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Retail listing and pre-ordering queries



  • I've not actually seen WSs review cards, only heard about them, so not really sure where they go back to if filled in. we weren't given a display as such at WS, sadly, but we did go straight on to the shelves. However, we were given a display in a smaller outlet though; that worked, for all of a week. Once the display was down, the little spike of sales vanished, as have the books - well, crammed into an over-packed bookshelf which is as good as vanished!

    The search for the ISBN / title etc. You have to allow time for the Google bots to strut their stuff; over time you will notice more and more results, perhaps more on the title than the ISBN though, as I think some book sites don't have the ISBN as searchable, thus creating a return which takes the punter to them, but many will though.

    Yeah, if you have enough advance / promo copies on the go and being read, then it will surely generate some reviews, and in different places. I forgot to mention Goodreads yesterday; that's a good source of reviews too. If you have ebook versions, then there are two major forums, one just for Kindle, and one for Kindle and Epub, and folks leave reviews, or perhaps just recommendations, there too.
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    I understand your point about being crammed onto shelves, how often do you pick out a book that you're not actively searching for in that way? Again, with children in particular, this is going to be a big battle as they are going to have no interest in the spine of a book, even if they are tall enough to see any sections over "R"! My own children have all of their books similar to your display in Waterstones, facing outwards into the room, for this exact reason.

    I was actually just looking at goodreads! Great minds eh?
    The trouble with the ebook is that I've gone ahead with the PDF version for now and allowed people to download it for free through a direct link once they've expressed an interest. I've also put together a quick guide to getting a PDF loaded onto your kindle, ibooks etc so it's a bit more comfortable to read.

    When I try to create the EPUB it keeps throwing up errors and just when I think I've got the formatting right for it to accept, it throws it back out again. I perhaps need a child free day to concentrate on it as I'm sure it can't be THAT difficult! (something not terribly likely in the summer holidays!) or maybe I try a different website like Amazon or ingram for the EPUB ebook, either way, the current one isn't the version I'll use long term. Not sure if it has to be an EPUB for goodreads, but I don't want reviews attached to the wrong version.

    As of yesterday it also appears on google book search with links to Lulu, Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith, The Book Depository and Blackwell, which I was very excited about; thinking that the book was already listed in all those places but on closer inspection most of the links go nowhere. Evidently they aren't set up there yet and it's probably just part of a template of links for all books, but still very excited to see things moving after only a week since setting up globalreach. At least something comes up on google now when you search my name or the title.

  • Hi Kevin,

    Hello there.

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


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

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

    ... ...

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

     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.



    Kevin, some food for thought:

    If one person tells you something, they may simply have an odd perspective. If several people tell you something, it might be worth considering. Introspection can be... enlightening.

  • VictoriaH said:
    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?
    On that point I simply suggest patience. The internet is huge, and it takes time for ripples to move across the surface (and for bots to crawl pages searching for ISBNs).

    Best of luck with the local stores, and so let us know how it goes.
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Good to know, thank you. I still have a very long way to go before the end of the "6-8 weeks" so am in no hurry. 
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Just wanted to share two little achievements today!

    Hitting the top spot on Lulu Children's section(!) and amusingly, finding the book on a Swedish website in an offer with Harry Potter!

  • Well now, you can't get better than that. I wish someone would bundle my stuff with HP. Great stuff.
  • Well done! You might have to publish an edition in Swedish! :^)
  • VictoriaHVictoriaH UK Writer
    Ha ha, if only it becomes that popular Skoob! Very exciting though.

    It's worth confirming for people looking at this in future for answers (and since this was the reason I started the thread), It IS appearing on Bertram's website which is one of Waterstones' distributors, but at full price. So my expectation is that you then use the form such as the one for Gardners, (link in my OP) to agree a wholesale price so that bookshops are actually able to buy it in. This might also explain why Blackwell's is listing it at £8.04 rather than the £7 I placed RRP at. I understand they can list it higher if they want and that I'll still get the same royalties - someone on amazon is already trying to flog "used" copies at £12.88 a piece! 

    I do wonder if there's any way to defer your royalties until after the final price is paid by a customer in a Waterstones store rather on the wholesale price? The rest of it (if my submission were actually successful to get it onto a shelf) is down to how much I'm willing to cut my royalties by in order to get it into a store where it may actually be found by customers and sell more copies. I think this highlights that the most realistic option if any at all, remains as John suggests: personally arranging sale or return to just that local store and cutting out the middle man.  

    It is however, on both Blackwell's and Bertram's, missing the cover image and some metadata. I'm trying to find the source that they would have got their data from so that I can have it updated - I think this is likely to be Nielsen? Please correct me if you know differently, e.g. cover images can take longer to come through on listings?

    I never even thought to go down the conventional publishing route as I didn't write the book with the intention of selling it - just to read to my children before bed! But since people began asking for copies I decided to put it out there. Now considering also submitting it to a literary agent to see whether I can retrospectively get a better deal and get it into the wider market... Don't know if you can even do that?! I just know that when it was set up and I was putting in the publisher data it said "lulu claims no rights to your work and you're welcome to get it printed anywhere" or something to that effect. After the summer holidays I'd like to get started on my next book, maybe the better thing to do would be to submit that one to a literary agent and if someone likes it then discuss also converting the current book into a conventional arrangement?

    Sorry for yet another brain dump!
  • Hi VictoriaH,

    It can take longer for some retailers to update their listings with the cover image, preview, etc.

    I would recommend to reach out to our Support team if the information is not available after the 6-8 weeks have passed since it was submitted.

    You own the rights completely to your work. If you wish to shop the book around with literary agents, you are more then welcome to do so!
  • If I were you, I'd go right ahead; put a few packs together and submit, either to agents, or directly to publishers. There is, however, in relation to some publishers but not all (the industry at large is gradually getting 'with it') a possible issue. It's called, quite simply, 'First Publishing Rights'; some publishers, maybe even agents as well, who are holding out against changes within the industry, will turn you down flat as they would not be the first ones to publish the work. Thankfully though, more and more are disregarding this and will simply weigh up whether they think the book would do well for them.

    On the Bertram's and Blackwell's side of things. I am not sure if this is part of what you have been working on independently, or whether it's simply to do with the Lulu distribution package having been applied. I think Lulu books with this do get listed there anyway, and the book can be procured via wholesalers; trouble is, most author/publishers I know never see their book procured in this manner. Maybe what you have done above and beyond the call of duty, as it were, may make that happen for you. I hope so.

    Onwards and upwards!
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