Hand selling. Word of mouth. These are worth their weight in gold in the publishing business. And it's just one of weapons the independents wield with brilliant success. In spite of discouraging numbers of books being sold in outlets other than bookstores, such as discount stores and warehouse stores, as well as the proliferation of big chains, the independents are still a force to be reckoned with. (And don't you forget it!) Having them on your side is golden, and it’s important to recognize exactly what a passionate committed group of bookselling professionals can do when they put their minds to it.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the book WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. But what you might not have heard of is the tremendous role the independent booksellers played in making this book the enormous success it was. Even better, the American Booksellers Association put together a case study of how this book came to market, and the series of steps that led to it’s phenomenal success.
It’s worth taking a look, for a whole host of reasons. Not the least of which is to see how the clout of the independents can propel a book straight to the top .