where the writers are
On Bookstores--and Barnes and Noble Availability


If you strive to get a book published, getting published is a huge enough challenge, but perhaps an even bigger hurdle is getting your books into bookstores. Amazon and other online venues are happy to carry and sell your book, but online bookselling is only 21% of the market. If you want your book to sell more, get it into stores.

Getting your books in stores also helps in being reviewed, which in turn drives people to stores. As Pat Walsh, author of  78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might, said at a recent panel at USC last month, "Self-publishing will not bring you literary success. Books are still a brick-and-mortar industry. That is, books are still mostly sold out of stores. There are too many books, so why should a book reviewer review a book not in a bookstore?" (To read more of what was said, click here.)  

How do you get your book into stores? Being with a large publisher, which has a large salesforce, can be key. My books are with a small publisher, so I look for ways to be public. It's about marketing and recognition. Every published writer I know strives to get recognition in order to get and keep books in stores. The fact that my book Months and Seasons is on the longlist for the prestigious Frank O'Connor Award helps (see previous blog).

Hence, I'm ecstatic that my new book, The Brightest Moon of the Century, is available in such independent bookstores in Los Angeles as Vroman's, Skylight, and Booksoup, the Bookcase in Wayzata, Minnesota, as well as being in Barnes and Noble.

So far, Barnes and Noble is trying it out mostly in stores in Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul. If  you're in those cities, you can find the nearest location to you by clicking here. Change the zipcode entry to match yours.

By the way, I see The Brightest Moon of the Century was on the bestseller list at Vroman's the week the book was published. Click here to see (look under "Paperback fiction."--thank you, Vroman's!). If you haven't read the novel, you might like it. :)