Archive for the ‘bookstores’ Category

“I’m interesting” and the Art Show

October 4, 2010

I will be showing my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream” at the annual Employees art show where I work. Each year Artist’s display their work and hundreds of their coworkers can take a peek throughout the day. On October 21st, I will be showing my book, but they told me that I cannot sell it. Good enough, I thought, because I could tell them where to buy it. Then I had a thought to go to the little store in the Lobby and ask if they would be interested in carrying it so I could drive people who wanted to buy it to the Lobby Store. I explained this plan to the Chinese man running the store, and he said in so many words that he wanted in. Actually, he said “I’m interesting.” What he meant was that he was interested. I built a book display out of a Tic Tac display I found at Aldi’s, and it really came out nice. I brought my own books in instead of waiting for his books to come in. I arranged his invoice for 20 books and brought in half of them for his display to get him started, and would bring in 10 more when his order comes through. I went down to the store last week and asked if he ordered the books yet, and he told me that he didn’t. I told him that he must do so in order to get the books before the art show on October 21st. I think he just wants to sell my books and get a cut of that. I do have alternatives, he is hard to communicate with, and it’s just another chapter in my marketing effort. Time will tell how this deal goes down.

Persistence means still a chance

September 5, 2009

The Events coordinator at Cabela’s responded to my email with a phone call, and spoke to me at length about alternatives for my book signing.  She pushed for me to stay small and give up my large thoughts for now.  I told her that I have been small with nearly 10 local newspaper stories, 2 book signings and a radio interview.  I told her that I plan to stay small, but not give up stretching for more.  I will do both.  I asked her for the owner’s phone number or email.  She didn’t have it.  She also only had one corporate contact, but that contact was driven strictly by policy.  I did not want policy.  I wanted an exception.  I wanted to have my book signing within all the Cabela’s foot traffic in exchange for a free plug in the Hartford Courant which would mention that I will be signing copies of my book there.  Getting my book in their stores was apparently a big undertaking.  I got a break when the manager emailed me back with a corporate phone number, even after telling me she had no contacts and I was pretty much wasting my time.   Time is not wasted if there is a chance.  I called and ended up speaking with Lydia in corporate.  She was as nice and understanding as Diane in East Hartford.  Lydia began explaining the policy and I stopped her at the beginning.  I told her that I was not looking for the norm, but rather the exception.  I hung up the phone with her after receiving the email of one of the Cabelas brothers who owned the stores.  She is also sending an email to the marketing team to check out “Strapped Into An American Dream” on Amazon.  Maybe nothing will come of this, but my chances are better with persistence.  Besides, that’s how I got this book deal in the first place.

Creative book placement (outside the box)

August 24, 2009

There’s a small barber shop in town with the owner being a 50ish firecracker named Diane. I sit in the on-deck circle and she’ll talk to me as she’s cutting someones hair. It’s a little nook, but there’s always someone coming or going, and it’s like a family. This little nook in Wethersfield, CT is now the first physical location where my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream” can be purchased. I placed five books with her to see what she can do, and if she sells them to her customers, then I’ll place more in her store. I have to start somewhere, and my publisher suggested I do this, so here we go. I will place books there as I search for a second location in which to place my book. Meanwhile, my PR person is trying to get my book into the big chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Authors must promote their own books too

July 13, 2009

I ran my zip code through a system which locates small bookstores,  and found a couple within 10 miles from my house. The first one in Hartford, CT was a cafe with bookshelves in a very seedy area. The next one was The Book Rack in Vernon next to a very busy deli at a strip mall. I walked in and asked the woman sitting behind an office desk at the entrance if she was the owner. She said that she was and we exchanged greetings. I showed her my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream” and told her that I was with a small publisher and had to do much of the leg work. I asked her if she would be interested in either purchasing the book at a discounted rate or perhaps working out some consignment deal. I received my answer immediately. She only deals with Used Books.  Some of The Book Rack’s do carry some new, but this owner wants nothing to do with new books, and her customers come in to buy Used books. After a 10 or 15 minute discussion on this topic, she offered a booksigning at her store.  SOLD.  This was a successful day.  I told myself when I began the day of searching that I wanted one positive thing to happen. This was it. The booksigning will be at The Book Rack in Vernon, CT on Saturday, July 25th from 10 AM to 2 PM.  This will be my second book signing, and there should be a lot more traffic than the first.  This is what Authors have to do in order to promote their books.  It’s no longer a world where Authors only write books.

Small Publisher means small Marketing Budget

July 7, 2009

A small publisher is great when you want your first book published.  They allow certain titles onto the presses that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of Doubleday.  Now that you’re in, and you’re published, much of the burden is placed on the author when it comes to editing and marketing.  Now that my marketing has hit a wall, and the small publisher has done all it will do, it’s all up to me to carry the flame.  In order to keep the title moving, I hired a PR person that the publisher connected me with.  It’s several hundred dollars, but I cannot allow my dream to perish.  It’s only a few months into the campaign, and I have done all that I can do as far as marketing,  with minimal success, so I didn’t have much of a choice.  Let’s see what they can do with their connections.  I will sleep on it and dream of a Marketing Budget.

Calling all bookstores!

May 14, 2009

I am in the process of trying to get my book in bookstores. Apparently this is not an automatic.  The POD’s are SOL.  I will get there.  The economy is not helping my uphill battle.  I could change my last name to Cyrus and see if I have an easier time of it.  They might even pursue ME. I wish to get my book in Barnes & Noble and Borders, and have signings at each venue.  That’s all I want!   Call me bookstores.  Call me soon.  I am available and my schedule is currently wide open…you caught me at a good time.   My publisher is  booking me now, so call them soon to schedule.  My story is about a dream that most Americans have and I want to share the details of my trip for all to enjoy.  Help me do it by spreading this blog around.  Calling all people.  Calling all bookstores!