Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dear Reader* *a practical guide to helping sell a book

The Juliet Stories
Dear Reader,

Say you've read The Juliet Stories. Say you've liked it. Or even, like this reviewer, say you've loved it. You think others should read it too. And you can't wait to read the next book by this writer. Dear Reader, if this is you, please consider. There is much you can do to help. Small things. Practical things. Things that could make a huge difference in the life of this book.

Here are some ideas:

* Review and rate The Juliet Stories at the big online bookstores. You know the ones. (Visit here and here.) Positive reviews and ratings help move the book higher up in the rankings and bring it greater visability. (Negative reviews don't help; if these exist, rate the review itself as unhelpful.) As of this writing, The Juliet Stories is sitting #81 in the category "Short Stories" on a major bookseller's site. That's pretty awesome. Just imagine where it could go with your support.

* Ask for The Juliet Stories at your local bookstore. If they don't have it, tell the owner/manager/book-loving-employee why they must. Here's the thing. The big box retailers, Costco and Walmart, sell bucketloads of books, but my publisher can't afford to send my book there. Not yet. Not unless word-of-mouth spreads sales like wildfire. Big box retailers aren't really bookstores, and they treat books like any other piece of merchandise, expecting it to sell itself -- and within three weeks upon arriving or they return it. Big box stores tend to return lots of books to publishers, often damaged -- and in Canada, they do so without any cost to themselves; the publisher carries the burden of all unsold books (yes, it's crazy, but that's another story). Right now, it isn't practical to place The Juliet Stories in the very lucrative big box store market. So make sure your local independent has it. Or your mall's Coles. Or the Chapters on the outskirts of town.

* If The Juliet Stories is already at your local bookstore, hurray! Tell the owner/manager/book-loving-employee how happy you are to see the book, and how much you like/love it. Make sure the book's cover is visible, facing forward on the shelf.

* Buy the book. Sounds obvious, and you already have, right? It may surprise you how often this practical step is overlooked.

* Tell your friends about the book. Heck, tell strangers. Word-of-mouth does wonders.

* If you have a book club, suggest The Juliet Stories for an upcoming pick. If you live near me, ask me to visit your book club -- I'd love to, and I will. (And I promise not to cry, drink all of your wine, or answer in monosyllables.)

* If you have a blog, write about The Juliet Stories. Or interview me for your blog. If you're on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, post about The Juliet Stories. Tell people why they'd enjoy the book. "Like" The Juliet Stories' Facebook page.

Dear Reader, Virtually all of this holds true for any book you love. And virtually all writers are just like me: hoping their offering gets found and read. Spread the love.

One more thing, Dear Reader. I can't tell you how glad I am that you've found and read Juliet. Truly. Thank you.

8 comments:

  1. Dear Writer -- This is on my list of things to do already. Let us simply say for now that I stayed up far, far, far too late on Saturday night devouring your book. I thought to myself, "oh, I'm reading quickly" and then I looked at a clock and it was 1:30 am, but still I could not put it down. More on the blog later today...

    S

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  2. Wonderful, Susan! I'm so glad you liked it!

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  3. This is a terrific post. Sums up what I long to say to everyone who compliments me on my book. Might have to plagiarize this. Promise I'll link back if I do.

    Very much looking forward to TJS, by the way.

    Jamie Fitzpatrick

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  4. Thank you, Jamie. Plagiarize away! And thanks for linking back, too. I think even the most kind and thoughtful people often don't realize that writers need to sell books in order to make money.

    Hope you like TJS.

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  5. I hadn't thought of reviewing on Amazon because I never shop there, but I've done so. I hope the review makes sense. I always second guess what I write about a book but there are enough superlatives for people to know I liked it. :-)

    Some random thoughts (I haven't finished processing yet): The gaps were agonizing for me and yet completely acceptable in a short story collection the way they wouldn't be in a novel. I wanted to know what happened in between, although it wasn't difficult to come to conclusions. I love how the parents' stories were incomplete because they were told by Juliet.

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  6. Thank you for taking time to write a review on Amazon, Clare! And thank you for reading the book.

    That's interesting to me re novel vs short stories. It must just be the way I write. Those gaps made sense to me. I don't think I could have written it otherwise.

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    1. Thank you! Insert your book title here ...

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