Creating an Indie Author-Bookstore Symbiosis

Author Shaun McLaughlinGuest Post
by Shaun J. McLaughlin

When I began as an indie author early in 2012, I felt an affinity to indie bookstores. After all, we both struggle against the book industry establishment. Because I wanted a hometown outlet for printed versions of my books, I collaborated early with Mill Street Books. It serves Almonte, a town of 4,200 west of Ottawa, Canada, and a surrounding rural community of fewer than 10,000 others. In two years, that one store has sold 115 paperback copies combined of my three books. It is a profitable symbiotic relationship.

Symbiosis n: any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship

Mill Street Books always supports local authors. Owners Mary and Terry Lumsden showed immediate enthusiasm for the idea of a joint book launch. Continue reading “Creating an Indie Author-Bookstore Symbiosis”

Publishers Launch

ISLANDERS by John BarlowA traditional book launch, at least in my experience, is a pretty nerve-wracking affair. You wait to hear whether the pre-publication orders are good, and a week or two prior to the launch itself you get the Publishers Weekly and Kirkus reviews. If you’re lucky you also get some early reviews in newspapers and magazines. For most books, that’s probably the high-point. Because few books gain any real traction immediately after their release, although of course this is exactly what is needed if your book is to remain on the shelves of bookstores for more than a month or two.

[ANECDOTE. When my first book was out in the UK, a beautiful hard back, my partner went into a large branch of Waterstones in London and asked for it. ‘Oh, yes,’ the guy said, ‘we have it in the storeroom. We didn’t think it was going to sell, so we didn’t put it out.’ This was on the very day of its launch.] Continue reading “Publishers Launch”

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