How can I get my book into bookstores? Would I go up to the purchasing agent of that bookstore and tell them about my book? Or will they not work with me?
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #1 – “MY BOOK WILL SELL JUST BECAUSE IT’S THERE”
Probably the most common mistake new authors make is believing that just putting a book up for sale online means people will buy it. Doesn’t happen. If you don’t promote your book, nobody will know it’s there. You’re competing against millions of other titles for readers’ interest.
COMMON MISCONCEPTION #2 – “BOOKSTORES WILL STOCK MY BOOK JUST BECAUSE IT’S THERE”
The second most common misconception I hear from authors is that bookstores will want to stock their book just because it’s new and it’s now available.
Bookstores don’t stock the vast majority of books published each year, not even the traditionally published ones. Almost half a million books were published in 2008. More than half of those were self-published. There simply isn’t enough shelf space to accommodate all the new books published each year (even just the traditional ones) along with the books already cramming the shelves from previous years.
While you may have luck getting on the “local authors” shelf of your local bookstore, you aren’t likely to get stocked by bookstores nationwide unless you’re a celebrity, or a bestselling author, or have garnered significant (nationwide!) press for some reason
I still refer authors to this article of mine almost daily – Marketing to Bookstores – A Waste of Time?
BUT, WHAT ABOUT RETURNS?
Please don’t fall for the “pay to make your book returnable” garbage being offered by many POD publishers now…and pay hundreds per year for it! If making a book returnable really resulted in significant sales, these POD publishers would be offering the service for free. They’ve simply found yet another way to separate you from your money. Read more HERE (https://writersweekly.com/the_latest_from_angelahoycom/004472_01162008.html).
Sadly, even if you pay your POD publisher this ridiculous fee, many bookstores may (and likely will) still choose not to stock your book for a variety of reasons, including lack shelf space, salability, lack of local interest, and much more.
SO, WHAT DOES WORK?
Please refer to my 11-part series on Free Online Book Marketing HERE.