Getting Books in Bookstores: A Personal Journey
edited: Thursday, December 27, 2007
By Christine Amsden
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2007
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An inside look at a first-time author's early struggles with the world of marketing.
As you can imagine, the most common question I get about my new novel, Touch of Fate, is, "Where can I get your book?" Since Amazon carries the title, it is easy to get a copy, but many people also want to know which bookstores will carry the book.
That is a simple question with a complex answer that goes into the heart of how books are bought and sold in this country. You see, every year thousands of new books are published in the United States alone. Booksellers have to pick and choose which books to stock and of course, they want to stock books that will sell. They're in this to make money, after all. So if you're Stephen King, Sue Grafton, John Grisham, or JK Rowling the bookstores will gladly stock many copies of your books because people will buy them.
One of these days, I hope to be able to include my own name in that sentence, but first I need to make Christine Amsden as recognizable as the names above.
So, how do I get my book into stores? By promoting myself, gathering name recognition, and getting people to bookstores to ask about my book. On my web page, I say that you can ask for my book at Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Waldenbooks locations. They have me in their database and can order the book for you. If people do that -- go into their stores and ask for the book -- they may decide to stock a few copies on their shelves.
I am happy to report, too, that my first book signing at Hastings in Russellville, AR was a success and that as a result they have become the first bookstore to put copies of my book on the shelf. (Note: Thanks to family living in that area, I had an "in" with the manager at that store and was able to get in with very little notice during the holiday season. Always take advantage of "ins" when you have them!) Now that the holiday rush is nearly over, I will be contacting other bookstores about signings, author events, and the possibility of stocking my book. I will be starting right here in Olathe, KS. For residents of the Kansas City area, I hope very soon to have a simple and concrete answer to, "Which bookstores will have your book?"
In the meantime, I turn to my readers to help me spread the word. Ultimately, books sell through word of mouth so it is readers like you who make all the difference. If you like my book, your recommendation to a friend, review on Amazon (or other review sites), or request for my title at the local library can work wonders.
For right now, though, "Where can you get Touch of Fate?"
My Author Store (SIGNED copies)
Twilight Times Books
Hastings in Russellville, AR
Higher Grounds in Russellville, AR
Ask for it at:
Barnes and Noble
E-Book version available through:
Twilight Times Books