Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Indie Books

Something for #Readers & #Writers . . .


This blog is like me—more maverick than classifiable

I report on Reading, Writing, and Publishing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

I Re-Blog others’ posts on those three topics the other days of the week.

I am an author and I like to give my stuff away (see the left side-bar…).

Of course, if you’re a regular visitor, you know all this; but, I get most of my traffic from unsuspecting folks putting words into search engines

There are two other kinds of bloggers who authors and readers especially like—Book-Bloggers & Bloggers-Who-Do-Book-Reviews—sometimes a person is really both but some folks want to be one or the other (and, finding clear definitions for either is difficult…)

I’ll share two sites that cater to these types of blogs.

First, The Book Blogger List:

What they say about themselves:

“We have created this site to help book bloggers find like-minded bloggers and help authors find book bloggers that might be interested in their book.”

I’m really surprised they don’t mention Readers………

Perhaps they feel it’s way too obvious that a reader would like a place to find blogs about books…?

Now, their “rules”:

“Instructions for Authors

“This database of book bloggers is organized by genre of interest. If a book blogger has expressed interest in multiple genres, they will be listed in each category. Any book blogger that is listed here has asked to be listed.  Keep in mind that when approaching a book blogger about your book, use your manners and your common sense. Don’t approach a blogger who only reads children’s lit to read your non-fiction business book. Choose bloggers that are interested in your genre.”

“Instructions for Book Bloggers

“This is a site for you to list your book blog as well as find some bloggy friends. All the entries will be checked every two months. If your blog has not been posted to during those two months, your listing will be removed. If you are taking a blogging break – or going on a really long vacation, let us know and we won’t pull your listing.”

Now, let’s take a look at The Indie View.

First, “Indie” generally means “not from the big, old, traditional publishers”

The Indie View has three main sections:

Latest Indie Book Reviews from Around the Web

A List of Folks Who Review Indie Books

A List of Authors Who’ve Rated High in Indie Reviews

If you’re a writer looking for reviews, use their main link and scroll the right side-bar for Registration Requirements.

And, partly because there are so many book-blogs and partly because I want this post to be of value, here’s one more place to visit:

http://bookblogging.net/
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Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Will All The Bookstores Die?


What with all the hoopla over Barnes & Noble and Borders struggling and dying and the surge of e-book sales, many folks fear that bookstores will all go away.

Independent Bookstores

Image Courtesy of Julia Freeman-Woolpert ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/juliaf

I’ve addressed this issue in past posts—here are links to two of them:

Why Are Bookstores Dying? ~or~ How To Understand The “News” About Books…

Are Physical Bookstores Really A Thing of The Past?

However, Husna Haq, writing for the CSM, has a recent article called, Indie bookstores are on the rise: What’s behind their comeback?

She admits that “…for years, indies did appear to be goners. Between 2000 and 2007, some 1,000 independent bookstores closed, according to the American Booksellers Association (ABA).

She references an article, from 2006, on Slate, that says:

“Ever since the rise of the book superstore in the 1990s, we have been flooded with lamentations for the rapidly disappearing independent booksellers—cool hang-outs where the staff knows something about literature, the owners select each title with care, and bearded patrons sit at crowded coffee tables, talking about Jack Kerouac or the latest translation of Tolstoy.”

Then, she says:

“But that wasn’t the end of the story. After a precipitous fall, indie bookstores are making a quiet, but sure, comeback. In fact, the number of independent bookstores has increased 25 percent since 2009, according to the ABA. What’s more, sales are up, too.”

She shares three shouts:

“The Independent Bookstore Lives!” trumpeted Salon. “The Bookstore Strikes Back”, declared The Atlantic. “Indie Bookstores Aren’t Dead”, announced the Huffington Post.

And, the last bit I’ll share from her article (do go read it all…):

“…it was Borders, not the indies, that went out of business; Barnes & Noble has struggled; and e-book sales have leveled off, leaving print books as the most popular medium of choice…”

Even though I’m happy to buy books from Amazon for my Tablet (right now I have 289 books on it…), I’d Love to have a decent Indie bookstore near me

Just like that Slate article said:

“…cool hang-outs where the staff knows something about literature, the owners select each title with care, and bearded patrons sit at crowded coffee tables, talking about Jack Kerouac or the latest translation of Tolstoy.”

So, to cap off this post, I’ll share some reasons to support Indie bookstores, from a great site, IndieBound:

The Economy

  • Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.
  • Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
  • More of your taxes are reinvested in your community–where they belong.

The Environment

  • Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.

The Community

  • Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.
  • Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
  • More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

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Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Self-Published Books & Bookstores


Traditional publishers have established methods of dealing with bookstores.

Of course, many authors have issues with the whole procedure but are still locked into the legacy model of publishing.

First, traditional publishers offer the bookstores (the few they deal with) steep discounts then permit them to return unsold books.

Next comes the way books are placed in bookstores—some publishers pay to have books well-displayed.

But, traditional publishers are having their problems and it’s affecting the whole supply chain

So, what’s up with self-published books and Indie bookstores?

First, two sites that are dedicated to the Indie:

IndieBound—dealing with the bookstore side of the equation.

IndieReader—dealing with the books and authors.

Next, two posts that explore getting self-published books into bookstores:

Terri Giuliano Long’s Why You Can’t Find Indies In Bookstores points up many of the core issues.

Jo Ann Kairys’ 5 Guaranteed Ways to Get Your Book into Bookstores shares some practical tactics.

One of Jo Ann’s methods is so direct and seemingly simple I have to excerpt it here:

Cold Calls

Once your book is in Ingram and Baker and Taylor distribution, cold calls to bookstores really work. Here’s the way my script goes:

Me: Hi, I’m an author! Could you check my ISBN?

Store: Let me connect you with the right department.

Me: Hi there, I’m an author! Could you check my ISBN?

Store: Sure, What is it? (Checks the computer) Okay, I have it.

Me: Great! Could I ask you to order a few for your store?

Store: Yes, that’s fine.

Me: Thank you so much!

This short conversation has worked for every call I’ve made—literally hundreds!

And, a related challenge for self-published authors is explored in a previous post on this blog—Getting Self-Published Books Into Libraries.

Of course, many Indie authors are quite happy to bypass bookstores and libraries while focusing their efforts on the unlimited shelf-space of the Internet
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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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