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I recently contacted 5 local bookstores and 3 have agreed to sell some of my books. One of them will take the book on consignment. Has anyone had any problems with this type of agreement...is there any other way? The other two stores are owned by friends so there isn't an issue.

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Goes to show what a little marketing will do. (-:
Sometimes one door, can open many doors.

Blessings,

Author Media Blogs & Book Marketing
If you need a good list of independent bookstores, check out the Top 700 Independent Bookstores list I sell at http://www.bookmarket.com/orderform.htm. It's actually a list of 780+ general independent bookstores - with names, addresses, phone, fax, email, website, Twitter ID, and more. Continually being updated so the names and email addresses are fresh.
I still have 15 books on consignment and the manager does nothing to promote my book. I have asked can I put up signs but...

I think it gets your book in a store but does it get the books sold?
I own a small publishing company that just started out - When we started we focused on Bookstores mainly B&N. I also bought the 700 list and started finding bookstores to fit our books. Independent stores almost never took the books because of shelf space issues. B&N was the only ones willing to take the books and we got them into three resulting in 82 books sold and books are still on the shelves. I got fed up though trying to work with B&N corp. Way to many rules and such so we started focusing on the internet to sell our books. We just really started executing our plan and we are starting to see positive results but I also want to get into bookstores. Then I realized the number one thing you need to get into bookstores. It is not the discount level, or returnable (while all those are a requirement) it is IN STORE MARKETING!

I didn't even realize it when I did it, out of the 82 books sold 51 of them were from one store. For the longest time I didn't even know why then it hit me! I had placed 1,000 bookmarks in that store (overnightprints.com is amazing and 1,000 cost only 60.00 we made 357.00 out of it). The store had so many they were practically giving them away to people. 1,000 people were instantly exposed to the title and went to go check it out. As a result the bookstore placed the book on the top shelf in the front of the mystery section resulting in more sales! The book is going on month three in that store sitting in the same location! So here is what I suggest for bookstores - get in store marketing. The bookmarks I know work from experience and we are going to try a few more tactics coming in Jan which I will keep you posted on if they work.

When calling a bookstore or visiting a bookstore to place your books introduce your book you want placed there, tell them the book is returnable and is available through such and such and if they would like to place two copies of the book in their store. Do not ask for anymore than that (also note B&N does not do consignment as well and consignment should be your last resort get them to make the investment in your book they will then be more willing to work with you). If they want more they will take care of it. If they ask you what you are doing to promote the book tell them everything and then tell them, we will also with your permission send X number of bookmarks to your store for free. That should get the book buyer to say okay. If you have a catalog of books after they say yes to that book ask them if they would like to look at your complete catalog. They may say go ahead and email it to me or no thanks. If they say no thanks don't just give up on it. When you send the bookmarks or books, insert a printed out copy of your catalog. They will file it and if your book sells well they may just pull that out and order more. In your catalog make sure to have a variety of in store displays available. The bookstore is supposed to order those, do not give them the display on consignment.

A company we are going with (found of bookmarket.com) is bookdisplays.com. Now you can go about this two ways. Remember you need to make yourself as cheep as possible for the bookstores. Major publishers charge 250.00 for a floor display. A store in order to just pay back the display will need to sell 62 books. They are never going spend that money on you. However for only 25.00 you can get a floor display made from book displays. The down side to it, they do not have any logos or pictures on it. The other way you can do it, is after they order it have the display mailed to your house. Find a vinyl lettering person in your city (every city has one) and ask them to put your logo or book title on the display. This is about 6.00 per logo. So when the bookstore orders charge them 40 - 50.00 (shipping included they like that) Now instead of having to purchase at least 62 books just to break even they only need to purchase 12 - 25 books to break even. And when one display can hold 18 books they will be more willing to spend the money on it.

Or instead of floor displays, buy counter displays, they are only about 10.00 with no logo printed and if you put on the lettering the price will bump up to what you send to bookstores to about 21.00 - 30.00 with shipping. Now the store has to only sell 15 books and they profit and with the book at the counter with free bookmarks that should be easy.

Also if you are going into the store to sell your books (or calling) also ask about doing a signing there as well. The manager will ask what you are going to do to promote the signing, say what you are planing to do to promote the signing do not lie. Remember this is what you are planning to do. The bookstores know there is no guarantees you will get an article in the paper.

When you do set up a signing do not treat it as a signing. You need to be theatrical! You are not Glenn Beck or Dan Brown who can sit behind a table and have people just come to them. When your signing starts have a stack of books on the table. Make sure you have three books already bought for a giveaway. One idea we are planning on doing at a signing is since the book is a murder mystery to do a mini murder mystery right there in the store. All the while bookmarks and the author are going to be all over the store. The author is even going to "die" The murder mystery is going to be right out of the book. Now you don't have to go to this extreme but do not be static there either. You can fake it too.

We have great success with this idea thrown around the table - The author got a bunch of friends together and sat around a long table with her book all over it. They were talking and laughing and reading parts of the book out loud. People came over to see what was going on. (They weren't a quite bunch) and the friends and the author would involve them in the conversation. She passed out bookmarks with her twitter and facebook page on it and passed out books. People would start to read them and her friends would direct them to good parts of the book. The person would go and buy the book (after she signed it of course) and the best part this was not a booked signing. We did this out of the blue. She brought ten of her own books and they cleared out the shelves of her book.

Be very creative and make sure that you offer the bookstores the lowest price. B&N will not take any book unless it is listed in their system. Period. So if it is not on B&N.com or Ingram so sorry.

