We are often approached by people who have published their book and want us to stock it. I would say in the first instance - download this excellent guide.
Why are you writing?
We would always encourage you to write as it’s wonderful therapy, good for the soul, a great clarifier, and it helps critical thinking. We believe everyone should write, and often. But we’re not convinced that publishing is for everyone. Writing is hard, and the publishing world can be cruel. Before you take the plunge, stop and consider: Why are you writing? If it’s to make money, there are easier ways. If it’s to be heard, there are listening groups available. If it’s to leave something for your family, that’s a beautiful and personal thing - and it doesn’t deserve to be subjected to the criticism of a publisher or strangers.
Still want to publish?
Before you publish:
• Read. Read widely. Read books like yours and books that are different.
• Read Story by Robert McKee.
• Seek out feedback from lots of different readers - and listen to it.
• Join a writers’ group. They will help gauge if there’s a market for your book.
• Get a proper editor. Everyone makes mistakes, and the worst are the weaknesses we’re not aware of.
• Get active - on social media. Start conversations and interact with other authors. They need encouragement too and they may reciprocate.
• Go to author events.
• Find out about the bookshops you approach. Get to know who you might be aligning yourself with. If you are local then we would already expect to know you as a customer.
• Be nice to booksellers. Spell their names correctly. Get them on your side. Don't tell them how many copies are selling on Amazon. Really.
• Go on writing courses and learn the craft - treat it professionally.
So what can you do to maximise the chances of success?
Only a couple of self-published authors have sold successfully with us. Here’s how they did it: they personally, actively supported the bookshop. In fact, they enthusiastically promoted sales here and not via Amazon or themselves – creating promotion for the book and directed eager readers in our direction.
Did you know that...
190,000 books are published each year in the UK alone? And, at The Little Bookshop, we stock an average of 2,000 books. So we are considering hundreds of thousands of other titles competing for the very limited space on our bookshelves.
We are a community of book lovers who work together to share and spread a love of reading. We treat each other and our customers with respect. We likewise reserve the right to select the books we stock, and the people we work with.
It is sometimes the case that we can see value in a book, but we just can’t match it with our market. Please don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back from us. What works in some shops will not work for others and all bookshops must be selective with stock to best fit their customers. If you don’t hear back, we wish you the best with your writing career.
The Little Bookshop team x