Retail listing and pre-ordering queries

Hi all,

I've found responses to be quicker on here in the past so thought it would be worth asking my questions whilst awaiting a response from the customer service email.

1. Wanting to submit my book to Waterstones to stock in bricks and mortar stores, the store local to me is really enthusiastic and has passed my details onto the group buyer. I've followed their directions to here: https://www.waterstones.com/help/independent-publishers/48 which explains about setting up on Nielsen and with Gardners or Bertrams. On contacting Nielsen they advise it should already be with them once it is released as they are updated through Ingram? Can't find anything on Lulu to verify this however and they recommended I check to be sure. On trying to research this I also came across some evidence that it might already be with Bertrams and Gardners once it goes onto globalreach?  http://connect.lulu.com/en/discussion/comment/326920#Comment_326920

If all this is correct (as assumed at present) then that would mean that it will be available on Waterstones website and for their buyer to order into my local store (or anywhere else) as we've already discussed without any heavy lifting on my end at all?! 

(If any Lulu customer service advisers are reading this thread, a list of names of those distributing/supplying when I hit the globalreach button would be amazing!)

2. Just polishing up the book after proof reading at the moment, ahead of release day (planned end July). When I spoke to Nielsen they very kindly also advised that it should be on ingram/global reach well ahead of release date so that pre-orders can be taken. I've set up my own website for pre-orders at the moment which I plan to distribute myself but if I knew how to set this up so that the orders weren't fulfilled until launch date and it was clear on the listing that it was a pre-order then that would also be amazing. But I don't have a clue how to do this and as I say, I haven't set distribution settings yet because I'm worried people ordering will automatically be printed and shipped the unpolished version.

Sorry for the mammoth post, thanks for any help on either point!!!


Best Answer

  • Paul_LuluPaul_Lulu Admin
    Accepted Answer
    wildwind said:

    The fact that your books are not carried in bricks and mortar stores has absolutely nothing to do with the Lulu ISBNs and everything to do with the fact that you are engaged in self publishing. Firstly, traditional publishers offer large discounts to bookstores - typically 30 to 50 % - and secondly, any book that does not sell can be returned to the publisher.

    The second point is the one that makes it so hard for a self-published book to find space in the bookstore. The discount is actually figured into retail pricing (or wholesale pricing as it is often called) and that's a knock against the self-published author because print-on-demand costs more than off-set on a per book basis, but the the discount is connected to a self-published book being passed to distribution channels.

    The return issue is the big challenge. It's also the main reason self-published authors generally only find bookstore success with local, commission based sales. But nothing is technically preventing a larger chain store from carrying the book, it would simply bring greater risk, as returns are not possible.

    @VictoriaH - If your book is in our distribution service, Ingram will have it in their catalog, allowing any retailers that pull from that catalog access to it.

    Preordering is trickier. I would submit the final version for distribution soon, as there is a review process that can take some time. The best thing for preordering is to do as you've already started doing, which is to take them directly.

    You can apply for the distribution service while your book itself is still in private access on Lulu, but be warned that Amazon will list the book as soon as they approve it and they will not alert us or you that they've done so.

«1

Answers

  • Very well done, for Waterstones to show such interest means you have something special. However, I can only help you with one aspect of your queries, sadly; but others on here can perhaps help more and if so I am sure they will.

