Getting Your Book into Bookstores

Hey, hey. Your favorite book promoter here with this week’s installment on how publishing a book is like having a baby.Getting Your Book into Bookstores

Wanting the Best for Your Book

Every parent wants the best for their child and that list starts with a good education. If the little angel develops a decent knowledge base and learns how to think, he or she stands a much better shot at capitalizing on life’s opportunities.

That same hope for realized potential also exists in the book industry. Except, instead of parents looking for colleges to get their children into, authors look for bookstores to get their books into. Yes, technology is providing many alternative book-selling venues. But bookstores are still selling quite a few themselves, and both play a big role in determining the weekly bestseller lists.

Explaining the Realities of a Cruel (Book) World

The problem is, just as there are only so many seats in a lecture hall, there is only so much space on a bookstore shelf. Let’s say the average book superstore has 100,000 titles on hand. And let’s also say 75% of the average book superstore’s sales come from ‘back list’ titles – previous bestsellers and classics that continue to sell year after year. That leaves room for approximately 25,000 new titles each year. Subtract that from the 292,000 books published in 2006 and it doesn’t take a junior Einstein to figure out that leaves a lot of books without a shelf to sit on.

Preparing Your Book for the Future

Of course, both colleges and bookstores have demanding lists of acceptance criteria. College admissions directors want to see high entrance test scores, a good high school GPA, an impressive class rank, and some extracurricular involvement. Meanwhile, bookstore buyers want to see past book sales, a successful publisher on board, encouraging ‘similar-book’ sales, and a solid marketing plan. Without these things, your book doesn’t stand a chance of getting in.

Being a Role Model for Your Book

Good parents lead by example in hopes their children will pick up on good values and use them to make life easier on themselves. As they rise to the challenge of each new day, they encourage the little ones with sound advice like, “Make lots of friends wherever you go.” “Be a leader among your peers.” “Work hard.” “Have a plan.”

Make friends …be a leader …work hard …have a plan. Is it me or does that sound a lot like the list of things authors need to do to give their little binders of joy the opportunity to realize their full potential?

Questions about books and babies may be directed to Michael R. Drew at the Austin, Texas, headquarters of Promote A Book: 512-858-0040. You can also contact Michael via email at

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One Response to “Getting Your Book into Bookstores”

  1. Nocat May 14, 2008 at 2:55 am #

    Once your book is printed , selling it is sooo important, the folks at Brio's commercial printing blog have a post with a list of good pointers to get your book into Barnes & Noble Bookstore. I recommend you check it out, it is worth you time.

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