It’s out – now what do we do?

peddling my wares
bringing cute kids with me helps
while I stamp my foot

The wee one and I went on a adventure today, driving around town, trying to find Mike Stellar out in the wild. It was supposed to be at all the bookstores. We only found it at our local independent store. This means two things: 1) BookPeople ROCKS and 2) big box bookstores sometimes need some persuasion to rock.

I am finding it very frustrating that I can write a book, get it published by Random House, get it well reviewed before publication, and then find out that the chain bookstores in town have not ordered any copies. Once I chatted with a couple of managers and they saw that there were tons of copies at their warehouses nationwide, and that a local author might bring a sale or two with her, they ordered a few copies for their stores. Well, Borders didn't. I was told that their buying decisions come from the home office. So I will call the home office tomorrow and politely ask them to send a couple of copies to my local store. It seems kind of unfair that my book isn't stocked at the bookstore that is 2 miles from the house.

It's not easy to sell a book if you can't get it stocked. But I'm working on it.

If you go to your bookstore and find out it isn't in stock, would you mind asking them to order a few copies? If a book is stocked at a Barnes &Noble, for example, and a store orders a handful of copies, those copies automatically get reordered after someone buys them. The trick is to get them in the store to begin with. A lot of stores nationally are just waiting for fulfillment from the warehouses, and that's cool. But some of them will never stock it unless we ask.

Book publicity is kind of an ironic beast. Or at least for me it seems to be. The more famous you already are, the more publicity you get. If you're a regular person, you're not going to get much publicity at all – even though you need publicity to become one of the well-known people who get publicity without asking.

So if you don't mind, ask your local store to order a few copies if you can't find any on the shelf. And if you read the book and like it, spread the word – online, to your friends, to anyone who will listen. Word-of-mouth is supreme in this business.

I can't thank you all enough for your support. It's so exciting to see Mike out in the wild. Now, like any kid on a space adventure, he just needs some attention.

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10 thoughts on “It’s out – now what do we do?

  1. do you get paid better if it is purchased from a store rather then online, i.e. amazon.com? i want to get a couple for my nephews.

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  2. I went to the Westgate Borders (by Central Market) yesterday and searched high and low for it, then asked the guy at the info desk. He looked it up, said “no, we don’t carry it, but I can order it” and right as I was putting in my order he got another call…for the same book! WOOHOO! He said “Wow, someone else is calling for that book too!” and I said “Well, have you seen the reviews?! It’s supposed to be amazing!!”
    Here’s hoping they start stocking soon…or I’m going to have to go order another other copy…
    xoxo

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  3. Also, I went to my library and asked the children’s librarian to purchase it. Since it’s in Austin (OK, Westlake) I also let her that it’s from a local author who might even come for a reading sometime. That got her attention.

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  4. Went to several stores in Northern Virginia today — Borders, Books-a-Million, and Barnes and Nobles, none of them had your book. They all were willing to order but we are just passing through.
    Barnes and Nobles person told me one order was not enough to cause them to stock the book. Will check in CT when we get up there.

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  5. Our school librarian preordered and talked to the other local school librarians right here in Spring. It appears Mike is up and running. Great job everyone!

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