In 2020, “The Sneaky Mouse” and “Baby Bunny and the Balloon” were in at least one bookstore in each New England state, totaling over twenty locations. This number may have been significantly larger, but with Covid looming, getting books into shops was difficult due to changing policies, lowered consumerism and general uncertainty.
Most of these connections were made through a series of cold calls and email exchanges followed by a road trip which allowed introduction to some amazing people and places.
When approaching bookstores, remember to be courteous.
Being persistent may be necessary in the busy world of books but remember to gracefully accept the answer when it’s a “no.” Consider contacting eateries, gift shops or other venues that fit the subject of the book (i.e. a book about fish may sell in an aquarium or at a seaside boutique.) Not all locations will be a good fit for a book and sometimes this is discovered after a book has been accepted. Feel free to make necessary changes if this is the case.
If a book is accepted, be sure to keep an accurate inventory of these books and their locale so that when it is time for the books to be returned accurate copies and/or compensation is received. Having an established website or social media presence can help showcase a book and let people know where it is available for purchase. Tagging can help gain an audience and alert followers to any upcoming signings, craft shows or public readings.
Join author’s associations, book clubs, and other groups related to your storytelling. This helps with networking, gaining access to events, learning more about your craft and helping others on their journey. Continue to look for resources online, some of which have great marketing tips.
Most importantly, never give up!