Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Catalogs from Indie Bookstores: Is Your Book a Fit?

This little notice is from an upcoming Sharing with Writers newsletter. It will be in the regular "Opportunities" section. Most of the great tips in that letter don't get included in this blog (and many blog posts don't get included in the newsletter!) So, if you want to subscribe, send me an e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subjectline.

Your Book Needs To Be Seen in an Indie Holiday Catalog 
An adorable bookstore in my community called Once Upon a Time puts out a holiday season catalog each year. That is a very expensive thing to do, especially for a small indie. But they have a catalog secret (which I explain in its entirety The Frugal Book Promoter ( But here’s part of it: Once Upon a Time doesn’t put that catalog out all by itself.

Once Upon a Time (and other indies like it) has help from an organization that produces catalogs for Southern California bookstores. In their case the secret  is the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. This particular catalog relies on suggestions from their independent bookstores to ascertain what titles will go into the catalog, a very good reason for authors to stay connected to their favorite indie.

There are sure to be similar organizations who have similar services for bookstores in other parts of the country. But here’s the other secret. If you have a book published YOU don’t have to live in that area. They choose what they deem the best of the best. Perhaps you could ask to be put on Once Upon A Time’s mailing list. Call them at 818 248 9668. If they are kind enough to send you a copy, buy a book from them. (It’s Karma!)

And check for other Independent Booksellers Associations throughout the US. Ask how you apply. Get their application dates and deadlines installed on your calendar with an alert to get it done. Your book may be especially suitable for one of them but if your book is mainstream, it may be a fit for all of them.

If application is difficult, think “back door” (another concept explained for getting reviews in The Frugal Book Promoter). Notice that some of these regional organizations have contests. If your book wins one of them, you are probably a shoo-in to be considered for inclusion in their catalog.

Your book may not get selected but, hey, it may have a shot. My mother used to say, "You never know if you could have won if you don't try."

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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