Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Indie Bookstore

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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