Are Authors Sabotaging Themselves?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dwan Abrams signs a fan's copy of Married Strangers at Waldenbooks, Greensboro, NC

Local authors, it seems, sometimes expect things of their local bookstore. They expect us to carry their books, to feature their books on a variety of applicable displays and to host events for them. In turn for this I get to carry their books, often treasures that thrill me to put in the hands of my customers; I get to design displays with their books in the hopes that more people will buy their books, and lastly, I have the pleasure of having a book release party for them or other celebration of their book. When all of this works well, it's an exchange that everyone understands.

But then I go to the author's website to fact check something for a press release and I see a "Buy This Book" link and it goes right to Amazon.com and often only Amazon.com. Ouch. Straight to the place that seemingly makes it easier to buy the book. Straight to our biggest, most tenacious competitor that has let people believe that bricks and mortar stores are becoming a thing of the past.
- an excerpt from Josie Levitt's Publisher's Weekly Blog Post Authors and Amazon

I spend a great deal of my work time assisting bookstores with instore and special events. Bookstores need events to organically build foot traffic not just through the store to the mall, but to retain the foot traffic and convert some of those walkers to book buyers.

I've lost count of how many times I cringe when I just gave a bookstore manager or community events coordinator a client's website, knowing that outside of the site they are linking to Amazon. Bookstores don't care what store you point your sales traffic to. They are excited that you, the author supports them as much as they support you.

Moreover, it is a hard sell to convince a bookstore event planner who doesn't know your client that you client will drive book buyers into the store when it is clearly evident that your author is driving online sales.

5 comments:

Ty said...

That's something to think about. I always recommend linking to Amazon or BN.com because potential readers are all over.

Do you feel authors should try to sell the book themselves through their website or via a local bookstore that does online sales?

Dvineexpressions Book Club said...

Dee,

This is great food for thought! There are so many important details to consider--I thank you and will pass it on.

Rev. Deb

Dvineexpressions Book Club said...

Dee,

This is great food for thought! There are so many important details to consider--I thank you and will pass it on.

Rev. Deb

Dee S. said...

Thanks for commenting, Ty.

I think every author should handpick an independent bookstore (that supports them) and ad that to their site. Mocha Readers is a mobile bookseller, that discounts bookclubs and there top ten books purchased for the month goes to the Essence Magazine Best pot.

Many of these bookstore work out special discounting for those authors that are just as good as Amazon.

Moreover, you support the author better because Amazon sales are considered discount books, which is a lower royalty fee for the author.

Dee S. said...

Thanks, Deborah

 
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