Dean Wesley Smith has been spoiling his readers lately. First he blogs each day that he writes a novel in 10 days, showing us newbies that, yes, it can be done and, actually, it's not such a big deal.
Now he's spreading the word about how indie authors can get their books into bookstores. Yep, that's right, bookstores.
Bookstores Are Ordering Indie Published Books
If some of you are wondering why this is a big deal, not being able to sell one's work in bookstores was the single biggest difference between an indie author and a traditionally published one. (It's not entirely true that indie authors couldn't sell their work in bookstores, but it was a lot harder for indies to do than for traditional authors.) Dean writes:
[I]f you buy the $10 ISBN that puts your company name on the book in CreateSpace and put it into the extended distribution program, it will appear on the listings of Ingrams, B&T, and other distributors right beside a Simon & Schuster book or a Bantam book.Dean promises that ...
Over some near-future posts (and in workshops both online and here at the coast this next year) Kris and I will start working to train writers how to get books effectively to the attention of bookstores so they can order them.Read more at Dean Wesley Smith's blog: The New World of Publishing: Books into Stores.
Kris Rusch talks about this same shift, this sea change, in her most recent blog post: The Business Rusch: Shifting Sands. She writes:
What has changed is this: Bookstores now have access to all published print books, whether they come from Createspace or from a big traditional publisher. Bookstores didn’t have access to all published print books before.What follows is a fascinating discussion about why the book industry allows returns and how returns stigmatized indie writers. It's a wonderful read, highly recommended.
There are some caveats, of course. The first caveat is this: The indie writer must put her book into Createspace’s extended distribution program. (Lightning Source has something similar, but I’m not as familiar with it.) The second caveat is this: the bookstore must have a preferred account through its primary distributor.
If both of those things are in place—the writer has her print-on-demand book in an extended distribution program through the POD company, and the bookstore has a good relationship with its primary distributor, then any bookstore can find that book with no help from the writer at all.
Got that? The writer has to do nothing, and still her book will end up in the bookstore’s system.
Since we're talking about visibility, if you haven't already, check out David Gaughran's new book, Let's Get Visible: How to get noticed and sell more books.
The world of publishing is changing quickly, but not for the worse, not if a writer is willing to explore all the options.
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Photo credit: "London Calling #10" by Thomas Leuthard under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.