    Sadly, it is not an automatic thing (or anything like it) for books on a distribution package / Global Reach to be made available as a print book on the shelves in Waterstones or any other bookseller which is tied in to the national and international book inventories. It is predominantly the POD market which such packages are set up for (if not officially, then this is how it works out in practice). The option for stores to procure physical copies is of course an aspect of these packages, but, I know from my own experience and many others here on Lulu and elsewhere, that the sales for the majority of books with ISBNs and packages still comes from POD listings (Amazon, The Book Depositry etc, and many third party sellers who piggy-back off their main listings. Me and my partner also have a book available at Waterstones, but it is on a Sale or Return basis. We buy in our own stock and then pass to them. If you come up against a brickwall with the Ingram side of things, then perhaps approach them on this basis.But, you say they are really enthusiastic so you may not need to go down that road. Finally, all the usual procedures go out of the window if a major book seller thinks you, and of course, they, are onto a winner. On these far too rare occasions, they'll buy in by the pallet load. Going by what you say about the store, that may well end up being the case for you. Let's hope so. Best of luck.  JH
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    From what I have heard is that Waterstones have their own sort of supply list, and it's very hard to get on to it, no matter how jovial a shop manager may be (he/she could just have been diplomatic.) Not even on line as a POD created book (meaning they don't need to carry stock) or even as ePubs. My books are listed all over the place, but only on line that I know of, and that is to do with Lulu's ISBNs, etc., but my books are still obvious by their absence on some well-known name sites after many years.
  • wildwindwildwind Publisher
    Kevin said
    My books are listed all over the place, but only on line that I know of, and that is to do with Lulu's ISBNs, etc., but my books are still obvious by their absence on some well-known name sites after many years.

    The fact that your books are not carried in bricks and mortar stores has absolutely nothing to do with the Lulu ISBNs and everything to do with the fact that you are engaged in self publishing. Firstly, traditional publishers offer large discounts to bookstores - typically 30 to 50 % - and secondly, any book that does not sell can be returned to the publisher. Self published authors cannot compete with this. It is wholly inaccurate to say that the problem is down to Lulu ISBNs. Even if you bought your own ISBN the situation would be as it is now.

    I don't expect Kevin to understand the subtly of this argument - he is too keen to fire off a riposte, and feed his need to post as much as possible, to fully comprehend what is being said - but some others might benefit from this.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    The fact that your books are not carried in bricks and mortar stores has absolutely nothing to do with the Lulu ISBNs and everything to do with the fact that you are engaged in self publishing.

    Only partly true.

    Firstly, traditional publishers offer large discounts to bookstores - typically 30 to 50 % - and secondly, any book that does not sell can be returned to the publisher. Self published authors cannot compete with this.

    Some can, and do. Not every self-publisher uses POD.

     It is wholly inaccurate to say that the problem is down to Lulu ISBNs.

    I never said it was. I said thanks to Lulu's free ISBNs my books ARE listed all over the place, but not on some sites (because they use their own listing systems.)

     Even if you bought your own ISBN the situation would be as it is now.

    No doubt it would.

    I don't expect Kevin to understand the subtly of this argument - he is too keen to fire off a riposte, and feed his need to post as much as possible, to fully comprehend what is being said - but some others might benefit from this.

    Well before you get all trollish again, you need to read and understand what it is you are replying to, before you reply ...

  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Wow, thank you for replying! I've been away so am just trying to catch up with your very helpful answers. 

    I think the first step toward getting it into bricks and mortar stores for me is going to be through the local buyer putting it in JUST the local store. I understand this to be as John_M_Haines describes, the buyer using the local budget. At this stage, I'm not interpreting this enthusiasm to be any sort of contract with Waterstones to stock my book long term. To be honest, I imagine it is largely because I am a local author and I spend my life either in the bookstore or in the cafe next door and it is just a promotional leg up!  :wink: The buyer has mentioned to the store manager that they can also make recommendations to the submissions team at Waterstones HQ so if people love it in my local store then it can be fast tracked (I think?) through submissions. In terms of goalposts, it would be incredible if the local store had it for launch day, they're talking about giving it a prominent place in the children's section with a bit of author blurb and some review cards which, just the reviews would be a wonderful starting point! I expect these reviews end up on the website listing?

    (My only other plan regarding reviews has been to speak to people interested in pre-ordering and ask whether they'd like to pre-order the physical paperback or if they can guarantee that they'll review me then they could have a free e-book straight away instead which has also been quite good on uptake - converted around 1/3 of pre-orders? So still making profits on 2/3 and getting guaranteed reviews on the rest which won't cost me anything to give out. Any advice to get more reviews, or more pre-orders for that matter, while I have your ears?!)

