Wednesday, July 22, 2020
You Too Can Help Out
I am always posting here of things authors can do to increase sales. I am going to push for this again today, but with an emphasis on bookstores, both large and small.
In an article from THE GUARDIAN yesterday, 7/22, the reporters were discussing that, despite the fact that sales have been increasing, many of these stores are still really struggling.
While bookshop sales have rebounded strongly since stores reopened on 15 June, the PA is warning that “publishing will require further support from the government to ensure a quick and full recovery”. Some small publishers have been forced to turn to crowdfunding to keep themselves in business, with Jacaranda Books and Knights Of appealing for donations after warning that they risked closure without immediate financial support.
Why is this happening? It is as simple as the internet and where people shop. Think of it. You need a book so where do you go? The odds are, you run to Amazon or if you have a Kindle, you just head to the Kindle Book Store right from the APP (Oh wait, that is Amazon!). Now yes, I get that you are buying books and supporting your authors, which is why those sales figures are going up. But the bookstores, and those smaller publishers are still struggling. The money is just not flowing through their hands and back to the publishers.
Those small publishers that the article mentions are also struggling. Again, think of the Amazon buying model. When you go there, those bigger publishers (as well as the algorithms) will often filter up their books to the top of the searches, and those smaller indie publishers get bumped back down. This is not an intentional thing, but simply due to the fact that there are so many authors out there and the market is flooded. BUT... when you go into a bookstore, you browse. Your bookseller will often recommend books that you might not have seen. Even going into places such as Barnes and Noble and Waterstones have tables set up with "New Releases" or "Employee Picks". I am betting that the majority of you have found new authors from these tables.
As authors, you can provide links to sites that will direct the readers to those bookstores. Really hype them up as a great site. The smaller bookstores CAN and WILL order books for you and the time will be the same as when you order from Amazon (not counting digital releases or Prime). Even for Digital Releases, set those hyperlinks up in your marketing promo to go to the publishers directly, or if your bookstore does digital work, send the readers there.
As readers, get in the habit of getting back to those bookstores. Yes, I get the COVID-19 thing is still there, but you can still frequent them online. As I have pointed out, my favorite bookstore, A GOOD BOOK in Sumner, Washington is where I go to get all of my purchases. Evelyn has been hooking me up with everything I need, from romance novels, to books for my daughter, to GRE Testing Guides. She also has a digital purchasing option.
I am someone very excited to see sales numbers going up. Not just because it is great for the industry, but it also tells me that maybe people are not completely running from books and literacy might not be declining. We can do this. Make a big push to help them out.
Feel free to comment with your favorite bookstore in your area. Add a link to them and let us know why they are the best thing ever. And after you do that, go buy a book from them!