Finding those elusive markets for local interest books

I thought I’d cracked it when my local bookshop, Bookworms in Reigate, agreed to stock my book, “A Talent for Humanity – the life and work of Lady Henry Somerset”.Poster in window, 10 copies sold within a week and another 10 ordered … looking good, I thought.
But sadly life is tough for small independent bookshops & within a week of taking the 2nd batch of 10, the closing down notices went up. Honestly, it wasn’t my fault. In fact I suspect the interest in my book (helped by excellent publicity in the local press) kept the place open for an extra few days.
There was no other bookshop in town except Sussex Stationers, and although the local manager seemed interested, the buyer wasn’t.

Feeling a bit like one of the candidates on The Apprentice, desperate to make a sale, I touted my book round a few other local shops and was delighted when 1st Stop Stationers, in Reigate High Street, agreed to take 5 copies on a sale or return basis. They have done me proud, with the book centre stage in the window, complete with the poster I supplied.

Reading that our nearest Waterstones (in neighbouring Redhill) was also now willing to promote local authors, I took my book in and was met with a very positive response. Copies now sit in the middle of their display of local interest books, complete with favourable review written by one of the staff team. It’s a great feeling to see it there.

So be brave – if you don’t ask, you won’t get anyone to sell your book.

About rosblack

I am a freelance writer & author of 4 social history books, featuring female social reformers of the late 19th and early 20th century. In a previous life I managed a housing charity. I also give talks.
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