Marion poet cradles the individuals in her lifeby Rob NeufeldReview of: Barefoot in the Snow by Julia Nunnally Duncan (World Audience trade paper, Apr. 2013, 67 pages) “The Loving Child” might be an alternate title for Julia Nunnally Duncan’s new book of poems, “Barefoot in the Snow.” Her title poem…See More
Asheville BookWorks Inaugurates Broadside & Reading Series: Vandercooked Poetry Nights Asheville BookWorks, a community resource for print and book arts, introduces Vandercooked Poetry Nights, a reading series that offers the public the opportunity to print letterpress broadsides at the series events. The first Vandercooked Poetry Night is Saturday, June 1, 2013. Printing begins at 7:00 p.m. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Asheville BookWorks will…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!