With the convenience of shopping from one’s couch or office, why would anyone take time to go to a traditional bookstore? Actually, there are many reasons.
Readers of all ages love the experience of walking into a physical bookstore, grabbing a cup of coffee to sit down and read a few favorites before making a buying decision.
However, massive bookstores are not always the stores of choices for today’s book buyer. One reason is the closure of chains like Borders. Secondly, many prefer to shop at independent stores.
In the era of online buying and the e-book, new technologies are offering independent bookstores a lifeline. Without the constraints of the big chains and big box stores, the independents can create a much more memorable experience for book buyers.
Whether it be a book signing for a local author, regular events to increase interests of young readers, small workshops, or fundraisers for local charities, independent bookstores are in a great position to create an experience for communities of all sizes.
According to Christian Science Monitor, “Eight years ago, independent bookstores were supposed to be ancient history, thanks to a lethal triple whammy: competition from large brick-and-mortar chains like Barnes & Noble and Borders, surging e-book sales, and the growth of the indomitable book behemoth, Amazon.”
Shocking But True
What surprised many avid readers was the closure of mammoth stores like Borders while we saw an increase of independent stores.
Not only was there an increase in the number of stores, there was also an increase in sales and profits of the independents.
Best of all, many independent owners became increasingly willing to work with self-published authors by creating an environment of support for their works.
The resurgence of independent bookstore goes hand-in-hand with the “buy local” movement. Book buyers are taking control of where they buy books by choosing to spend locally. Money talks!
What Authors Need to Know About Indie Stores
Many self-published, and high-bred published authors would love to sell in bookstores, but have no idea how to get into the stores.
First, take time to learn as much as you can about the challenges and opportunities for indie owners. Next, map out a plan to get into the indie stores. Third, realize the more visible you are to indie owners, the better. The visibility needs to be in person, on social media and through content marketing.
Authors are considered influencers. As an influencer, visibility gives you more leverage.
With all that’s available online, there is no excuse for an author to not have a strong presence.
Get to Know Your Local Indie
It’s often been said, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” This is certainly true for indie bookstore owners. You have a better chance of getting in a local store if you are a regular customer. After all, if the owner knows you are loyal to indie stores, there’s a much better chance of securing their support for your book sales.
Help with Promotions
One of the best ways to win the full support of a store owner is to participate in promotions. After all, one of the things the owner wants is foot traffic. If you are instrumental in helping to get people through the door, you are creating more revenue for the store owner.
Ask for Introductions
Without a doubt, the store owner knows store owners in other markets. The best time to ask for introductions is after a successful book signing. Be sure to take full advantage of riding the wave.
Get Your Books in Indie Stores
There are lots of ways to sell books. With all that’s available online, some authors think this is the only way. Yet, other authors are doing amazingly well with their books in bookstores.
Which is for you?