Saturday, May 10, 2008

Direct Marketing to Independent Bookstores

Direct Marketing to Independent Bookstores
Theresa Chaze

Active book promotion and marketing is important to every book's success, especially when it comes to the beginning writer. Contacting independent bookstores is a direct marketing method that is not only cost effective but a successful way for the authors to bring their work to the attention of buyers. With the technological advancements of email, fax and unlimited long distance, it is easier and cheaper than ever before for authors to promote their work to brick and mortar stores.

In the past, authors used direct mailings and industry advertisements to gain the attention of independent bookstore owners. It was a costly and slow process. Not only was it expensive to print full color flyers, but the increasing postage rates made snail mail direct marketing cost prohibitive. Placing ad in trade magazines is effective only if the ad is well placed and designed. Yet even then, the message would only reach those stores that subscribed to the magazine or service.

The internet has opened the door to direct marketing to bookstores by making it cheaper, easier and quicker. Most stores have websites, which contain their contact information as well as accurate descriptions of the books they sell. It is an easy way for the author to reach their target audience by approaching only the stores who carry their genre. By searching the net, an author can find stores by state or specialty. However, compiling list of bookstores can be very time consuming and frustrating. There is no master site that lists bookstores. Instead, the search must be done by location or genre.

If an author is wise, she or he will create a list of the bookstores as they are contacted, not only to check back with them but for future use. However, there are short cuts that an author can take. There are sites that do sell lists of bookstores; however, they are very expensive and have been assembled by non writers. Valkyrie Publishing is offering the list it uses to promote their books. This list has contact information for over 2000 independent bookstores. Most of them have not only the contact information, but also details about the store itself. Below are examples of what the list contains.

Auburn University Bookstore
1360 Haley Center, Auburn, AL 36849
Phone: (334)844-1365
Fax: (334)844-1697
Type of Books Sold: Primarily New
Description: Auburn University Bookstore

Alabama Booksmith
2626 19th Place South, Birmingham, AL 35209
Phone: (205)870-4242
Fax: (205)870-4302
Type of Books Sold: Primarily New

Malcolm's Reading Room
404 17th Street, Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205)563-4846
Fax: (205)802-2240

Page & Palette Inc.
32 South Section Street, Fairhope, AL 36532
Phone: (251)928-5295
Fax: (251)928-2550
Type of Books Sold: Primarily New
Description: For over 30 years we have been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life on the Eastern Shore.

Little Professor Book Center
2717 18th Street South, Homewood, AL 35209
Phone: (205)870-7461
Fax: (205)879-7563
Type of Books Sold: Primarily New
Accepts Book Sense Gift Cards
Description: Besides having an impressive assortment of books, we also have a wonderfully delicious cafe and one of the largest selections of magazines in Birmingham!

The stores are organized by state with additional listings for new age and fantasy stores. The list costs $20.00 payable through paypal only. It is found at

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