a mistake in my opinion. Authors should try to work with bookstores, although Indie authors might find Indie bookstores easier to work with; in my experience big stores are also becoming more receptive to Indies and are trying to accommodate their local authors by organizing local author book events or accepting books on consignment. I also have found that if the Indie authors offer the chain store’s same deal offered to them by their distributor, they might even order books for their event. Independent bookstores, by comparison, can be a delight to work with. People who work in independent bookstores love books. They are big readers, and if you develop a relationship with those people, they are going to remember you and your book and recommend it to people. If you build a relationship with an independent bookstore’s employees, they will reciprocate by acting as intermediary in building a relationship between you and your reader.
Here are just a few of the benefits authors I know have received from working with independent bookstores:
- Bookstores have advertised programed events for local Indie authors where they can participate and sell their books.
- Local independent bookstore employees know you so they are more likely to host a book signing for you. And because you live nearby, if they have a cancellation by another author for an event, they might even call you up to come and participate.
- When customers ask for suggestions, employees at the bookstore you have a relationship with are more likely to have read your book and recommend it to customers.
- Independent bookstores may work on consignment or may buy directly from the author. Either way, once the books are sold, authors get their payment quicker.
- Independent and local bookstores will often sponsor events with the local library, as well as participate in local festivals. As a result, authors associated with independent bookstores can build their connections to key organizers of community events
- Because of their close association with libraries, independent bookstore owners and managers have been known to sit on library boards and participate in greater statewide book events, such as deciding on a “community read” or even which books the state library will promote as notable. A relationship with the bookstore can help your book to get noticed for these reading programs.
- Authors who have relationships with independent bookstores are more likely to have their books receive better product placement in those stores.
Finally, participating in the community as a local author can help Indies achieve some kind of celebrity status in their community which might be noticed by the local media. For more information on how we can help authors visit us at www.bookbybookpublicity.com.