Independent bookstores are great places to get your book seen, and indie bookstore owners love to support local authors. If you’ve got your book on the shelf of your local indie bookseller, well done. But don't stop there. Here are some suggestions on other places you can sell your book that will expand your reach.
1. Coffee shops.
Books and coffee go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Bacon and eggs. Spaghetti and meatballs. (Great, now I’m hungry). Anyway, if you take a tour of coffee shops in your area, you may spot a book display or two. If so, have a talk with the owner and ask if they’d be interested in carrying your book. Bear in mind that you’ll have more luck with independently owned coffee houses. Chain stores like Starbucks have little freedom to stock products that aren’t approved by corporate.
2. Farmers markets.
Vegetables aren’t the only things people buy and sell at farmers markets. Many local artisans make a killing selling their wares at events like these, and authors are no exception. If space rental fees are too high, or if you want to attract more attention by having a bigger display, consider getting together with a few other writers and sharing a booth.
3. Gift shops.
What kind of gift shops do you have in your area? If you don’t know, find out. You could be missing out on a great opportunity to make your book available to shoppers looking to spend a few dollars. Think outside the box and approach gift shops in places like hospitals or airports where there is never any shortage of people looking for something to help pass the time while they wait. Your book could be that something.
4. Art galleries.
Never assume that an art gallery is too hoity-toity to carry books—but do your homework before you talk to a gallery owner. If they already carry a small selection of books, make sure your genre matches that of the titles on display. At very least, make sure the style and content of your book matches the gallery’s aesthetic. A book about a zombie apocalypse probably wouldn’t work as well as an art-related book, for example, but if the gallery specializes in experimental artwork, your zombie tome may just fit.
5. Metaphysical stores and head shops.
Metaphysical stores don’t just sell crystals, and not all head shops focus solely on cannabis culture. Many also sell books. Just make sure you’re not pitching to the wrong audience by bringing them a cowboy romance novel. On the other hand, if you’ve authored a book on metaphysics or if you’ve written a non-fiction book about a famous counterculture hero, your chances are much better.
Up next, here are 5 More Alternatives to Selling Your Book in a Bookstore.