Open Notes

Book Marketing Log - Entry 02

Where to sell books: Libraries and Bookstores

[This is a log of my experiences marketing my novel Surrender. It’s a niche science fiction novel with a climate crisis theme.]

My book publicist told me that for every book on a public library shelf, the author sells six more. That sounded good to me, so I asked her if she would help me get my new book on public library shelves. So far, we’ve applied to the Los Angeles Public Library, which is local to me, and we will be submitting to more.

You can also get your book picked up by public libraries by listing it on Smashwords or IngramSpark. Libraries browse the Smashwords or Ingram catalog to find books to carry.

The idea of folks buying actual books appeals to me. At the moment, my book is selling best in the hardcover edition, ordered by bookstores. I always thought Amazon would be my most robust portal. It is, for audio books. But in the world of hardcovers, IngramSpark has been the winner in selling to bookstores.

This is where friends and family can help. Once a book is listed on IngramSpark, it also is listed on IndieBound. IndieBound is a website where you can send people to find your book. They look up your book, and IndieBound will show them the local bookstore where they can buy it. I was discussing this with a fellow writer the other day and we arrived at a radical plan. We each would call a local bookstore and buy the other person’s book. Several bookstores I called told me that they would start to stock a book if enough people called up to order it. So, what are friends for? Asking your friends to look up your book in IndieBound and order is what friendship is all about. Try it!