Indie Authors: Selling Print Books and Working with Bookstores

For indie authors, it can be harder to sell print books than ebooks. But, there are a number of opportunities and methods authors can use to sell print books, and even get their books into bookstores.

Holly Brady outlines tips for authors when approaching bookstores. This includes working with local bookstores, working with POD services not related to Amazon, and how best to approach a bookstore (email and then a follow up phone call).

Jane Friedman wrote that indie bookstores love hosting local authors, and authors should consider planning book signings or other events. During those events, it’s important to think about making connections, and not just selling the book.

Book signings are the most common events at bookstores. Author Mike Hartner shared on Kate Tilton’s blog that it’s important to know a bookstore’s rules when doing a signing, and to work with the store to have raffles or other events. It’s also important to publicize the event as much as possible.

IndieReader also has a service called IndieReader In-Store (IRIS), which lists indie books on Edelweiss. This helps indie bookstores know what books are out there.

Another way to sell physical books is at conventions. Patty Jansen shares advice on how to be successful at conventions, including what to bring and what to display on your table.

As a fun bonus, here are a couple sites that can help out indie bookstores. One gives advice for how to run a store, and the other shows a way bookstores can attract attention:

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on December 11, 2014.


2 Replies to “Indie Authors: Selling Print Books and Working with Bookstores”

  1. This info is good to know, like the point that Holly Brady made about bookstores not wanting to carry books available under any Amazon imprints (eg. CreateSpace). As authors evaluate more publication options it looks like they’ll be faced with making a choice between immediate broader online distribution or being available in a local indie bookstore.

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