September 14, 2015
ASK BOOK DISTRIBUTORS TO CARRY YOUR BOOK
(Marketing and Promotion Number Nine)
Before I took a social networking class to learn how to start and manage blog sites and “connect” to promote my books, I spent little time online trying to market my books. The reasons were two-fold: 1. My royalty publishing companies did most of the work, which included posting my books on Amazon and getting the books reviewed. 2. A few years ago, I had slower-than-a-snail-in-a-puddle-of-molasses dial up, totally frustrating to try to do much of anything online.
But one thing I did that proved to be very successful was contact Choice Books, the Christian book distributor responsible for placing Christian books in all Wal-Marts, hospital gift shops, truck stops, and other similar places of business in much of the northeastern USA.
When my first two Keystone Stables books were released, I naively went to our local Wal-Mart and asked to speak to the manager. Of course, I had this big spiel ready to try to convince him to place my books on his shelf. What I was expecting was for him to tell me that I had to contact the store’s headquarters in Arkansas. Remember, I said I was naïve (what an understatement)!
He told me Wal-Mart is not responsible for placing any books on their shelves. That decision is made by distributors, the Christian books done by Choice Books, at least in Northeastern USA. Okay, I got the hint and left red-faced.
I went home, went to Choice Books website, and emailed the company, telling them about my books.
Well, miracle of miracles, shortly thereafter, I started to see my books on the shelves of Wal-Marts and gift shops up and down the northeast coast. How did I know the books were in more than our local Wal-Marts? Friends and relatives were telling me they saw them on the shelves.
Wal-Mart carried my books for a little over a year, which thrilled me and helped make the first one a best seller. Every time I went to any Wal-Mart anywhere, I hunted out my books, autographed them, and placed an “AUTOGRAPHED COPY” sticker on the front of each one.
Ask me if that was exciting. You bet cha!
Wondering about the possibility of getting my books in other super stores in the area, I did some research and found that in K-Mart and other similar stores in other parts of the country, a company named Anderson does the Christian book distribution. I also contacted that distributor but had no response of any kind. They never returned my email, snail mail letter, or phone call.
But I am pleased to say that one email to Choice Books helped get my books a place on some frequently visited shelves for over a year. AND…a few months ago, I scheduled a book signing at a Wal-Mart. To do that, I had to ask Choice Books again to contact the publisher, Zondervan (now owned by Harper and Collins), to supply the books, which both entities graciously did.
The book signing at Wal-Mart was one of the most profitable I’ve ever had. I sold about 70 books in four hours. The manager at Wal-Mart agreed to place the left-over books on his book shelves and contact Choice Books to start stocking them in the store again.
I made a point to call Choice Books and let them know how successful the book signing went. Pleased with the results, the contact person made a commitment to start placing the Keystone Stables books on some store shelves again. Shortly thereafter, I spotted two of my books on a Choice Books display in a little country store, and a few friends told me they had seen my books in businesses in several different towns in central PA.
Ask me how excited I am…again!
(More shameless promotion)
Southern Belle’s Special Gift
When a mare dies and gives birth to a helpless foal, Skye and another foster kid, Tanya Bell,
learn what responsibility is really all about.
Marsha Hubler Best-selling Author of the Keystone Stables books (Web) www.marshahubler.com
(Susq. Valley Writers Luncheon Information) www.susquehannavalleywritersworkshop.wordpress.com
(Horse Facts Blog) www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com