How to Get Your Book in Local Bookstores

Ever dreamed of having your book on a bookshelf in a real bookstore? In order for a bookstore to carry your book, they will be looking for several things including:

  • A unique, high-quality, attractive book
  • An impressive sales record
  • Availability of your book

If you’re using a free service like Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) or other companies like IngramSpark to have your book printed on demand, that’s a cost-effective method for self-publishers. I currently use KDP for ebooks and paperbacks, and IngramSpark for hard cover format. Both KDP and IngramSpark offer expanded distribution which will assist in helping your book reach other retailers like Barnes and Noble and many others. Both Amazon and IngramSpark will provide a list of retailers where you will be available. For example, for my first children’s book, Silly Willy Apple Cake, I used IngramSpark for the hard cover version, and within a couple weeks of it going live, I found my book listed on the Barnes and Noble website. Yay! That was very exciting! However, at the same time, it made me wonder how people will know it’s available there unless I advertise. I’m still learning the ropes of how to spread the word about where my books are available; in the meantime, I’m spreading the word via social media.

What is POD? With POD (Print On Demand), customers buy your book on Amazon and other websites, and then the book is printed on demand (at an Amazon printing facility for example) and shipped directly to the customer. If you need copies of your book for family, friends and author events, you can order author copies at a discount rate.

Once your have copies of your book, how can you get them into bookstores and other shops? Idea: contact local bookstores in your area and ask if they have any type of local author consignment program. I recently signed up for a Local Author Partnership Program at my local bookshop. For a small fee, they will carry up to three of my book titles. For the first month, the books are prominently displayed on a special “Local Authors” bookshelf. Thereafter the books are placed in the normal bookshelf for the corresponding genre.

Even though this may not guarantee that you will sell a million books overnight, it’s just something to try to get your foot in the door at your local bookstore. Hey, that rhymed! And anyone that knows me, knows that I just absolutely love rhyming! Anyway, having your book on consignment at local bookshops is definitely something to pursue. It is a small baby step in the right direction.

What Should You Do Next? Advertise and promote your book to you local community! You can advertise through social media on local Facebook groups, Instagram, etc., and post on your personal website and/or community websites. Consider running an ad or two in your local community newsletter or newspaper. Be a squeaky wheel and create some buzz!

Here’s a picture of three of my book titles displayed in my local bookstore.

my books on their shelves pic1

Note: If you need help getting your book formatted and self-published, lots of helpful information is coming!

In the meantime, happy writing  – and remember, networking is key!

My First Children’s Book: Silly Willy Apple Cake

This is Book 1 in the Bella and Mia Adventure Series. Recipe will be included in the back for each book!

The phrase “silly willy” is a play on words and introduces the idea of fun activities using rhyming words. In the first book in the series, the story begins as Mia and her daughter Bella go apple picking at a farm. Bella loves to be silly. She laughs as she balances an apple on her arm, and asks ‘What can we make? What can we make?” Mama says “an apple cake”! So home they go, to mix and bake, and soon they are eating apple cake!

This children’s series is designed to foster love within families by promoting fun activities with parent and child. It also introduces rhyming to children. Rhyming helps children with memory and promotes learning. Reciting rhyming is also an excellent bonding activity for parents and children, or in a group setting with children. Each story is inspired by warm childhood memories of me watching my mother cook all kinds of scrumptious foods and the fun times we had in the kitchen.

Help to spread the word! If you buy a copy and enjoy, please consider posting a review on Amazon which will help make this book and series a success. Much appreciated!

Get the Book

SillyWillyAppleCake cover FINAL

Four Main Types of Writing…Which One Do You Use?

What is your writing style?

I recently read an article on the four main types of writing which made me stop and thing…am I writing in the best style? Here’s a summary of the writing styles and some examples:

Expository Writing – Used to explain things. Examples: Essays, computer how-to books, textbooks.

Descriptive Writing – Used to describe things, focusing on a character, place or event. Example: Travel article, biography.

Persuasive Writing – Used to convince and may contain opinions and reasoning. Example: News articles, political writing.

Narrative Writing – Used to tell a story through use of characters. Example: short stories, children’s book, novels.

Which writing do you use? I tend to use expository writing for my computer how-to books. I think a lot of us use multiple types of writing depending on our topic or genre.

Read full article here.

Setting Measureable Writing Goals

If you’re dreaming of being an author someday, it’s important to set measurable goals.

Goals like “I want to write a book!“, or “Someday I’ll write a book about that.” are a good start, but they are too general. Instead, write realistic, measurable goals that you know you will be able to accomplish. Start with small goals and once you have accomplished those, move on the bigger goals. I have listed some short-term and long-term examples of measurable writing goals below to get you started.

Short Term Writing Goals:

  • Today, before I go to sleep, I will write 10 book ideas.
  • By the end of the this week, I will research writing groups and I will join at least one online writing group.
  • I will visit a library next weekend, and I will spend at least 1 hour reading a new and interesting book.
  • In the next 30 days, I will spend at least 2 hours a week working on a short story.

Long Term Goals:

  • In the next 6 months, I will enter at least 3 online writing contests.
  • By the end of the year, I will write an outline for a new book.
  • In the next year, I will visit a new place, anywhere in the world, near or far, where I have not been, and I will write a diary about my travel experience.
  • I want to see a book I have self-published on in 6
    to 9 months.
  • From now until my first book is published, I will spend at least 2 hours per week researching a marketing plan for my new book.

What are you writing goals? Stop what you’re doing right now and write your goals!