Oh and just so you know the book that is doing well is...
Reads Like Murder In Honolulu - Available at any B&N store, B&N.com and Amazon.com
Our newest title - Paradise Flawed (I really like this one) Also available at all these locations ^^^^^^^
And coming Feb 23 is The Dawn Of The Shadow (a great book for kids) going to available at ^^^^^^^

And our website - www.dreambooksllc.com
You are Not Alone!!! I have found this way... Its all corporate greed.
I know for a fact that Borders does not even give you a second chance I wish they would, I know alot of people who do work with borders and their clientel, where Barnes and Noble have 1 day a year called Marketing Self Published books, and you give one copy to Barnes and Noble for allowing you the book signing.
I think this brings in more people to the store, but unless you can, you got to be able to sell your books to Ingram and Taylor or that no one will be able to talk to you.

I can not understand why we need to be a part of that group of listing with Ingram and Taylor for what reasons?

I feel that if you want to push the books you need to sell is to sell to family and friends first. then to book stores, mom and pop kind. Schools, resturants and libraries, etc..

I think also that Audio is becoming a new opportunity for alot of people now. I think that this many be the way to go cheaper and also it tells the story when others voices do not tell the excitment in the way the story is presented.
My friend did her book in paperback 20.00 it did not sell as well, she went audio it went like hotcakes, so tell me which would you like? I prefer both, but I rather listen to a good story in the car coming home from a long day trying to sell my wares instead of that garbage on the radio, from rush linebaugh.

I heard recently that Amazon and Walmart have a deal... if your book gets to walmart where I do not want to ever see it there. They will decrease your amount on the books and give you less than what you printed it for. For every book you sell walmart pays you 20 cents for the book sales. and Amazon lowers the price down to 1.25 per copy so they give you peanuts without the nuts only the shells and they keep the rest. I do not want that I prefer to have amazon to sell my books directly... or give them a portion of the books

Which ever way they decide to do it, i want it done this way.

Friend you are not alone, we all have to suffer since we did not get a trational publisher but then again JK Rawlings did not either.
I too would like to put some of my work on audio. To promote my books I've decided to do some face to face sales with book stores. In the past I didn't always have the time to sell this way, but now I do. I enjoy the process and traveling around a bit.
When you are considering a marketing plan for your book, something that you definitely should be able to answer right off the top is finances. What type of cash flow do you have that you’re willing to spend on marketing your book? It doesn’t necessarily mean that the more money you have to spend the more successful your book will be, but having a budget of exactly what you can spend will give you something concrete to work with.
Once you can answer the question about how much money you have to spend on marketing your ‘baby’ otherwise known as your book, you can start making choices based on what be the best way to utilize the funds for the best of your book marketing. Research your options and find which options are the most cost effective manner in reaching your target and other audiences.
Once you have all these answers, one of the final questions you want to ask yourself is how you’re going to promote your book. A great start would be to give review copies so that others can read and review your book. Encourage them to pass the word, if they enjoy it.
With almost everyone being a part of social networking sites these days, one of the best ways to promote your book is through word of mouth, or by utilizing social networking sites. Tell your family and friends that you have a book out, and ask them to tell everyone they know, and so forth. Add it to your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and any other popular networking places online, and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Blogging (or online journaling) has exploded over the past six years, and is another great way to reach potential customers. Once you get the proverbial ball rolling, don’t’ assume that your hard work is done. Truth is its only beginning. You have to make sure you continue with your marketing plan even once you start selling books to ensure that the numbers increase. It will take a lot o hard work, but it could pay off in the end.



Best Regards,

Terence
Bookpal Publishing
My experience via AuthorHouse w/2 of my books has been frustrating as well. They have gotten too big very fast, and my books have gotten short shrift even after they got media coverage and reviews.

But "organized labor"., my collected poems (2004) AND EXITS & ENTRANCES (2007/8) WORKING OFF-BROADWAY OPERA, and BEYOND ARE still available in some stores via Amazon, barnes & Noble, Target etc...
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Hi Cindy.

Yes, the local bookstore has become such a tough sell, especially for local authors, but hang in there. Depending on what you have written, you might be able to specialize where you put your book.

For instance, my friend wrote about her Parkinson' s and battle and I suggested contacting the local hospitals to see if there were any volunteer and groups that met to discuss this disease. She did get her foot into the door with this. She also contacted the local drugstores and they took her book as well since it dealt with medical issues.

We did a book signing together at a Christian bookstore in NJ, because both our books are faith-based and that was easier to get ourselves in the door with more than one author. Do you have another friend/acquaintance that is an author and you could travel together? It seems to help.

Have you checked with local libraries to see when they are doing anything special with book signings? We have done a few of those together and usually there is no cost, or just the donation of your book to the library.

I am a vocalist and sometimes I sing for large gatherings where there are bookstores and then I can push harder because the owners will book me to come and give a concert, I take my book, and so it goes.

Hope this has been of some help and best wishes with your endeavors.

Debi Irene Wahl
I've done and am doing the consignment thing and haven't had an issue yet. It's crucial, however, that you too keep track of who has what so you know what's out there.

It's also a good idea to visit the stores often, do book readings/ signings as often as you can to create a buzz.
Try 50 or 500 stores that's when you might actually make some headway but Barnes&Noble and Borders are pretty much closed shops to the new and merging author,,,,
Really? I found Barnes and Noble really easy to get in to - online only so far but progress has been made.

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