First Drumbeat(Part of Living Poem) The time has come.Call it a drum,Or a crumb,What’s left of life. I used to tell a jokeWhen my life was wide,And I was a stud,And not a dud—I knowI’m not a dud. I’m a dude,A dad. But everyone mustRebut the dud chargeAt summing up time. Oh yeah, the joke,A trademark one for meIn that it’s not funny. I used to say I’ll never retireFrom writingBecause if I’m ever…See More
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be launching her new poetry collection A Neighborhood Changes (Finishing Line Press, 2018) at a book presentation and signing to be held at the McDowell County Public Library in Marion on October 24.See More
"I'll ask the kids, Barb and Ethan, if they have any contacts who might have an interest in this as a unique topic for any performers they know. It might also be something that my friend Ruby Lerner could brainstorm about to her theatre…"
More from the World of ALS (Part of Living Poem) Negotiating steps is like someone who seeksTo emulate a goat on mountain peaks. Crossing a threshold, limping inIs like the valley-walking of an Olympian. A cane and its grip make a fellow stopTo consider the physics of leans and drops. To know how a forefinger grabs and digsImagine your digits are chestnut twigs When a new drug trial notably…See More
RANDALL KENAN SELECTS NANCY WERKING POLING WINNER OF THE 2018 ALEX ALBRIGHT CREATIVE NONFICTION PRIZE(31 August 2018)Nancy Werking Poling of Black Mountain is the winner of the 2018 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize competition for "Leander’s Lies." Poling will receive $1000 from the North Carolina Literary Review, thanks to a generous NCLR reader’s donation that allowed this year’s honorarium to increase (from the previous award of $250). Her winning essay will be published in the North…See More
Upcoming Rides(Part of Living Poem) I must take a break from writing aboutThe third Lord Granville’s loss of landIn colonial North Carolina to noteI’m losing functionality in my hands. I’m confining my writing to a four-line,Alternate rhyme form, like a horse-fenceFraming a pantomimeOf equine force. Hence, It’s time to imagine the power of mind,For instance, when a nod or thoughtInstructs a machine to…See More
Here is an interesting post from Shelf Talker, a children's bookselling blog on Publisher's Weekly online. Although the authors mentioned in this post are children's authors, the situations described will be familiar to all booksellers and to any author who has approached (or considered approaching, or completely chickened out of approaching) a bookseller about carrying his or her book. Food for thought on both sides of the counter...
Thanks so much for this post. It is very helpful. I have not had too much luck approaching booksellers as an author. They mostly look at me funny and ask if Ingram or Baker and Taylor carry my book. If they don't, nobody wants to talk to you.
I hope that Accent on Books is not one of the stores that have made you feel uncomfortable this way. If so, my apologies. I'll have to admit it does make it easier if Ingram or Baker and Taylor or one of the publishers we already work with carries a title. I also have to say that while the rise of self-publishing and print-on-demand technologies has been a boon to authors it can be frustrating to booksellers because it has led to an exponential increase in the number of authors coming into our store wanting us to carry their books. And we can't carry everything.
Nevertheless, we do want to help local authors out as much as it is practical for us to do so. It's sometimes a balancing act.
Yikes, Suzan! I blushed as I read this, because I realize I am guilty of this as well. Hopefully not of looking at anyone funny, but I do usually ask the dreaded Ingram/Baker & Taylor question. For very practical reasons, though. If I take a chance on a book that I order through a publisher I already have an account with or through a wholesaler, then I know that if it doesn't sell I can return it for product credit, so it is relatively risk-free, especially if I want to just try a few copies at first to see how it goes. If, however, I will have to start an account with a publisher I don't already do business with, perhaps one I've never heard of before, it starts to seem a little riskier. For instance, most publishers require you to place a minimum order (which is often $100-$200). If this one little book that I want to try 3 copies of is all I need from that publisher...that's an obstacle. With a wholesaler, I can order 1 copy each of many titles from many different publishers in the same order, so it's much easier to try a title from a new or very small publisher that way. So actually, although it may sound like we're using that question to filter you out, it probably means we are hoping it's available from a wholesaler so that we can more easily try it out and see how it does.
So if you decide to approach a store again, you might want to arm yourself with some information on your publisher's terms, whether they make the book available through wholesalers, etc. I'm sure that someone in your publisher's marketing department would help you, perhaps provide you with a "sell sheet" featuring cover art, description, any rave reviews, etc. and pricing and ordering information. (Also, having something tangible like that to leave behind--even a postcard--can help your cause with a bookseller. Jog our memory when we're actually putting together orders.) Of course, getting hold of a bunch of copies yourself and offering to let stores have them on consignment is another option. Of course, that can be a lot to keep up with on both sides, but if you sense real interest it might be worth offering.
Suzan...even if those two places DO carry your books, you can still get the "I've never heard of your publisher soooooo .....(and then the 'look')" thing -- I've published with a traditional publisher, but they are a small independent press....one bookstore in another city where I lived for many years (and had the only indie bookstore in the entire city) (not WNC) treated me as if I was a bug on his sleeve; I was polite and nice and smiled and then left my card and figured "Oh well! can't be everywhere!" and went on my way....later, he had some calls for my book, so he did order some and they all pre-sold, so, maybe he'll order more.
I understand it's all about Business - and that's why I don't take it personally, but yes, it can be frustrating when indie booksellers turn up their nose at indie presses - you'd think they'd want to support each other....but again, All About Business - small bookstores can't afford to buy up every book, or books they feel won't sell, and this I really do understand - I will always love the Indie Bookseller, the small presses, the libraries! But dang, what a tough business it is!