The Bookseller and Author: A Symbiotic RelationshipAug 6th, 2009 | By W.B. Burkholder | Category: Featured Articles | 1187 views
The independent bookstore should be the first stop for any self published writer or poet.
There are many Indy stores throughout the United States that are more than willing to host writers and poets for readings and book signings. Those emerging writers who have published their first book sometimes find themselves at a loss for what to do next.
“I have published my book, and I want people to know all about it, I want to make it available to the reading population.”
Let’s face it; most writers are just that, “writer’s.”
They often times do not have the knowledge of being able to market their works to the public or, for that matter the places that can actually sell and promote their work. The writer must also be to some extent; their own publicist as well. If the writer is not willing or unable to market their own work, then the chances of any one else willing to do it drop exceedingly.
I have self published two collections of poetry in the last couple of years and the learning experience throughout theses processes has been extraordinary. In terms of being able to promote your own work to book stores, and other such venues, there are three simple words that the writer must carry with them “Have no fear.”
Don’t be afraid to walk into the stores and engage the owner in conversation with regards to independent authors and publishers. Often times you will find that the independent book store owner and the self published author are a symbiotic pair. It makes for a win win situation for both parties. The author gets their book on the shelf and the store owner, given the agreement between the two, has the opportunity to make additional revenue.
It pays to build lasting relationships with the Indy bookstore owner, even if they don’t carry your works. The Indy book store owner has a positive impact on the communities in which they operate.
Megan Collins of the Last Wordsmith Shoppe in Northeast Pennsylvania recently said, “For every $100 spent at an Indy bookstore, $68 will stay in the community, when $100 is spent at a national chain, only $43 stays in the community.”
The larger, “brick and mortar” stores in my experience have no interest in the self published author. Now that is not to say that it hasn’t occurred in the past, I simply reflect this finding from my own experiences.
There are major resources on the Internet for the self published author. One such site is:
http://www.indiebound.org/ this site has an extensive listing of Indie book stores that the author can reference and make inquiries with regards to getting their books placed in these stores. http://www.indiebound.org/indie-store-finder The store finder is a one stop destination to finding book sellers throughout the country that may cater to your needs.
With that being said, it will also help the writer to have some sort of distribution package in place. Ingram is the nation’s largest book distributor and as such, most of the Indy book stores will require the author to have their works listed with Ingram. This way the book store can order the books in through their distributor at a discounted price. Other methods for the author are to supply their own copies of their works directly to the store owner; however, this has inherent issues attached to it.
For the author, they carry the cost of supplying these books to the store owner, and as such it becomes somewhat of challenge to recoup the writer’s investment and make a profit.
Often times an agreement can be entered into between the store owner and author to share the proceeds after the author’s initial investment. In my opinion, it is far better for the owner of the store to bring the books in through their distributor. If the author has done their homework and built a distribution package for their work, then their royalties that they receive from the Independent Publisher will more than pay for their time and investment of attending the various book signings that may occur.
This is also a better situation for the Indy book store owner, for they can bring the books in at cost, and mark them up to the suggested retail price, thereby turning a profit for the store. The author gains the royalties on those sales after the fact. Plus the notoriety of his works being available for purchase. In addition, the store owner may also be able to return any unsold books to the distributor as well. However, if your pre marketing and publicity is sufficient prior to the book signing event, chances are that the store owner will have no need to return the books.
In each community, there are at least several Indy book stores that operate and succeed in bringing the reading public wonderful works of literature and poetry. Two stores that I have personally been involved with are:
29170 Hoover Road
Warren Michigan 48093
The Last Wordsmith Shoppe
17 East Main Street
North East, Pennsylvania 16421
These are just two businesses that Invite local and regional authors to sell their work.
For these two, there are thousands and thousands of Indy book stores through out this country that are willing to host and sell the works of self published authors and poets.
Remember, ‘Have No Fear” and find the Independent book sellers in your area today.Help Support T21 with your Dollar Donation Today
©2009 W.B. Burkholder All Rights Reserved