How many authors have experienced the fear that no one wants to buy your book? It’s not unusual, based on the number of my peers who have said as much. But it’s tough to get negative thoughts out of your head, those lingering toxic emotions, whispering sweet apprehensions and self-doubts causing nothing but anxiety and dreadful imaginary scenarios that just don’t exist. Fear can be paralyzing, and it can keep a writer from sharing their talent with the world.
I’ve relied on Amazon as my primary source of book sales. But without a big marketing budget, it’s been moderately successful but nothing like I’d like. I did follow-up with a very nice woman who reached out to me following my review in Publisher’s Weekly. She was from New York and quoted me her standard fee of $5,000 per month, and that didn’t include the actual cost to place ads, etc. I thought about it for a few minutes, looked at my checkbook, and wrote back stating I couldn’t afford her services. She gave me a freebie and told me to get it into Rebel Wilson’s hands. That seems easier said than done, but I’m still working on that one.
Last night I received an email from a local store that sells books and crafts from local residents called Made in Long Beach. My husband Mason found them on Pine Avenue in the former Crate and Barrel storefront and they put my book on the shelf. The email stated they had sold out of all copies and wanted more. And it made me think…every one of the three stores I’ve worked with, Gatsby Books, BookShow and Made in Long Beach, have sold out of Fatizen 24602. And some stores more than once. So why not go far and wide?
I had several discussions with friends about how to get a book out in the world. Without a big publishing company behind you, indie authors (or those working with small presses) have to take time and money into consideration. FaceBook is limited in the audience it can reach unless you pay for it, which is fine and annoying at the same time. I’ve paid for distribution of a few posts without much success from my book’s page. I admit that I had a lot going on last year, the first year of my book’s release, the biggest of which was purchasing our first home a few months after the book’s release. But no real excuses. Life is busy and we need to prioritize.
I’ve had time to refocus, and I will be putting together a new marketing plan to get my novel into small, independent bookstores. It’s doing well when it’s on the shelf. Maybe it’s my husband’s artwork on the cover and sprinkled throughout the book, but whatever the draw is, I have to get into the hands of potential readers. That’s where it’s selling.
I did put together an initial plan to get the book into bookstores nationwide, but when I encountered barriers locally, I stopped with that plan. What I didn’t know then was how to approach independent bookstores. Some are a bit over particular about what they want not their shelves, and I suppose it’s their right. This end of the business isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but I’m mastering my approach.
If you have a favorite independent bookstore in your neighborhood, send me their contact information. I’d like to get my book into as many as I can. Thanks, and be well!