    I understand that there is a huge difference between getting on the Gardners list and getting it approved for sale in store through the Waterstones submissions process. My thoughts were, if our books (specifically, any listed with globalreach) are listed online with WS (as the customer services assistant at Lulu I have been emailing seems to believe is the case) then are they POD'd through Gardners or Bertrams in order for WS to fulfill the order? In which case, all the buyer for my local store needs to do is hop onto the system and order it through?! It does say on the Gardners form that if you plan to submit to WS then you should complete the form regardless of whether they already distribute your title (??) so will fill it in anyway. Can't do any harm.

    I would then submit it afterwards through the proper channels and then if it's approved to go into other stores than just the local one, then, amazing! If the buyer makes the recommendation and it goes through more easily then even more amazing!

    Meeting with my proof readers Weds/Thurs so will hopefully be ready to push the public listing and globalreach buttons by Friday. New proofs on their way already and with the improved cover. Ideally, (being a children's book, ages 6-9) it'll be all set up to go online just as the summer holidays begin and then when the approvals process catches up (anyone know what this involves by the way?) a few weeks down the line, the local Waterstones could have it in and hopefully children will be out with their parents to physically spot it. In the meantime I'll continue taking pre-orders myself through my website/card reader/spreadsheets.  

    Please feel free to correct me or point out any loopholes in my plan! I feel really well prepared and then find that I've misunderstood something - which I suppose is debut author naivety! Nice to have others to bounce ideas off of!
  • edited July 2018
    The only thing I can add to this is an iteration of an earlier point. In my experience, the staffer with the say-so to make a deal with a self-publisher will very much prefer a sale or return set up. I've had books on Lulu distribution on and off for years, Waterstones , (nor anybody else), have ever procured / bought in from wholesalers, and yet have been (and still are) quite happy if I provide them with stock. I have no doubt its a combination of less hassle, no outlay from them (they pay us post-sales, not before), no monetary loss, no risk of any kind - to them. And as only a few copies are required by them at any one time (we supply them with 5 copies every 2 months or so for about 9/10 months of the year, hiked up to 10 or more each month from September to Christmas), then it's easily manageable by me / my partner. Works out well for both parties. We're never going to fly to Nassau on the sales / royalties, we know that, (maybe Ffrith Beach in late November), but we're happy with the modest but regular sales we do make.

    To be honest, I've not met (whether in person or online) any Lulu member who has had the good fortune to have their book procured in a more mainstream fashion. (If there are such worthies on here, pop in and let us all know how you did it? What you have to do to achieve this?)

    And, again to the original poster - best of luck.

    JH


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    This may be helpful  https://www.waterstones.com/help/independent-publishers/48

    But this is perhaps the bottom line >>

    "Before submitting any titles to our central buying team for consideration, your book must have the following:

    • An ISBN
    • Title information on Nielsen BookData
    • A Waterstones-recognised distributor

    Only once the above criteria have been met can you then submit your title for consideration."


  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Ok, thank you both.

    John, may I be cheeky and ask what commission do they take on your sale or return books? This is something I would be interested in if the conventional route doesn't go to plan.


  • Hello, Victoria, I am useless at percentages, but here's the breakdown: we buy stocks of 30 books, which, with a discount and after adding postage and packing, makes it about £3.20 a book cost to us / outlay per unit. This is the basis for 6 restocks over the months at Waterstones. They take 5 at a time, and when it's time to pay us, we get just over £30.00, giving us a net profit of just over £2.80 per book; there's 2 of us, so we get about £1.40 each, for each book sold. As for Waterstones' selling price, here is where you have to shrug your shoulders at times. The initial equation seems to be based on the ubiquitous 33% from which can be worked out all the different (initial) cuts for the parties involved. However, they do not have to abide by this and at times can (and do) whack the selling price up without cutting you in on the extra revenue / profits. As long as you get what they said you'd get at the outset, then that's it, sorted. We're more than happy with it though. Hope you can sort something to your satisfaction.
  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    John, you are lucky if they take just 33 % off the cover price, many take 50 %. If you distribute a book via Lulu your cut will be what is left after 50 % of the cover price is deducted, and the cost of making the book, and Lulu's cut, is ducted from the remaining 50 %.

