Most authors think that having their books in a bookstore is a mandatory step of marketing their books. But let’s look at the idea closely. Your book is in a huge bookstore and a customer walks in. They don’t know who you are or what your book title is. So what would make them find and buy your book? You see, the idea of putting your books in bookstores are about the same as putting them in a library. A bookstore is not in the business of promoting your book, but instead, of selling as many of the most popular books they can do.
However, if you can get a bookstore to agree to let you do a book signing at their store, you can usually get a local TV or radio program to interview you and promote the book signing. That will give the bookstore publicity and the media love to cover local events, especially with authors.
If you call the bookstore managers, you won’t often get to talk with them personally, so you should plan on mapping out a list of stores and visit them personally. The manager will want to know what you’ll do to promote the event so you’ll want to mention that you’re working on getting coverage, but need to have the signing details finalized before you can get a commitment from the media.
The bookstore will require 50% of the sales price of the book, which after paying for your $20 book; you’ll have about $5 profit. Most authors find they sell 5-25 books, depending on the attendance at the bookstore. It doesn’t make sense financially, but the media you gain has great value.
Be sure to capture the interview on the TV or radio and include it on your website under a link for Online Media.