It’s the dream of every author and publisher to see their books in a bookstore. To have your work carried by a bookstore chain is prestigious but how is it for book sales?Ironically bookstores aren’t the best places to sell books. Unless your book is on a best seller list or there is specific promotion for your book around them being carried by a bookstore chain, getting a major sales from a bookstore may not be as realistic as you may think.
Here are a few reasons why bookstores are the worst place to sell books
- Competition-your books are shelved with other books of the same category. Unless your book has an elaborate book cover or you are having a book signing. Having other books compete with yours, lowers your chances to make sales
- Promotion-bookstores are into housing books, not promoting them. Once your book gets into a bookstore it just gets space on the shelf
- Short shelf life-books don’t sit on bookstore shelves for long. As new titles become available, room has to be made on the shelves for them, so before your book can be discovered it may be on its way back to you in a box
- Discounts-bookstores usually take up to a 40% discount off the retail price on titles they carry. This can also impact your bottom line on book sales.
Seeing my books carried in a bookstore chain is a goal of mine. I want to be able to walk into a bookstore and see one of my titles on the shelf. I know this is more of a goal for legitimacy than to generate sales. If my books do make it into a bookstore, I will try to capitalize on it by doing a book signing and sending promotional materials, like posters or banners to the bookstore to help promote them.
What are your thoughts about selling books in bookstores?