    As authors you are getting an 87.5 % return on your investment (presuming you split the book manufacture costs as well as the revenue) which is not bad. Now if only there was a way to increase you sales to 30 000 a year!

    Book stores have to make a profit too. No one offers a manufacturer of teaspoons an increase if a store increases the price. Remember, the price you get is totally unrelated to the price in the bookstore. The only link between them is emotional, not economic.


  • Ta for that, Oncewas, but it is just a breakdown for Victoria, an example of what we do / get, just so she can use that as a comparison / a base. The book is indeed a Lulu book, but we buy them in at cost and supply Waterstones and three smaller retailers around Liverpool. It works for us.
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Thanks John that's enormously helpful (and reassuring) that it comes in close to my estimations.

    I too read that 50% was usual and that authors could expect to receive around 8% of sales (both of these figures were in reference to conventional publishing methods.) If I took the standard pricing model for most things (factoryX2=wholesaleX2=RRP) my book would be enormously overpriced at £11.20 for a 90 page children's book! Due to this I've had to set my price much lower to be competitive in that market (and even lower for pre-orders just to get some numbers under my belt) based on this if I can negotiate something close to your 33% then I'd be very pleased.

    I'm still on track to press the globalreach button on Friday, ordering my pre-orders in and sending out the e-book to reviewers so will speak again to Waterstones next week and will get a bulk order of books for sale or return distribution/samples at that time too in case they or any other stores want to go by this arrangement. My husband WILL be pleased to have a house full of books!  Ha! Thanks again!
  • Hello again, Victoria. How's it all going then? Did it work out? Still under discussion? Do let us know.
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Hi John,

    I've finally hit the global reach button after a couple of false starts with my proof copies!!
    http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/victoria-heales/journey-to-the-hidden-mountain/paperback/product-23712098.html

    Just checking regularly to see where this is being listed (still just on Lulu right now), but have gone through the main Waterstones submissions channels in the meantime knowing that it could take the same amount of time for them to make a decision (or possibly even respond). Hopefully everything will reach a pinnacle on 2nd September (the end of the 8 week period for globalreach) which I think works perfectly marketing-wise for my target audience. The last weekend of the summer holidays so back to school book buying and people just beginning to think about Christmas.

    If they direct me back to my local store and buyer from there or aren't happy with a conventional arrangement then I'm absolutely going to go back with the sale or return option. I've placed a chunky order to fulfill my pre-orders throughout the summer which will also leave me enough stock to keep some copies back for sale or return, and the additional freebies that go out (British Library, samples, family members etc). The profit from the pre-orders has just been ploughed back into more books so I don't have a long wait to get them printed in future to fulfill orders and will operate like that up until 2nd Sept when I'm hoping I can lay back a bit and just have a passive income....(....of something like £3.75 per week!!)

    One thing that I have noticed is that when bulk ordering your books (mind you there's usually a good discount code floating around) is that the postage price doesn't seem to have a cap so for most discount codes, whatever savings you make, you lose again in shipping! Example: I was sent a 25% off discount code the other day which I figured I'd use on my pre-order since it was probably going to be the biggest order I ever placed. When I got around to it on the screen, it was cheaper to use BOOKSHIP18 at 10% off + free shipping and make multiple orders of 15 books per time to avoid the shipping weight jumping up into the next category. Do you often have this problem when you place orders for your sale or return stock? Or is there usually a code and a sneaky way around that combats it?

    Sorry for all the questions, I'm; 1. pretty damn excited about my achievement and 2. utterly clueless about how to make it as successful as possible so taking every single tip I can get!

