Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Power of the Independents

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 .

5 comments:

Shari said...

Indie booksellers rock!

TadMack said...

People who have read and loved the book you're looking for are AWESOME, and they're usually good for suggestions of three more you didn't know you needed, but are THRILLED you go to read. Go Indies!!

Anonymous said...

Robin, fascinating post! I read the case study-- very interesting, and full of hope. Not just for us as authors who would love for this to happen to us, but for the world market in general... the idea that one shopkeeper still has a voice. Love how the Big Boys got on board late in the game.

And, I just pulled Water for Elephants off my shelf and I'm going to read it NOW.

Your sister in crime,
Mary

liquidambar said...

True, and that's one reason we're celebrating them this month. But we keep hearing such dire reports of indies going out of business. So today, not only a cheer for all indies, but a special welcome to new indies, and customers of new indies!

Joelle said...

I have that book "in transit" at the library and it's because of word of mouth. I can't remember where, but I read about it on a blog and so now I'll read it. Since I primarily read YA, I would've missed it without word of blog, which appears to be a direct result of word of mouth started by an indie!