The Inside Scoop on Approaching Indie Bookstores

Here's a great blog post about approaching indie bookstores if you are an independent or pay to publish author. There are lots of helpful tips, but I love that there's also the "why" behind those tips. Another interesting note is the general feeling of encouragement, rather than the old "we don't take those kinds of books attitude that used to be much more prevalent in this part of the industry.

One other thing, make sure you read the comments, a couple of which just blew me away. The blogger, Josie Leavitt, just spent her precious time giving a list of clear guidelines as to how to approach her (and others), yet you'll notice a couple of posts that are completely clueless. Even giving those people the benefit of the doubt that they misunderstood something (though I'm not sure how Josie could have been clearer) also adds the lesson that even if you think you understand the guidelines, read them again and make sure before you contact someone. The adage you only get one chance to make a first impression certainly applies here.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


JaxPop said...

Josie's comments were, from my limited experience, right on the money.

It's not always possible to email, but you can drop off or mail the info about your book - including contact info. Keep it direct & simple. Store managers appreciate this because they're not being interrupted with a strained sales pitch.

The first shop that agreed to carry my book asked for 6 copies - on consignment. I almost said no, but it wasn't a mom n' pop shop so I took a chance. That arrangement lasted less than a week - They sold out in 3 days - set me up in their system & started ordering a dozen at a time - then upped it to 2 dozen, now about every couple of weeks. Sometimes it's worth taking the risk - but it's always necessary to be polite & understand that a store manager ain't hangin' out just to meet another peddler.

One note (to be fair): The area where I live draws lots of tourists & the setting for my book IS my haunted seaside hometown. Local appeal is important - tourist appeal is a huge bonus. The fact that it's an area loaded with local writers & artists provides another "in" with store owners. (They're used to wackos?)

(You can check out my town in the listing on the right hand side of my blog. It's a very cool place & the beaches are incredible.)

Thanks Cheryl for posting this.

Cheryl Pickett said...

I really like it when people get concrete how-to they can adapt to their own projects and try themselves. Thanks for sharing JaxPop!