    I did however make a new friend last week who happens to be an ex-publisher who I'm hoping to get some tips from, maybe I'll even share them! ;)
  • Hi VictoriaH,

    Shipping costs vex us daily. Our discounting is generally an attempt to help alleviate those costs, but the weight of books and the packaging involved to ship them drives up costs.

    I do suggest touching base with our bulk specialist if you need 100 or more copies to see if he can offer any assistance in getting the best possible price. You can send me a direct message for his contact info if you'd like, or just call in at 844-212-0689.

    If you think you'll have a lot of people interested in direct ordering from you or your website, I suggest looking into our ecommerce app through Shopify. This tool is great for a higher quantity of individual sales as it 1) keeps all profits in your pocket and 2) cleanly passes the shipping cost off to the customer.
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Hi Paul,

    That's great advice, thank you! I'm not entirely sure I'm going to place another order that big all at once again (but would be nice if I did!), to be honest it has a knock on my profits to do it that way. The pre-ordering was to push up numbers and have reviews ready on listings ASAP after they went live on various websites.

    I don't intend to do it in the long run if I can have globalreach doing it for me! But if for any reason I end up placing large orders in the future then I'll certainly get in touch with the bulk ordering contact you mention.
  • wildwindwildwind Publisher

    Victoria, I think you are very brave for going down the route of holding physical stocks. However, I like your cover and your writing style so I really hope that this works out for you.


  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Thank you Wildwind, it means a lot to have some positive feedback! (Especially on a forum where it really could be 50:50!)

    I agonised over the cover, as I'm sure we all have! But was really frustrated that my artwork got mangled by the lulu cover wizard in the first proofs. Barely any font choices or formatting options which was a shame and the whole thing looked very amateurish. Here's the original for comparison.



    By the time I'd gone back and made amendments to the font there were so many other bits I wanted to tweak as well! Much happier with this version.



    I don't plan on holding onto physical stock for long - my husband would likely divorce me but because the pre-orders are already paid I can get them sent straight out, the freebies can go straight out and then I'm left with a little pile. I think it makes sense to hang onto a few in case!? If nothing else then at least they'll make nice Christmas presents for nieces and nephews!
  • And hello again, it's great to see things are moving along so well for you, well done. On the shipping; been there, got the overdraft! I do what you pretty much mused on, but perhaps a little more involved. I've never had time to move up in quantities of 1 (although it may be beneficial to have patience and do so), but in order to find the best possible combination of book cost and shipping cost, I start at 5, choose each shipping option to see, then 10, then 15; you get the idea. I save all the results in a file, in separate columns for easy comparison. At one time (I doubt if it applies currently, but things change every so often), I found, after a certain threshold had been passed, that the premium shipping rate became cheaper than the standard. I also try and pounce on the occasional very generous discount. The best we had earlier this year was 50% off book cost, it made the unit cost incredibly low. So, while not wanting your hubby to make do with Spam and chips for a month, if you see similar, pounce on it, as long as you're sure you can sell them quickly that is.

    I like the book cover; better than I can do. Mine are the classic dilettante's indulgence, although I have been lucky enough for 2 of the covers to have been designed by others more proficient. But yours is fine.

    Onwards and upwards.

    JH
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    RE: Cover. I am not sure what the flying creature is, but is it supposed to look like a rain eroded gargoyle? As to the font choices in the Cover Wizard, don't use them. You seem to be uploading a single image for the front of the cover? Then place whatever font on to it before you upload it. Delete the auto-placed text.
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Hi Kevin,

    I've politely thanked you for your advice, despite it's patronising delivery and repeating links I'd already used in my OP.

    I'm going to use my mum voice now to explain to you that there are constructive ways to tell someone that you don't like their work, but luckily for me I have some self confidence and have seen your previous comments on other posts.

    You give the impression of someone far too busy and important to worry about the nuances of constructive criticism, and if that's the case, I wonder what on earth you're doing on a forum for support and advice.

    Thanks for your comment, I'd worked that out, hence the fact I changed it through my own illustrating software and you know, that it looks different. Sorry you don't like the image, every 7 year old and bookshop manager that has seen it has snatched it out of my hand.

