Monday, May 19, 2008

Bookstores and Authors

We have a treasure of a bookstore in Wichita, Watermark Books, over in the Lincoln Heights plaza at the corner of Oliver and Douglas. And another new treat in El Dorado, the used bookstore "The Book Grinder" at Central and Haverhill.

My email today contained these thoughts from Shelf Awareness:

In a Twin Cities Daily Planet piece headlined, "So, you wrote a book--now what?" veteran bookseller and publisher David Unowsky offered writers "a short primer on placing your book for sale in an independent bookstore and, after that, possibly scheduling an author event to spread the word to readers."

According to Unowsky, "The first thing to understand is this: bookstores are not public service organizations. They're in business to make a profit and, these days, they are having great trouble achieving that goal. . . . Now more than ever, bookstores are making decisions about what books they carry based on what they think readers will buy."

His advice, detailed and straightforward, included often overlooked subtleties like, "pick a different spot in the store to chat than where event took place so the bookstore staff can reassemble for the rest of the day's business. Don't forget to thank the audience. And thank the bookstore and staffpeople who set up the chairs and sold your books."


We have some authors on campus, and my husband's first book, Finding the Story, was published by a small press this year, so I've sent him this article. It seems like a lot of work, but so is raising a child, and if your book is your baby, I can see it would be helpful to have this advice.

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