What is an author to do?
Work the system....
This week, we want you to go back to your favorite bookstore.
If you are pre-published:
- Examine how the books are shelved. Maybe you'll decide to pick the pen name "A. Aardvark" to ensure that your books are alphabetically first on the shelf.
- Talk with the store manager to find out when the new books arrive.
- How do they decide which books are 'faced out' and which ones are placed on end caps? (If it's a small bookstore, there's a good chance that the store displays (merchandising) are determined by the local staff. If it is a national chain, they may receive specific display set up instructions or kits.)
If you are published:
- Chat with the store manager and try to find out the following:
- How do they set up / schedule in store book signings?
- How far ahead of time do they design their seasonal displays? (Maybe you have a book that takes place during Christmas or would work well for Halloween or Easter.)
- For a regionally based or local store, find out who the buyer is for the types of books you write.
- If your books are already for sale in the store, ask the manager if you can sign their stock copies. (Autographed books can't be returned to the publisher....)
- If you do sign the books, be sure to have stickers for the front cover that say "Autographed Copy" - you'd be surprised by how many people prefer to buy signed copies!
- While you've got the book open, shove in a book mark, trading card, or other promotional piece to drive traffic to your website.
Learn the rules of the game, then WORK THEM to your advantage!