Around May of 2018 I was able to start my own publishing company and I created my 1st book which is an adult coloring book. The book “24 Shades of Business” highlights the beauty of African American women who are entrepreneurs. The book was a number 1 New Release and it even hit a best seller list on Amazon. Although the book has currently sold well over 500 copies since launching on sites like Amazon and on bn.com, sometimes as an Indie Author without having a huge publishing company backing you it can be a challenge getting your book on the shelf so I hope my advice helps you on your journey to getting your book on the shelf! Feel free to check out my behind the scenes video for some inspiration!
- For starters, don’t be afraid to talk about your book! I can be pretty introverted at times so I started by creating blog posts like The Power of Coloring and building my subscriber list even before the book launched. When launch day came my subscribers were excited and ready to purchase which is what helped the book become a number 1 New Release! Then, my dad and Pastor drafted me (as only they can…lol) to speak at a women’s conference. So, the internet and public speaking quickly became my best friend in regard to “getting the word out”.
- Reach out to FB groups that have your target audience. Talk to the owners of the group and see if you can work out a deal with them to share your book in their group. You can even get creative and do a giveaway. One of the groups that I contacted had a really successful giveaway which gained lots of organic traffic and got lots of eyes on my book. If you don’t have a PR team behind you, like most of us self-published authors then YOU are your team and if no one knows about your book then no one will buy it.
- Be creative and different. There are so many people that have published a book and want to get their books in stores but what makes you stand out from those same people. How is your book different? What are you bringing to the market that little to no one else is bringing?
Getting your book into a retailer like Barnes & Noble can seem pretty scary and far-fetched, for some. Hear me very well! YOU ARE going to have some employees tell you, "Your book is print on demand; we can't order it." But that is not the truth. Keep trying. As long as your book has these 7 things in place your book can qualify to be stocked.
- Your book will need a purchased ISBN. An ISBN is a 13-digit number that specifically identifies your title.
- Your book will need a bar code. The bar code which incorporates your ISBN is what is used to allow the book to be scanned for purchasing in stores. The barcode should have the US retail price of the book printed on it.
- In most cases the book will require a spine which usually means that it will need to be at least 100 pages in order to have the book title listed on the spine.
- Your book should be available through a wholesaler. This will allow retail stores to put the book on automatic replenishment.
- Your book needs to be “returnable” and have the “standard retailer discount”.
- Your book should be priced competitively as price can be a determining factor when a customer is looking to buy.
- Your book needs to be different and should also have a marketing plan.
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