Years ago when my mom and I wrote the children’s book, “Shopping at the Ani-Mall,” Windswept House (now defunct) published our book. Of course we were thrilled, and Mom set up several appointments at bookstores. All of them bought our books, and we had book signings and readings in New Hampshire and Maine. All I did was to sign my name to those who bought our books.
These days, I am contacting bookstores for my own children’s book, “Lulu’s Book of Children’s Stories.” There are three stories and three poems in it; if I do say so myself, it’s a great book for kids. As of now, the book is in some local book stores.
Now, I am not the business woman my mother was, but these days I find that I am sort of channeling her business sense. My wonderful publishers, Steve and Marilynn Carter, run MAAT Publishing, and they have been extremely helpful in working with several bookstores in New Hampshire and Maine. They gave me a list of book stores that they have worked with before, and I have called some of them regarding my book.
Now, here’s the thing: I found that early on, that the best way of contacting book stores is to actually go to the store and talk with the owner. Bookstores are in business to sell books, so it isn’t a problem to simply call, introduce them to the book, and then ask if they would like to have some copies. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Actually, once you get over the worry that 1: the bookstore owner may spit on you and your book, 2: that the owner may already have so many children’s books that he/she are up to their ears in them, 3: that no one will like your book, and 4: that kids may think that your book stinks; once all that crap is out of your head, you might be pleasantly surprised at how relatively easy it is to get your book out there.
Once you just forge ahead, come what may—you may be surprised that 1) the bookstore owner will like the book, 2) that the bookstore owner will put them in a good spot where people can see them, and 3) best of all, that kids will love your book.
As my wonderful mother-in-law used to say about taking chances: “it couldn’t hurt.”