bookshops

The Magical Secrets of Book Ordering (via @bellabookgirl)

The lovely BellaBookGirl from TLCBooks wrote a cool blog post describing her buying decisions when getting in new stock for her independent book store.

Each month I literally go through hundreds of books from many publishers and decide what to order for the upcoming months. Did you catch that? Hundreds of books. And on big months, I would say thousands when you look at October lists (pre-Christmas) and dealing with over 20 publishers. Can you imagine, as a bibliophile, how you have to reign in the urge to buy it all? I seriously feel like cackling “mine, mine, mine, they will all be mine!” but I refrain and act professionally when all I want to be is a kid in a candy store.

There are some really interesting bits of information in here, from both a publishing and writing perspective. I've always thought covers were super important to draw in the curious eye, and Bella makes a good point:

Many people won’t give a book as much of a chance if the cover doesn’t reflect what is described through the blurb on the back. The cover will attract the wrong people who will read the blurb and feel a disconnection with the book already. Game over.

And of course there are lots of other interesting points, as well as a list of things that do not influence her buying decision, such as promises of refunds and/or free steak knives.

At Literarium we want to support independent bookstores in this brave new world of publishing, and we have a few ideas to help connect writers to their local bookstores. These kind of insights into what convinces a bookseller to stock your book are valuable to anyone wanting their books on the very limited shelf space available.

Read the rest here: http://tlcbooks.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/the-magical-secrets-of-book-ordering/

The Indie bookseller vs The Amazon Imprint

Hm, I don't entirely agree with this, but I'm not an independent bookshop and can only view it from a writer/reader perspective. Basically the Seattle Mystery Bookshop has posted a polite series of emails they had with a writer being published through Amazon's new publishing venture. The writer asks for a stocking/signing opportunity and is politely rebuffed.

It's an interesting insight into the shifting relationships between traditional publisher/self publisher/self-promoter/book seller. As the author says:

I know your mind is set, and I do not expect my email to change it. But I do want you to know that my experience with Amazon as an author has been second to none. They are incredibly supportive and responsive and beyond author-friendly. They flew me to NY for a book signing at BEA, something unheard of for a first-time author in my genre. And the list goes on.

Although book sellers are affected directly by the market strength of Amazon, Amazon does offer a radically different publishing relationship for writers. So is the bookselling industry shooting themselves in the foot by rejecting work from writers who want better publishing terms? It's not as if a boycott has any practical effect, it is purely an ethical position.

It's a worthwhile read:  http://seattlemysteryblog.typepad.com/seattle_mystery/2011/06/cant-shake-the-devils-hand-and-say-youre-only-kidding.html