These are the three main elements that every author must familiarize themselves with once their books have gone to print. Maybe intimidating at first, your monopolization of the three "P's" will directly affect the success of your material and likely determine the course of your literary career. For me, the sales segment of my writing journey was frightening to say the very least but once I found my rhythm, I slowly became more comfortable with approaching independent bookstores across New England. Today The BeantownTales have found a place on the shelves of "The Andover Bookstore"(Andover, Ma), "The Spirit of 76' Bookstore" (Marblehead, Ma), "Barnes and Nobles" (Boston, Ma) and the first out of state location, "The Boulder Bookstore" (Boulder, Colorado).
Needless to say, I had a little help...
1. Postcards have taken the place of the traditional business card in the book world for several reasons. Inexpensive (www.vistaprint.com) and visually appealing to the eye, postcards can be designed with your book cover and other representative images as well as your ISBN number(s) and contact information. Unlike business cards which are often lost or put "permanently" away, postcards are larger in size and easier to read. Send them BEFORE your book release date to give potential vendors a preview.
2. Research book buyer contacts in advance so you are knowledgeable about to whom you are going to be speaking with. Sales clerks, stock personnel and other employees are not only unlikely to be able to get your book in the store but are BUSY so make sure you find out who you should be pitching before arrival.
3. If you are from the New England area, a good place to start looking for bookstores to contact is through the New England Books Organization (www.newenglandbooks.org). They give a complete listing of every independent bookstore in New England by state. A fantastic resource for us!
4. Send book plates to the stores who are carrying your titles after they have received them as a great tool for reordering. Book plates are small stickers which you can write your signature giving every book a personalized autograph (www.stationarystudios.com). Be sure to send them after the initial order since not all stores want copies signed.
5. Omit printing the suggested price of your book on the back covers since you may find yourself intertwined with numerous agreements depending on the particular type of retail/wholesale location. Flexibility is all part of the game.
5. Subscribe to Writer's Digests and Writer's magazines which will keep you updated on conferences, expos, events and contests since we all can admit is one of the best parts of becoming an author!
~ I hope this has helped all of the authors reading ~
~ to those who dare to dream of becoming one~