The subtopic to this one should be …And How to Handle Road Blocks
I’m a little peeved right now because I’ve spent the entire morning stuck in Charlotte traffic and driving around making sure local stores would order Too Many Lies. A local book store has copies, can see the title information in the distribution system and everything is copasetic.
It’s a go. Green light.
I went by the local Barnes & Noble, who should be looking at the same system, or so I thought. I mean that’s why I registered with the distributor in the first place, only to have the rep tell me that not only is my book NOT in the system, but my name isn’t either. Say wha? Is that right? Other BN stores have ordered my books before. I honestly think it’s that particular store.
No go. Red light.
Next I drove to the local Books-A-Million, which apparently has millions of books, just not ones written by yours truly. I was told to go to their website and see if I met their criteria. I know I’ve met their criteria, that’s why I’ve spent the time, effort and money to do things the right way so that I wouldn’t have to deal with this kind of @#$!
…but I digress.
No go. Red light.
If you think writing a book is as simple as putting thoughts on paper and having it printed, all while believing everyone will want and demand your book, you’ve got another thing coming. Writing is the easy part. Marketing, building relationships with readers, booksellers, and everything in between is required to sell books. Not only do you want to sell books, you want to have readers tell their friends about your awesome book. You want people who when they go to BN or BAM and they say, “We’re sorry, that author/title isn’t in our system,” will go online to Amazon, and purchase your book for less than they would’ve paid in the stupid store anyway. Oops, I got angry again, didn’t I?
I have 100 copies on order anyway. I know I’ll sell at least 80 of them next week at my release party, and I am following up on the submission requirements—again—for BN and BAM. Things do change over the years and the last time I dealt with them was for my last book which was over two years ago. Different locations have different policies, too. I know this because other stores, both BN and BAM have let me do signings and have sold books for me. Deep breaths…deep, slow breaths.
Just know this: doing this thing as an independent author takes hard work, commitment, dedication, and most of all, a serious love for your baby, I mean book. Although I walked away hot as fire, I’m assured that I wrote an awesome book, people will buy it, even if they have to order online or hunt me down to send them a copy, and there’s more than one way to sell a book. You just gotta hustle to do it. (Boogie Down, oh yeah, do the selling books shuffle.)
Okay, back to writing. Thanks for reading.