Selling Your Print on Demand (POD) Book to Bookstores
© Angela Adair-Hoy, WritersWeekly.com
During the past month, I've received dozens of emails from concerned authors who have heard rumors that bookstores won't sell their print on demand (POD) books. While this may be true in some cases, it's certainly not the standard. And, these rumors shouldn't discourage you at all from self-publishing your book through affordable print on demand publishing.
As with POD, not being able to land a book in a bookstore is common in the traditional publishing world, too. Not every book published gets shelf space in every bookstore. If all traditionally published books got shelf space in bookstores, publishers wouldn't print those glossy catalogs for bookstores every quarter, and they wouldn't have those large teams of salespeople pitching book titles far and wide to bookstore owners.
We do know of many Booklocker.com authors who are successfully placing their books in local bookstores. And, they're not the only ones. Knowing how to pitch your book as a local "celebrity" does wonders for landing your book on local shelves.
WHERE ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS?
If you're doing your marketing online, your customers are going to go to the website where you direct them to buy your book. They're not going to drive to their bookstore if they can get your book from your POD publisher, your website, or Amazon. Your readers are going to buy your book where you tell them to buy your book.
ARE YOU A CELEBRITY?
Unless you have garnered national press, getting your book in every bookstore will in no way guarantee sales. And, when you do get that press, the article/talk show/tv show will tell people where to get your book if it's not available nationwide.
My book, co-authored with MJ Rose, How to Publish and Promote Online, sold very VERY well at Amazon. We were down to a ranking of 300 one day (out of more than a million books listed).
On January 1st, my local Borders put three copies of our book on their shelf. As of today, there are still three copies of our book on that shelf. Not one book has sold here, but thousands have sold on Amazon. Even though we garnered national press, including Writers Digest, Publisher's Weekly, and more, the readers bought the book from where the press told them to buy it - at Amazon. And, this book is NOT A POD.
ANOTHER SUCCESS STORY
Susie Bright, the world-famous editor of the Herotica and The Best American Erotica series, just published her new book, How To Read/Write a Dirty Story, through us. Before the book was even available in print, it was covered by Wired.com.
Being a brilliant self-marketer is a huge plus in promoting a POD book online. From Susie's own book description:
"I hope you'll enjoy the writing exercises I've included..." (Getting the reader involved in the book right away by offering something interactive and fun!)
"Iíve revealed my own explicit adventures in erotic publishing, from the creative inspiration to the nitty-gritty economics..." (She uses these phrases not only in marketing to readers, but also in marketing to book reviewers and the press...because every reporter is also a writer!)
So, are bookstores going to carry her book? You betcha! Not one bookstore owner has complained about the 20% discount and no returns policy. They're just darned happy that customers are calling their store to see when they can get their copy of Susie Bright's new book. However, since every press story on her book directs buyers to our website, online sales are far exceeding bookstore sales.
So, you see? Buyers are going where the press and Susie's website tell them to go to buy the book! See: www.writersweekly.com/susiebright.
CHILDREN'S BOOK SUCCESS STORY
Ron Boisseau and Dennis Ross, authors of the POD book The Adventures of Sammy Sumner, successfully convinced five more bookstores to carry their book...in only one weekend! No, none of the stores balked at the 20% discount and no-returns policy.
All POD books at Booklocker.com are now also distributed by Ingram and we have the option of listing each book in their catalog. Through Ingram, we stipulate a 20% discount and no returns. Does this mean each book is in every bookstore? Heck no. But it does make it very easy for bookstores to order the books if they need to.
No, not every book, whether traditional or POD, will be in every bookstore...but your chances of getting that worm are nil anyway. Concentrate on the fact that you can get your book published very affordably in a beautiful print, perfect bound format ($199 at Booklocker), and delve into online marketing!
I know many authors who are making more through their ebooks and POD books than they ever made on their traditional publishing contracts. Many tradionally published authors never make more than their advance, which, in the vast majority of cases, is paltry at best.
With Print on Demand, your book stays in print as long as you want - and you're the one in charge of the marketing and how many books you sell.
Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker.com pays the highest POD royalties in the industry (35%) and pays up to 70% royalties on ebooks. WritersWeekly.com is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuing new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday. Subscribe at: http://www.writersweekly.com.