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How to Get Your Book in Stores

3 min read

You’ve written and published your own book. Congratulations! What happens now?

You need to sell copies of your book. To do so, you’ll want your book to be sold in brick-and-mortar bookstores as well as online. In addition to increasing the sales for your book, having your book in stores is a great way to advertise and grow awareness, plus attract a wider audience for your work. After all, 65% of consumers reported reading at least one print book last year. The American book industry made $25.82 billion in sales in 2018 alone.

Learn more about how to get your self-published book into bookstores across the country.

Build a Following for Your Book

Image via Flickr by Mt. Hood Territory

To get your self-published book into stores, you will need to build up a following for the book first. Stores want to stock books that they believe have a chance of selling well, and having a following will increase the chances that your book sales are successful. An active audience of followers will also make you and your book more visible to stores via positive reviews, blog posts, and word of mouth.

Partner With Social Media Influencers

How can you build a following before you get your book in stores? One way is by partnering with social media influencers.

Think about the last time you bought a book in a store. Chances are that you relied on book reviews, recommendations from friends, or your book club to decide what you would be interested in reading. Influencers are another way of sharing these types of recommendations. Followers of influencers trust their judgment and want to hear what they have to say.

Authors and publishers have seen incredible success lately from partnering with online influencers. For example, celebrity actress Reese Witherspoon’s online book club has brought new releases and first-time authors to the masses. Partnering with influencers can help you get more reviews and followers for your own social media, which will be persuasive for booksellers.

Approach Booksellers in Person

Once you’ve built up an online following, many publicists and PR professionals agree that approaching a bookseller in person is one of the best ways to persuade an individual to stock your book. Visit bookstores and libraries with your book and ask to speak to someone in person. Often this approach will require calling ahead to make an appointment. Make sure to draw booksellers’ and librarians’ attention to the audience following you have already developed online.

If you can’t meet someone in person, a personal touch is still a useful way to get your book into more hands. Send free review copies of your book to bloggers, reviewers, and bookstore owners who aren’t located nearby. Include handwritten notes complimenting their work or other personal details about why you think they might enjoy reading the book.

If you’ve self-published a book, don’t stop there. Working to get your book into stores can pay off in big ways for you and your promotional efforts.

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