Places you should be selling copies of your book, if you’re not selling them there already.
Would you like to share your hard-won knowledge with the world? Change people’s lives and make a difference? Now how about sell more copies of your book? Whether you’re just beginning as an author or you want to breathe new life into a previously-published book, you need to pay careful attention to how and where your book is being distributed.
After all, your book could be the best book in the world, but if it’s not readily available to the reading public, then it doesn’t stand a chance of doing something important and making its way in the marketplace. But this is something I can help you with.
In a previous article, we talked about getting to know your book’s target audience, including who they are, how they spend their time and where they hang out. All of that will definitely inform the places where you can or should be selling your book. But to maximize your sales and ensure your book has a greater chance of fulfilling its potential, I’d like you to consider selling your book in these places as well.
From the coffee shop down the street to the pet store a block away, good books are available for purchase everywhere you look. While it may not be possible to convince corporate behemoths like Starbucks or PetSmart to stock your book, there are still many, many locally-owned specialty retailers that may be open to stocking a few copies of your book. Provided your title is a natural fit for the store’s theme and customer base, it can be an additional revenue stream for them—as well as for you.
Start thinking about what kinds of specialty retailers would be most likely to want to stock your book. Here are some examples to kick off your brainstorming with:
- Art gallery
- Gift shop
- Clothing boutique
- Jewelry store
- Beauty salon
- Coffee shop
- Specialty food store
- Wine shop
- Cooking supply store
- Travel store
- Sports store
- Photography store
- Pet store
- And the list goes on
Then do some research. In your immediate local area, how many specialty retailers are there that could be kindred spirits for your book? And a little farther out? And farther out still? If you can, consider dropping by to make your book pitch in person. Otherwise, considerate email and phone contact can get results as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of “real” bookstores. There’s nothing more revitalizing than wandering the aisles of a local bookstore and discovering a great new book to bring home and enjoy. Yet, etailers—like Amazon and Barnes & Noble for example—are the best place to start selling your book. They are a relatively easy place to get your book in the door and they provide maximum flexibility for writers, publishers and book buyers alike. This is true for print books as well as ebooks.
Etailers in general are more open to offering a range of book titles and allowing more voices to be heard. And since they often sell books to consumers without having to store the books first (using the drop-ship method), they can offer more book titles than a bookstore can realistically stock in one physical retail space.
How close is your closest bookstore? Online retailers also make it easier for book buyers from far-flung geographical locations to get a copy of your book. Buyers can purchase titles from the comfort of their own home, including electronic book titles for ereaders.
Have you ever been to an event like a class, lecture or book club meeting and seen books available for sale? I know I have. I also know that I’ve bought many of them. And I’m not just talking about teachers who ask students to buy their book as required reading material for the class, even though I’ve seen that a lot too.
People buy books at these types of events—and others—because they’re interested in what the author has to say and they want to keep learning and reading. If you teach others or speak to groups, or are willing to consider doing so, then you can sell more books at every event you attend too. Just make sure that you get the event organizer’s approval first.
Otherwise, you can team up with other vendors that sell books at events. One example is the Association Book Exhibit, which we’ve used in the past to sell books that fit well with certain industry conventions.
I hope some of these ideas are helpful to you, whether you’re just beginning as an author or if you want to breathe new life into a previously-published book. But if you’d like additional assistance with book distribution and getting more copies of your book sold in more places, our team at Dudley Court Press can help as well.
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.