Friday, February 27, 2015

Getting Your Self-Published Book Into Bookstores

Rejection is rampent when trying to get your work noticed in this new noisy world of do-it-yourself publishing. As an author and bookseller I'd like to share with you why independent bookstores are your friend, if you do your research.

Getting your work noticed when you are a one artist marketing team is difficult. You're mostly going to rely on word of mouth and the best way to get the conversation started is at your local indie bookstore.

Here in the Bay Area, Independent bookstores serve as community hubs. We love to support our local authors. Here are some do's and don'ts:

-Do not go to a local bookstore and ask them to buy from Createspace. Createspace is an Amazon subsiderary.  Amazon is your local bookstore's main competator.
My grumpy face after an author snarled at me for telling her she needed to upload to Ingram.

 If I had a beer for every time a customer said to me, "I can get it cheaper on Amazon." I would have died of alcohol poisoning a year and a half ago. Given that our book orders come in days with zero shipping costs, Amazon is not cheaper. Uploading your interior and exterior file to Ingramsparks allows any bookstore to buy you. No indie will ever order from Amazon!

-Do ask to schedule an appointment to speak to the buyer and event coordinator for whatever time works best for them. Don't walk into their workspace like you wrote the bible and demand they speak with you.

Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Independent bookstores love their local authors, but they will not support a subpar product.

If you are patient and gracious you may be surprised at how helpful and supportive your local independent bookstore will be in helping promote your writing career.


  1. Great post! I'm looking into Ingram Spark, and I'm looking around and doing my (early) planning. It could be fun if handled right. Besides, I love the independent bookstores. Definitely browse-worthy! (And thanks for the chuckle about dying of alcohol poisoning re 'I could buy it cheaper on Amazon...'

  2. Thanks Diana! Let me know once you're uploaded to Ingram. Our bookstore is pretty special. Our buyer and staff have eclectic tastes. Cheers!