Approaching Bookstores…the Correct Way.

 As expected, I received quite a bit of feedback about my blog titled Approaching Bookstores the Wrong Way. Some remarked that my “advice” was a bit blunt.

Forgive the bluntness, again, my ultimate goal is to help you sell books.  I have counseled authors who listen politely then decide to do things their way. These authors come back months later to tell me they regret not following my advice.

Unfortunately, some people do not understand that you really do have one chance to make an impression. I am saying this with love in my heart. If you  make a bad impression –bluntness warning–there is nothing you can do to correct the image you have made with a bookseller.

Each day booksellers receive dozens of authors clamouring to have their books shelved. How can you stand out?


*  Dress appropriately. Do not show up wearing casual clothing.

*  Be polite. Pushy authors = bad impression.

*  Spend 3-5 minutes explaining your book. Not one second more.

*  Time your visit when the store is NOT busy.

*  Identify yourself as a local author (if applicable).

*  Prepare a printed sample chapter to leave at the store. This is easily done at home or at any office supply store.

*  Include the distributors who carry your book, book price, contact information of you and your publisher.

*  Follow up with an email which includes: a PDF of the book cover, sample chapter and publisher contact.

*  Send a hand-written thank you.

*  Most important:  SEND READERS TO THEIR STORE.

When someone asks where they can purchase a copy of your book, do  not send them to online distributors. Send them to the local brick and mortar store. This may mean they have to wait two days while your title is ordered and shipped. This “wait time” would happen even if they ordered online, unless they purchase an electronic copy of your book.

Once bookstores begin carrying your titles, link your website to theirs.

All of this advice and more is covered in my newest release: Stress-free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. If you live in the Atlanta Metro area visit my website or this link to participate in an upcoming workshop. And remember, subscribe to this blog and be registered to receive a FREE copy of the book which will be awarded in December 2011.

Renea is a two-time winner of the Appalachian Writer’s Award, in 2010, she was awarded the Denny Plattner award. Her work has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Georgia Backroads, Smoky Mountain Living, Long Leaf Style and Georgia Magazine. She is a frequent radio guest, appearing on many radio stations, including Georgia Public Radio 90.1 FM. Her memoir, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons about Life, Love & Tomatoes (2010, Little Creek Books) earned a SIBA and GAYA nomination.