Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Bookshops

Things Self-Published Authors Are Not Supposed to Be Able to Do…


I did a post four years ago about self-published authors getting their books into libraries… 

And, a month after that post I published one about self-published authors getting their books into bookstores

Today, we’ll re-visit that last concept.

There’s an article in The Independent (out of the state of Utah in the USA) called Eight Things Booksellers would like Self-published Authors to Know.

It’s written by Niki Hawkes, a bookseller for 11 years who now offers Speculative Fiction book reviews and writing advice.

I’ll give you her eight topics and my immediate thoughts, leaving it to you to go read what an actual bookseller says :-)

Making sure your title is available for bookstores to order is an important first step

My current publishing set-up would have me ordering books for the bookstore (getting them an initial discount).

Make sure your title is returnable, specifically for national bookstore chains

The books would be returned to me; but, I could certainly find new homes for them

Bookstores typically don’t have a budget to promote your signing event

I probably wouldn’t have a signing event unless the store was very local.

Take an active role in your signing event

If I had one, I’d be all over it

Your self-published book is probably not going to be competitively priced

This one’s interesting because of what a commenter said—“I’ve had no trouble pricing my paperbacks within the range mentioned.”

Booksellers don’t want to be hassled about your book

Wouldn’t think of doing something like that

Content quality matters

Uuuh… Naturally.

You are not entitled to an audience

I wasn’t raised in the age of entitlement

I’ll close with something Niki said that should spur any self-published author looking to get their books into bookstores off on a research spree:

“To be successful in pitching their books to booksellers, self-published authors should have a sense of the resources available to booksellers, what is appealing to them, and how to approach them.”

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All About Bookstores . . .


Since I write my blog to help folks explore Reading, Writing, and Publishing; and, since Amazon has been getting way too much press lately, I decided I should write about bookstores :-) 

Bookstores

Image Courtesy of Brendan Gogarty ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/brendan76

I also wanted to use a Web app I’ve been exploring—Buzzsumo.

Here’s one user’s description of this app:

“Identify the links that are most shared on social networks, as well as influencers for specific topics. .. really easy to use.”

So, I put in “bookstores” and added the filter for the past 6 months.

Buzzsumo shows how many times each article has been shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

I’ll only give the total shares across all those platforms.

And, I’ll have a question for you at the end…

Here are the 10 most-shared Web articles about bookstores in the last 6 months (with the total number of shares):

1. 17 Bookstores That Will Literally Change Your Life — 241,249

2. World’s coolest bookstores — 84,501

3. The French Do Buy Books. Real Books. — 26,682

4. Literary City, Bookstore Desert — Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan — 20,386

5. Why Indie Bookstores Are on the Rise Again — 17,873

6. One NYC Indie Bookstore Survives By Being Small And Specialized 15,572

7. Bookstores of New York — 10,806

8. 9 Awe-Inspiring Bookstores Around the World — 9,382

9. 14 New York City Bookstores You Should Visit Before You Die — 8,979

10. The 14 Absolute Best U.S. Kids’ Bookstores (As Chosen By Teachers) — 7,738

So, my question for you is:

Why do you think these particular articles had the most social network shares in the last six months?
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Two Words Left Out of Most of The Book World’s News . . .


So much news about e-books, traditional publishers, and Amazon—so little about libraries and bookstores…

Libraries and Bookstores

Image Courtesy of Brenton Nicholls ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/bjn

It can seem like words, no matter how well strung together, are just some commodity—market them aggressively—package ’em up and ship ’em out…

And, even though libraries and bookstores are attempting to integrate e-books into their offerings, more creativity and commitment are necessary…

I’ve posted quite a bit about e-books and libraries—not so much about bookstores; though, “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores” is probably worth a read :-)

So, what do you think or feel about bookstores and libraries?

Do you still use them?

Do you think they’ll disappear?

I found two articles about e-books and libraries that are not focused on the U.S.A.:

Report: Libraries Struggling with E-books

European Library Bureau Campaigns For eBooks in Libraries

Do you think libraries should have as much access to e-books as the retailers have?

Will libraries become all-digital?

I also found a fascinating article about bookstores—Let’s Reinvent The Bookshop.

One telling excerpt from that article—“Curious to explore this territory, we asked four leading architecture and design practices to create a shop. Specifically, in the age of Amazon and e-books, a bookshop to save bookshops.”

Do you think all brick-and-mortar bookstores will disappear?

Do you think bookstores can save themselves by integrating e-books?

When’s the last time you visited a bookstore?

Would you be happy if they all went away?

It’s always a gamble trying to predict the future; though, there’s nothing wrong with holding a vision of the future and working hard to bring it into reality…

Are we doomed to a future that’s only digital?

Do you know people who are envisioning a future with “real” bookstores and libraries?
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Why Are Bookstores Dying? ~or~ How To Understand The “News” About Books…


In all the frenzy of damning Amazon for its success in the book business, many apologists for publishers and bookstores completely forget the Reader

Many also use what should be the “News” to spread propaganda

I’ve written a few posts about the US Department of Justice’s suit against Big Publishers that I feel can help folks understand what’s really going on.

Recently, a US Senator began railing against the DOJ—Senator says Apple e-book suit could destroy publishing industry.

I wonder who’s got whom in their pocket

O.K., so that’s one story.

Then we have the case of Tim Waterstone bemoaning the crisis of his bookstore chain—How We Lost Bookshops Thanks to Amazon and Publishers.

Two stories written, a day apart, this month.

One might be led to think bookstores are all going to die because of Evil Corporations and the Poor Reader will not have any books to read

Naturally, there are scads of articles out there that try to scare folks into believing books are going away and all the reader will have left is the Slush Pile called E-Books.

Part of the title of this post brings up understanding the News.

I feel the first thing to understand is the World we’re living in—going through immense change—a global tipping-point—reeling under the chaos engendered by old business models that don’t want to die and make room for the Future.

So, the News is full of propaganda by the old order

The reason I said the World is at a tipping-point is that the new order is very much alive and kicking.

The third story (published in the same time-frame as the other two)—Some good news for the book business.

Let me quote a bit:

“While e-book revenues have more than doubled in the past year and surpassed print to become the dominant format for adult fiction, print continued to account for the vast majority of publishing sales…”

“…bricks-and-mortar retail still ranked as the No. 1 sales channel for books in 2011, accounting for 31.5 percent of total book sales…”

“…despite the growing dominance of Amazon and the shuttering of Borders, bricks-and-mortar stores continue to be the primary method of getting books into the hands of customers.”

So

Are the bookstores that are dying tied to the wrong apron strings?

Is the book industry that exists off the Web evolving into fewer but more innovative stores?

And, where do the libraries come into the equation?

Did you know that libraries help publishers sell books?

How can the Reader be empowered to help shape the future of books?

What’s your take on all this?
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