Monday, January 23, 2012

Bookstores are Where Books go to Die

If you are a new author you are probably thinking “she doesn’t know what the heck she is talking about” but if you are the seasoned author you know better. Most people who buy books from bookstores already know what book they are going to buy prior to going there. If are one of the thousands who do have your book on the shelf and you aren’t John Grissom, J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, or any other big name you are almost guaranteed to get your books returned to the distributer some time during the year.

Case in point, I have written several books and most are available through Barnes and Noble or Books a Million. The books don’t move unless I have a book signing at the particular store. Oh and just a quick note: you must promote the signing. The bookstore will only place a small sign up and it may be right next to the huge poster of Twilight or whatever big name release is out. It will be practically invisible to the window-shopper. If I don’t move them then they go back on the shelves are absorbed back into the Book Matrix. They are sitting on the shelf and passersby can only see the spine sticking out and that is only if the reader goes to that particular section. 

While reading a blog I came across this by Seth Godin:

·  Bookstores, in general, are run by absolutely terrific people. Bookstores, in general, are really lousy businesses. They are often where books go to die. While some readers will discover your book in a store, it’s way more likely they will discover the book before they get to the store, and the store is just there hoping to have the right book for the right person at the time she wants it. If the match isn’t made, no sale.
See I am not the only one who feels this way. You as the author must get your name out there for people to know your book exists. I have had more sales doing book festivals than bookstores. Tweet about it, Facebook it, go on virtual book tours…whatever it takes! Just do it. But, make sure what you are asking people to buy is of some quality. Do not think you can do it yourself and simply slap your book together. You get what you pay for does come into play when working on your book. The worst thing you can do is make someone feel like they have been had if you fail to have your book edited or typeset by a professional. They will make sure you know about it in the not so lovely review they leave you. 

So if your dreams are to only have your book on the bookstore shelves then find another dream. But, if you passionate and want more then check out a few of the resources below and get to promoting yourself. 

Author Resources:

Until Next Time,

Omegia Keeys
Rise and Fall of a Track Star
Publishing Liaison
Author Consultant 


  1. Great article. Thank you for the ABCs of promoting your book.

  2. Thanks. Trying to let people know it takes more than getting your book in a bookstore to sell it.