Approaching Bookstores: The Wrong Way

I understand… really, I do. 

Revenue from online sales do not pay the bills. You thought eBooks were all the rage. Now you know the truth. Your book needs to be displayed in a local bookstore.  The weight of the world is on your shoulders. Your husband/wife/partner has had it up to here with your writing career.  You are under a tremendous amount of pressure. You need to sell your books…speedy quick.

Here are the top five things NOT to do when approaching any bookseller or independent business.

* Have a friend pose as your publisher.

* Lie about being represented by a “Major Publisher.”

* Be pushy, demanding and downright rude.

* Approach a bookstore without first being a customer.

* Visit a bookstore while they are having an event and then,    monopolize the owner’s time.

Let me begin with the last first because it is the most important. Please heed my advice. My words may seem harsh, but my intent is to save your reputation. Approaching a bookseller during another author’s event is a career-damaging move.  The sole purpose for attending any author event should be to support the author who has been invited to speak, and the business who has gone to a tremendous expense to host the event.

Pause for a moment and think: how would I feel if someone came to my booksigning to sell their book?

You would not appreciate the gesture.

They don’t either.

I am constantly amazed when booksellers tell me people call them “posing” as publishers, agents, publicists. Being deceitful might work for the Kardashian family; it will not work for you. 

Before you reach out and do the wrong thing, pause. Create a relationship with a bookseller that is based on your love of the written word, not your need to sell books.

Learn more about effective marketing in my book: Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. Subscribe to this blog or leave a comment and be registered to receive a FREE copy. Make Your Mark Publishing will award one subscriber a free copy mid-December.

 Renea Winchester is the author of Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. Her first book titled: In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes, earned  a SIBA nomination and a Georgia Author of the Year nomination. She is an award winning author who believes in the value of community and relationships. Visit her at