“Are your books in the bookstore?”

As a published author, I get that question often.

The short answer is no.  Is that good or bad?

In the short term, probably it is bad.  Some sales are made by impulse buyers who are attracted by a cover, the blurb on back, or the first page of text.  Bookstore buyers can get the book immediately instead of having to order and wait for it to be delivered.  So we may loose sales that way.  Also, some people tend to feel that if a book isn’t in a bookstore, it’s inferior in every way.

Wings books aren’t in bookstores because of the long-held policies of traditional publishing, and the middleman cost of getting books on the shelves.  Some bookstores might special-order them for you.  Most of the chain stores will not.  Some may even tell you no such book exists.  If it isn’t carried by their distributor (middleman), it doesn’t exist in their eyes.

However, believe it or not, there is a good side to not being in bookstores.  There are many thousands of books being published each year.  Bookstore space is limited.  If a book gets into the store, it has maybe three months to show that it will sell.  If it doesn’t, out it goes, never to be heard of again.

My publisher will keep my books in its online bookstore for at least two years after the release date, so I have more time to get the word out about them.  They are available instantly as e-books in several formats.  One of those, Mobipocket, is compatible with Amazon’s Kindle reader.  I’m not sure if it can be downloaded directly to the Kindle, but if not, it can be downloaded to your computer, and emailed to your Kindle.

The books are also available as trade paperbacks.  They are produced by print-on-demand technology.  This isn’t the same as “publish on demand”.  Wings books go through several edits, the same as books from non-e-book traditional publishers.  The printing on demand means no paper will be wasted on books which might be destroyed because of not being sold.  I see this as a win/win situation.

So, no, my books can’t be found in bookstores, but they are still readily available.  Think outside the bookstore. 🙂


About dhparker

Christian Missouri Ozarks native author of family-rated fiction
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