    Please don't trip over the stack of books on your way out.

    Cheers.
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    John, please could you link to your books?

    I'd love to see what a indie book cover looks like to grace the shelves of Waterstones! 
  • wildwindwildwind Publisher

    Victoria

    Kevin has a compulsive need to comment on everything and to be rude into the bargain. Fortunately I have never had to take his advice on anything and still manage to sell books; something he does not do very well. He needles, and irritates - no doubt his desired outcomes - but is best ignored


  • Hello again, Victoria, I've either forgotten how to find cover URLs on Lulu or it's no longer an option, so here's the link to it's Amazon listing instead, you can at least see the front cover a bit clearer than here on Lulu. We sell just the one in title in Waterstones, although we sell the same title in three smaller outlets too. I think we were lucky that the local interest aspect swayed it. You'll notice the title and authors text is not centred; this is deliberate. The way that Waterstones displays books in its local section means that it is not always possible to see this info easily and immediately when browsing the shelves, so by shunting the text to the left side means at times all of it shows, at other times some of it, so we've sacrificed artiness for usefulness and I am sure it's helped shift them. 

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Liverpool-Gerry-Jones-Haines/dp/1326432419/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531604916&sr=8-1&keywords=FOLK+SONGS+OF+LIVERPOOL

    JH
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Hi Kevin,

    Hello there.

    I've politely thanked you for your advice, despite it's patronising delivery

    Indeed you did, but further advice has been offered. Perhaps we have a different idea of what patronising means?

     and repeating links I'd already used in my OP.

    I used them because your OP was quite a way back, (it's not just those who post in threads who read them, or from the start) and I included a paste of the main part of what Waterstones say at that link because not every one trusts clicking on links. I did say that it was the Bottom Line. Strange you have only just commented on we both used the same links.

    I'm going to use my mum voice

    You would have to be old to be my mum, and somewhat deceased.

     now to explain to you that there are constructive ways to tell someone that you don't like their work,

    But I did not say I did not like it, I asked a question, possibly one other viewers of your cover would wonder, and also suggested how you can get the font that you like, due to you saying you cannot get it via the in-built fonts in the Cover Wizard.

     but luckily for me I have some self confidence

    Not enough to say thanks for the advice in regard to fonts though? And to not reply to me in regard to what the creature is?

     and have seen your previous comments on other posts.

    I have no idea what that implies. But you do know that the forum rankings are based on a points system? 

    You give the impression of someone far too busy and important to worry about the nuances of constructive criticism,

    It's a forum, not a self-help group for the over-sensitive. And it's text, so hardly likely to be very emotive. For a start you cannot see people's faces or body language. However, was my suggestion about fonts not constructive, then?

     and if that's the case, I wonder what on earth you're doing on a forum for support and advice.

    I wonder why you ask, considering you only seem to have joined the forum in June. I have been here ten years, on and off.

    Thanks for your comment, I'd worked that out, hence the fact I changed it through my own illustrating software and you know, that it looks different.

    Have you changed it since I suggested it? I looked at your cover and commented on it after you said you did not like the font.

     Sorry you don't like the image, every 7 year old and bookshop manager that has seen it has snatched it out of my hand.

    I repeat, I did not say that, I asked what it was, but you will have to argue with Ron about if just a cover sells a book or not.

    Please don't trip over the stack of books on your way out.

    Huh?

    Cheers.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Victoria

    Kevin has a compulsive need to comment on everything

    You really must take a look at what I do reply to. But often I am the first to reply to some that seem to be ignored. They do expect replies you know. But that could just be the time difference. Being so observant you must also notice that many of the replies in threads are not mine. John is doing a great job replying in this thread, for example. BTW. There are many consecutive days that I am not even logged on!

     and to be rude into the bargain.

    It would take some doing to be as rude as you. But could you tell me what you believe rude means?

     Fortunately I have never had to take his advice on anything and still manage to sell books;

    We have asked you for a link to your books, but it's never offered, but I do recall some time ago many people in the forum ermm, advising you over them, or it.

    something he does not do very well.

