5 Tips for Talking With Book Buyers

In our last posts in our “How to Get Your Book Into Bookstores” mini-series, we provided you with 5 tips for contacting bookstores and  5 tips for creating a professional book. Now that you have followed these tips and you have a professional product and a list of bookstores and their corresponding book buyers, it’s time to take your book into stores and talk to the respective individuals.

By taking your book into stores, you are creating a positive impression in the mind of the store’s book buyer, which could lead to the store stocking your book. This also demonstrates that you are a professional author and you have put a lot of thought into your book and the stores you have chosen to visit.

Before you step into the store, you should consider the following 5 tips for visiting bookstores:

1) Take an Advance Reading Copy (ARC)

Before visiting your selected bookstores, if it’s financially possible, try to have a few ARCs printed so you can give these to the store’s book buyer. By giving them an ARC, you are providing them with an exclusive opportunity to read and get excited about your book. Also, should they keep your book on their desk, they are less likely to forget about you as is often the case with emails and phone calls.

2) Take a Press Release

Book buyers do not have time to read every book they are given or purchase for their store. By including a press release with your ARC, you’re giving the book buyer a quick overview of your book and informing them why your book is interesting. The more noteworthy your book is, the more likely the store is to stock it.

3) Take a Sell Sheet

A sell sheet is a concise, one-page document that is more like a flier or brochure than a press release. It provides all the details about your book on one piece of paper. Use it to sell or promote your book to the store’s book buyer. You will want to include details such as: ordering information, ISBN, price, book description, genre(s), testimonials, etc.

4) Talk to the Book Buyer

Yes, this may seem like an obvious tip, but it can be easily overlooked if it’s a larger bookstore with multiple staff working. Upon your arrival to the bookstore, ask for the book buyer by name, so you can personally hand your ARC, press release, and sell sheet to them. If there’s time, try and strike up a conversation, as this can leave a lasting impression.

5) Offer to Promote the Store on Social Media

If you can speak with the book buyer, offer to promote the bookstore on social media should they decide to carry your book. Many bookstores appreciate the exposure, as it can lead to additional traffic in their stores. By offering to promote the store, the buyer is much more likely to consider your book.

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Do you have any tips for talking with book buyers?