The Worlds of Terri Pray

The highs and lows of chasing a writing dream. From fantasy to erotica and beyond as seen through the eyes of Terri Pray.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Selling the Books!

So here it is, just what it takes to get books on shelves in gaming/rpg stores. Now if this is the same way it works for book stores I have no idea but I’m informed that it’s a very similar set up.

Having a book with wonderful reviews is a start, but only a start. You have to pitch it to them.

Who will the book sell to?

Why will it sell to them?

What makes it different from other books/products that they already stock?

Will it be sat on shelves for ages, is it time sensitive material and who won’t it sell to?

You have to be honest about all of this, or it comes back to bite you in the ass. You might be the worlds best writer or game creator, the shops however are interested in who, what when, how much and what you are doing to promote the book/game.

Sounds a lot like pitching it to some publishers doesn’t it? Well in many respects it is. What your publisher thinks will be great might not be what the stores are selling on a regular basis.

I had about 15 seconds to grab or loose their attention and it’s a lesson I think I learned well. Now though the book is easy for stores who order from ACD and Alliance getting them to stock it on the shelves is another matter. Very few stores will turn down special orders, but carrying stock is a whole different matter. They don’t want to be stuck with an item they are going to have to mark down in order to be rid of in a year. However price also plays a part in this, you see most distributors have a minimum order that has to be placed in order to give the store free shipping. A little like Amazon does with their $25 order, but obviously a lot higher than $25. So if they have to order $12 or more extra to get their free shipping better to say ‘oh it’s another Terri Pray, no orders for it, but it always sells’. In many respects it’s getting them to put my books in the same category as a dice order. An ‘always sells’ item. Something they know won’t loose them money and doesn’t take up that much room. As the minimum order for any store (from our end of it) is one book that also helps.

So that’s what I was doing in Fort Wayne, explaining to store owners just why they should stock my books, what benefit that could have to the store, and what the game will be like.

I had a lot of fun, got to see the new Drizzt graphic novel, picked up a White Wolf book for Sam, a Scrooge McDuck graphic novel for him and a few other bits and pieces. One of the things about trade shows is you get to see what’s coming out soon. GTS is the big one for that as I understand it.

And now you know. It’s write, sell it, market it, sell it again. It doesn’t stop and I’m enjoying learning the ins and outs of the business.

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