Working Well With Indie Bookstores

Maria V.

Part 1: Establishing a Relationship

Your new book is coming out. Yay!!
You’re excited and would like to hold an event at your local independent bookstore (provided they do events). Dashing off an email to them about hosting, you wait for a reply. For this scenario, you might receive a polite, “No thanks”, or possibility a warm, “Let’s talk”, or even a chilly silence. What makes the difference in their reaction? You.
Let me explain. If you’d like to work with your local Indie store, the store should know you well before your book is released. That email should not be the first time you’ve reached out to them. Ideally, you should be a customer. However, if you don’t buy books, preferring to use the library or e-books, then attending their events and talking to the staff is the next best thing. If you do both, that’s even better. Either way, the workers get to know you.
Another way to establish a relationship with the store is to hand-deliver a signed copy of the new book to the events manager or owner of the store. This is beneficial for two reasons. The bookseller will be able to determine if your book is something that will appeal to their customers. No sense hosting a book signing for a hard Military SF when most of their customers prefer Romance.
If the store does group signings or has special events like “Sci Fi Saturday” or “Bookstore Romance day”, they might invite you to join. Group signings are wonderful opportunities for new authors. In fact, I preferred group signings when I started out. Multi-author events draw more customers into the store, customers you can pitch your book to, even if they didn’t come for you! (I will discuss this in more detail later in this series.)

Read the entire article in the Dec/Jan 2021-22 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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