This has been such an interesting process that I want to keep sharing my experiences with my wonderful readers. I’m on a three-week break from airplane school, so I am using the time to do some of the more time-consuming, hands-on book marketing tasks. The biggest of these is that I’m visiting local bookstores and asking them for two things: to stock my book, and to let me do a reading.
I’m not a natural salesperson, so this part is hard for me, and mentally taxing. That said, I am kind of starting to enjoy it because it’s much more rewarding than I would have expected. I have worked as a telemarketer (sorry universe, I was broke and desperate) and despised the cold call. Based on that experience, and because I have already published on Amazon, the bane of independent bookstores everywhere, I was prepared to be told to leave and never come back. Because my book has mainstream appeal, I was prepared for eye rolls and snootily delivered lines like “oh, that’s not quite the – level – we’re looking for.”
Fortunately it wasn’t like that at all. At Ravenna Third Place Books, the bookbuyer, the inestimable Michael Coy, formerly of Bailey Coy, took copies on sight. They have a consignment program and make an effort to support local writers by showcasing their books on a front table. The buyer at Lake Forest Park was also very nice, and took some copies as well, although she couldn’t promise to put them out front.
Here is where I’ll insert an appeal. If you haven’t bought my book yet, and you want to, or, if you really like having two copies, please patronize either Third Place Books location and buy a copy. They’ll be happy because they like selling books. I’ll be happy because … well, I like selling books too.
Sadly for me, the venerable Elliot Bay Book Company is downsizing their consignment program, so they wouldn’t take my book. I have calls into several other local bookstores and will be sure to let people know if they wind up stocking my book.
And, then today … well, no one ever said marketing a book was inexpensive. I approached Couth Buzzard in Greenwood. Lovely store – with all the qualities I like to see in an independent bookstore – a carefully curated selection, places to sit, baked goods and espresso. The owner is going to read my book, then decide whether he wants to stock it. I’m optimistic because he is very enthusiastic about local writers. I’m a bit concerned that visiting Couth Buzzard might be economically infeasible. To explain why, here’s a little meme I created.