Brick & Mortar Local Celebrity

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 9:04 AM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:Hi Joel,

Hope you had a great weekend. It’s Monday and I’m armed with more questions, of course!

I got the book up on Amazon this weekend. That happened faster than I thought it would so that was exciting. I’m still working on the CreateSpace piece for printing, but I should have the proof review and all that done by the end of this week.

So my question…rather questions, are around taking the book to local brick and mortar stores. I can’t imagine just walking in with a handful of books and saying “Hi, I wrote this. Will you display and sell it for me?” is the way to go.

What do I need to bring with me when approaching a book store? A printed synopsis, flyers, something else?

I’m guessing I would talk to a manager?

Do I call ahead to speak with said manager before showing up?

Really quite clueless on this part. Figured I’d start asking now before I started this piece of the process.

Thanks!

Cheryl


On Monday, August 5, 2013, Joel Canfield wrote:

Hulloo there! I’ve missed you. (hee hee. I crack me up.)

What’s your goal with brick and mortar stores? If it’s to make sales, you’re better off focusing on your own web sales.

If it’s to make connections with local book store owners, that’s worthwhile, but requires a different approach.

If it’s to see your book on a book shelf, or multiple book shelves, and you don’t care if it sells or not, that’s another approach altogether.

So, what’s your goal? That determines the answer to the question.

On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:
Ha. You crack me up too! I’m sure I get strange looks from others in the airport when I start snorting a laugh or grin at my phone.Certainly i would like sales but I am interested in establishing a relationship with local book stores. I would like to get in their Maine Authors group rather than just be on a shelf among the bazillion other fantasy novels.

I have been plugging you on my website as a great go to person for publishing and writing info. :)

Cheryl

On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM, Joel Canfield <joel@somedaybox.com> wrote:
Okay, so I’ll pretend you chose one response (relationships) instead of adopting the misguided notion that you can have two priorities (it comes from a word meaning “first” and you can’t have two firsts; you can’t. No, I said you can’t. I mean it.)

If you want to establish relationships, go into the store. Find a book you’d like to buy, even if you could get it cheaper elsewhere. Or ask a good question about a local author. Buy the book. Give first. You can’t make a withdrawal from a bank account if you don’t make a deposit first.

Now that you’re a paying customer, tell them you’re a local author and wonder if they’d be willing to carry a few copies of your book for a trial period. If they say yes, you can get them from the car. Don’t carry them in and seem all pushy and eager.

And of course, do this with stores where your book is a match, right?

Also, the one brick and mortar store I ever put my books in was a coffee shop. I really liked the owner, he liked us, and he had a small book shelf for people to browse, and a few little items for sale by local artists. I gave him a copy of one of my books, and he invited me to leave a couple with a “for sale” sticker. Sold one copy, I think, and one more disappeared, probably because someone was just confused. He didn’t cater to the element who’d nick a book intentionally.

Think broadly about this. If you want to become locally famous (and that is an excellent goal) then look for any possible connection to your writing, and connect with those folks. Give first, make a deposit before you try to make a withdrawal by asking a favor. You may have to start making the rounds, visiting these places until you’re a familiar place. It may cost you money, buying stuff you might get cheaper elsewhere, and it WILL cost you time, but becoming a local celebrity is a good way to prepare the soil to cultivate future fans.

From: Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: Question for you
To: Joel Canfield <joel@somedaybox.com>Cool. Thanks!! This gives me plenty to ruminate. I do want the more local relationship as the priority. I mean, I am in the same neck of the woods as Stephen King, so if I can get some notice in the Bangor region even with his presence here, I’d be thrilled.

Continued tomorrow.

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