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How do bookstores find out about self-published titles?

For the past few months, Books+Publishing has been asking Australian book buyers—the people responsible for selecting which books are stocked on a bookstore’s shelves—how they find out about new books from self-published authors, as part of its ‘book buyer spotlight’ series.

So far, representatives from Big W, Readings, WHSmith, Harry Hartog and Berkelouw Books, and Dymocks have shared their behind-the-scenes insight:

Meredith Drake, Big W: ‘I get enquiries direct from small publishers and self-published authors, and many of the smaller publishers keep me up to date by email. It doesn’t matter where the book comes from as long as it answers a customer need.’

Angela Crocombe, Readings: ‘Self-published authors get in touch with us via our website or come into the store and if we think we can sell their book we take it on. We are just in the middle of a new initiative at the kids shop of having two months of promoting self-published authors by giving them a display in store and a feature window. It’s been quite successful.’

Ruth Ellis, WHSmith: ‘Most of the big publishing houses do a great job at giving their small agencies a balanced representation in our meetings, which is crucial to ensuring we have a diverse and interesting range of books for our customers. However, there are many smaller publishers and self-published authors who aren’t attached to a publishing house or distributor with a sales force. Usually I don’t find out about those books unless the author or publisher contacts me directly.’

Maxine Ryan, Harry Hartog and Berkelouw Books: ‘Self-published authors leave a copy of their book, if they have it already, with their contact details, and then a decision to stock is made.’

Imogen Neely, Dymocks: ‘We have communication from lots of wonderful self-published authors. Because we are a network of franchised stores, a lot of the time Dymocks stores will support local authors and will work directly with self-published authors to meet local demand. We also see smaller publishers a couple of times a year, so they highlight their big releases.’

To follow the ‘book buyer spotlight’ series, subscribe to Books+Publishing here.

(Pictured: Angela Crocombe)


Category: Newsletter features