Think Outside the Bookstore

This post by Heidi M. Thomas originally appeared on The Blood Red Pencil on 6/23/14.

When my first book, Cowgirl Dreams, was published, I was shocked and surprised to learn that you don’t necessarily sell books in bookstores. That just doesn’t seem logical, does it?

Well, it does, if you think about it.  Bookstores shelve thousands of books.  Customers have their favorite well-known authors and usually they go in specifically to purchase that particular author.  Some may browse and run across your book and be intrigued enough to buy it, but unless your name is John Grisham or Danielle Steele or Nora Roberts, don’t count on it.

Even when I put on a reading and PowerPoint presentation one time at a local independent bookstore, I had an audience of about twenty people, but I sold two only books.

Seems daunting, doesn’t it?  Where do you sell books, if not in bookstores?

Since my novels are based on my grandmother who rode bucking stock in rodeos, I look for any store or event where people might be interested in rodeo, horses, ranch life, and cowgirls. My very first signing was at a local Farmers Co-op store, where they sell feed, farm supplies, and some gift items. It was around Christmastime, they featured a “customer appreciation day,” and Santa was there.  I sold about 20 books in three or four hours.


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