About this video: Self Publishing – How do I get my book into book stores? Lisa Michelle Umina from Halo Publishing talks about what book shops want, developing a marketing plan, distributing your book to local and national stores and lots more.
The first step into doing is obviously you need to have a marketing plan. The bookstore buyer wants to hear what are you going out in the community to gain people to come into the bookstore and buy the book?
Among the many books I own, I have to admit there is only one poetry book, and that more by accident than design, I happened to watch a film many years ago that included a poem by a particular author and a kind friend bought me a book of some of his poems, which I’m ashamed to say I have yet to read, but I will get around to it, I promise.
Lisa Michelle Umina says: A bookstore doesn’t want to shelf the books; they’re in the business to sell the books. They’re looking for authors that are out there marketing their book through media, TV, radio, if they’re doing author presentations at colleges or at the local schools or libraries, they want to hear that you’re out there actively promoting your book.
Somewhere in an attic is a box, and the contents catalogue my journey through books, the usual classic childrens books are there, some bought by me, some by relatives for birthdays and Christmas, one, a collection of fairy tales beautifully illustrated that I was awarded for attending Sunday school, there’s a history book that I nagged my grandfather for until he gave in, and an encyclopaedia of the world which was a present from my parents. All of these I hoped one day to pass on to my own children and grandchildren, with the hope that they would enjoy them as much as I did.
The second part into getting your book into the physical book shop is to have the book shop order from distributors. The distributors that are known in the US are Ingram and Baker and Taylor. Those are the two companies that work with the bookstore to get the book to the book shop. Bookshops do no have the time to contact authors and publishers. If their book is in demand or coming into their store and requesting the book, they’re going to contact not the author, not the publisher; they’re going to contact Ingram distribution or Baker and Taylor.
But, technology overtook all my good intentions, the pleasure of opening a new book and reading that first line, that first step into the contents beyond has been replaced by pressing a key, not that I’m complaining. The range of books available online is vast, I doubt there is any subject which isn’t covered, or any page unturned, if your school age or even just an interested older citizen, educational books abound, check out the book catalogues online, no library I’m sure carries so much stock.
Sometimes people will ask, “If you’re going to publish the book, will my book be in all the book stores?” Something you need to know, which is really important. If your book needs to be in a Barnes and Noble book shop on a national level, that means thousands of books are being printed and shipped to those locations nationwide. If you do not have a marketing plan on a national level or plan on touring at a national level, or doing any kind of Internet marketing on a national level, those books will be returned and you will be responsible for not only paying for the returns; you’ll be paying for the shipping.
One of the items on my own ‘to do’ list is to go to a book launch, hopefully at a famous London book shop, where months or years of work culminate in that final push to drum up sales, and I can be one of the happy throng that goes home at the end of the day with my signed copy clutched in my hot little hands.
How do you get your book into physical book shops? You have to have a marketing plan in place. Having scheduled author signings, other appearances and getting yourself out there in the media to create awareness so that people want to be your book and there’s your demand and there’s where the store will buy your book. Second, if you want to have your books in the book retailer, have them buy the book directly from Ingram or Baker and Taylor. They’ll be the ones that will be ordering the book through distribution. You will not have to handle your own book sales. And third, build relationships on a personal level so that you know the store owner and they know you and they know your book and you can partner with these book stores to help give you customers the book.