Can I Tell You a Secret?

When STRIPPED released, the first thing I did after I got off work was hit the bookstore…though not for the reason you might think.  I had to return a laptop power cord to my ex-manager and that was the best place to meet.  Signing stock didn’t occur to me until after I was about ten minutes into the store and browsing the aisles wishing I had a book to sign.  Yes, it was release day and yes, I was suffering from brain fog.  *sigh*

At first, I didn’t bother looking for my book.  Let’s face it.  Unless you’re published by a NY publisher, don’t be surprised if your book isn’t on the shelf.  That’s just a sad, annoying fact of the writing world.  Nevertheless, I checked the shelves just in case.  It wasn’t there and not a surprise.  So, I went to the book seller at the information desk and asked if they had any stock that I could sign just to be on the safe side.  He didn’t, but was very enthusiastic about ordering my book so I could at a later date.

But here’s a secret.  As much as I would love for my mother to see my book on the shelf, I’m glad I didn’t bring her with me to see that it wasn’t there.  She’d get upset, and then I’d have to explain why it wasn’t on the shelf, and then she’d only stay upset, which would upset me more because she’d inadvertently remind me that I had no control over which stores stocked my book or–even worse–where they shelved it.  It’s a vicious cycle that only makes me feel even more inadequate, like a flower hanging on through in the midst of hurricane-force winds.

I’ve learned a long time ago that when it comes to small pubs that life isn’t the gold and honey that unpubbed authors think it is.  As an author, I can do everything in my power to make sure people know about my book: have a website, where to purchase it, and blog about it.  But that’s all.  In the end, it’s up to the big chains to decide if they want to stock it.  And as I’ve found out, even with some NY pubbed authors, it’s not necessarily a guarantee that their books will get stocked.  Still, their chances are much better than mine, even when their shipping has been delayed.  😦

Anything tick you off about publishing lately?


13 thoughts on “Can I Tell You a Secret?

  1. Hugs, Marcia. I pretty much knew that. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t gone to an e-pub. Though I do have a sub with Carina now. If I do sell, I probably won’t get excited about the print book either, other than being happy to hold it in my hands. 🙂

    • Thanks, Edie.

      I think this is the reason why many people don’t do epubs and it’s perfectly understandable. But there’s something about when you hold that book in your hand and the high hopes that always seem to sneak in when you least expect it. That’s the hard part.

      Good luck with Carina, hon! And if you don’t get excited about it, then I’ll do it for you. 🙂

  2. Hey Marcia. I’d say you pretty much covered it. I did find that you have woo your local bookstores into stocking your books. I’d been to the local B&N on 76th Street and at the beginning they were very romance unfriendly. Well, I think I hit on the one salesperson who is romance friendly. So I’m cultivating her and trying to encourage her to make the romance section more desireable … no pun intended. 😆

    • Way to go, Liz! It’s hard finding that one bookseller who’ll get on your side and behind your book. Luckily, the few that I had spoken with seemed open to stocking STRIPPED. Wish me luck when I go back today to see if they have it yet. My hopes aren’t high, but it never hurts to be persistant…as you can attest so, girlfriend. 🙂

  3. “Anything tick you off about publishing lately?”

    Yeah, I went to the only book store in town and they didn’t have your book! I tried to woo them. I told them you were local and that it would be nice to be able to get your local authors at the local book store. They weren’t moved. (Sigh) Don’t worry, I’m still ordering your books:)

    • *sigh* I know how you feel, hon. Seriously, I do. At this rate, I’m thinking about giving away free copies on my blog. That’ll be easier than trying to get a bookstore to stock them.

      Hugs to you and thank, babe. 🙂

  4. Well… i’m new to the publishing industry, but my sister is a novelist (Lucy Blue– her books are awesome) and she can say with certainty that NY publishers are not always eager to promote books. Especially if its a new author. I’m reading this great book right now “Guerilla Marketing for Writers.” It gives lots of ideas on how to promote your books. Definitely worth checking out.

    • Hey Lexxx! 🙂

      Very true. These days, NY publishers are only willing to put in the time and effort if their authors have already done most of the hustling. Even then, that hustling needs to have positive results or they’re not moved/pressed to do anything more than put a book on the shelf.

      I’ve heard of Guerilla Marketing for Writers and have been meaning to get that book. Thanks for the tip. I need to put that one on my wish list.

  5. Yep it is frustrating. I’ve been known to have nice long chats with bookstore employees when I can’t find a book. Asked them what is there stocking procedures and so on. It was very enlightening. And sometimes they honestly don’t know about all books out there. There is just to many.

    One thing I know if a reader wants to read your book it doesn’t matter if they can’t get it in a brick and motor bookstore. They will find a way to get it. I just keep that faith that if a reader wants to read my work they will find it. That’s all you can do.

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