Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Getting Your Books into Libraries and Stores by Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery
For authors, few things compare to holding your first published book. When the day finally arrives, you squeal, post hundreds of photos of you and your books on Facebook, and organize numerous give-aways, until shipping fees devour your marketing funds—which were nonexistent. Then you wonder… what am I to do with all these books, anyway?

Contrary to what some may think, author copies aren’t provided for the writer’s enjoyment. Or to be given as early Christmas presents. I believe publishers hope their authors use those books for promotional purposes.

Why not use them to get into local libraries and bookstores? I imagine many of you are thinking; isn’t that marketing’s job. Perhaps, but with all the books released each year, there’s no guarantee your marketing team will be able to actually get yours on the shelves, no matter how hard they try. Your novel is but one of millions, after all. However, by actively becoming involved in the marketing process, you increase your chances.

Though I’m still a newbie, here are some thins that helped me get my books into local stores and libraries.

1. I start with coffee and brought a friend.

Let’s face it; selling yourself and your work to strangers is scary. Bringing a friend along for moral support helps reduce the angst. Making the endeavor as fun as possible—hence, starting with a relaxing and relational activity such as drinking coffee—can help as well. Not only will this reduce your anxiety, it will also help you remain conversational. This in turn will set the librarian and bookstore owner at ease, encouraging them to respond favorably.

2. I met with the one who makes book-carrying decisions

Having a face-to-face conversation with the owner or head librarian is much more effective than simply dropping off a book and a letter. The former makes it personal and helps the decision maker put a face to the novel; the latter mimics spam. No one likes to be spammed. However, attempting to pitch your book to a head librarian during their busiest times is the equivalent of an incessant telemarketer. In sales, timing and mood is important. Therefore, call ahead and schedule a time to meet with the decision maker.

3. I was persistent

There was a time that I was a tad reluctant to go into a particular Christian bookstore. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the store or the owners. Rather, I was convinced they didn’t like me. I’d already contacted the owner by phone and email on a few occasions, with no response. I assumed this meant he didn’t like my work or me. Probably both. (Yes, I’m melodramatic.)

But remember tip number one? The best of friends encourage us to overcome our insecurities, even if that means dragging us into the terror zone (which is what my friend, Susan Aken, did). As it turned out, the store owner didn’t hate me at all. He was merely busy, and because of my persistence, he agreed to carry my book and host a signing in December.

4. I took time to decompress at the end of the day

Always start and end your day having fun—and drinking huge amounts of coffee—which will liven up even the most discouraging of days (especially if your coffee is laden with chocolate). Life is hard enough. Shake it off, enjoy the journey, and buffer everything with laughter.

5. Follow up

Bookstore owners and librarians are busy, and in their busyness, may forget about your book entirely. It’s always a good idea to follow up with a phone call, asking if they’ve had a chance to review your book and have any questions.

Feedback from You

For other newbies like me, did your pulse spike when you read this post? If so, what are some things you can do to feel more comfortable approaching librarians and book store owners? 

For those with more experience, what tips would you add?

About the Author
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet CafĂ© Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

Breaking Free
by Jennifer Slattery

Breaking Free

Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters. 

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Read a free, 33-page excerpt here: http://newhopepublishers.com/2016/02/free-sample-of-breaking-free/

Buy it:

Christian Book Distributors: http://www.christianbook.com/breaking-free-a-comtemporary-romance-novel/jennifer-slattery/9781596694682/pd/694682?event=ESRCG

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breaking-free-peter-maxwell-slattery/1119735612?ean=9781596694682

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Free-Jennifer-Slattery/dp/1596694688/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Connect with Jennifer

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
Twitter: @Jenslattery
See scene location pictures for Breaking Free on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jenslatte/breaking-free/