    But I don't 'sell' my books. I just publish them. There's a big difference. But Lulu is not the only place I publish, but you would know that considering the attention you pay to what I post.

     He needles, and irritates - no doubt his desired outcomes - but is best ignored

    Is it not you that comment is made about? I think you are Projecting (look it up.)

  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    I got that impression Wildwind, I've no doubt given him what he wanted but won't continue to do the very British and oppressed thing of thanking men for being rude because I don't know what else to say to them.

    See John, that's exactly the kind of thing I came here for! I never knew the local books were stacked in that way. Your book looks fabulous by the way, I envy your talent - an author and a musician!

    Maybe I need to go back in and pay close attention to the local author's feature, the "H" shelf in the children's section and anywhere else they've said I might appear! I think they said that the featured local author bit was just on the tables which would be ideal but adults would be looking down at the covers and children would just be looking at a vast sea of white pages and book sides.

    It's also bought up another point re visibility, (I know WS wouldn't do this, but:) I have mused upon getting some acrylic book stands (individual trade price is very low - Circa £1) and give them out to the smaller independent stores as part of a "promotional pack" if the book was in store on 2nd September which I guess is the official release date. Maybe with a poster, and I liked WS idea of putting review cards alongside the book in their stores - maybe make some up myself and put them in the promo box?

    All these things would also be handy to have at a Christmas fayre I've been invited to.

    It's tricky since my target audience is children; visibility is a big deal.
  • That's a great idea, if stores will agree to it. I have seen such displays, but these were set up by the store themselves. Although I suppose there are many instances where they are happy for the author/publisher to do the legwork instead, and of course, cover the cost of materials. Regardless of who sets the display up, it all helps.

    As for the cover text, we only did this because our Waterstones stacks the local large books (A4 etc) upright, but angled, one book sort of wedged alongside the next, but flowing into the next title, meaning our end or top copy had its info masked. This way we have some chance of some of the title being shown.

    And yes, any extra swag always helps; my daughter came back from an independent authors event yesterday; she did buy several books, but the 'swag bag' was free, although minus a review card, so some include them, some don't. Myself, I think it's a good idea, but I wouldn't say vital; most book reviewers seem to gravitate toward Amazon, even if they didn't get the book there or not. But of course, the book needs to be on there in the first place, which will be 6 weeks to a couple of months for you. But it will all click in the end.

    Keep at it. If, in a few years, you get a mansion next to JK, say hi from me!

    JH
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    I'm hoping that it would indeed be easier to get them to agree to promote it in that way if it's myself providing the bits and bobs. It feels a little vain but if it helps!

    I can't believe I'd never thought of that but I noticed when out yesterday that most local interest/history books in shops around me are stacked in this way - even in the supermarkets.

    Absolutely agree that by the time people get home they're more likely to use Amazon (book went live on there yesterday *happy dance*) but I wonder how WS use the cards, whether they ask people to drop them back in? are they on a freepost postcard? are they filled out then and there based on first impressions? Are people sitting in the children's section reading it and reviewing it straight away? I've never seen these cards in action and need to investigate! 

    In terms of my existing reviewers I have around 40-50 people currently reading the e-book for free so they can leave a review somewhere online (where ever takes their fancy and if more than one place then great!) and any of my pre-orders could potentially leave a review too. Surely that's got to be the best type of advertising! Not to mention that anyone that feels strongly enough to leave a positive review is likely to recommend it to friends too and currently it doesn't appear unless you search the exact title or my name. 

    Once again, this brings me onto a whole new question - I understood that if I searched the ISBN on google it would show me everywhere the book was listed, I've been doing this daily and nothing came up (except lulu) but I was on amazon yesterday and just decided to manually check and there it was! I know they don't email or notify you when it goes up but it is a pity that a google search (by name or ISBN) doesn't show that it's on Amazon. Will this be the case with any other places the book is listed?
Sign In or Register to comment.