How to sell books on consignment to bookstores (and other retailers)

Bookstore displayMost bookstores buy books in one of three ways:

  • The bookstore buys the books up front from a distributor, or from the publisher directly, and then stocks and sells the books to their customers, and return any unsold copies.
  • Special orders: a customer requests a book that the store doesn’t carry, and the bookstore orders it from the distributor or publisher and then hold the book for the customer. Most bookstores now request payment up front from customers for special orders.
  • Consignment arrangements with the author or publisher.

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Another tree bites the dust

Refused StampI just finished marking yet another large, manuscript-filled envelope as “Refused-Return to Sender” and dropped it into the mailbox. This time, the author sent it to us via Priority Mail, and paid $11.15 for the privilege. Unfortunately, it was all for naught, because Barking Rain Press does not accept paper submissions.

I believe that Barking Rain Press makes this very clear in our Submission FAQ Guidelines, and yet, we have not had a single submission period go by without at least one paper submission.

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Why Electronic Submissions?

It’s Open Submissionstime once again for another open submissions period for Barking Rain Press —and that means bracing for a new wave of submissions process headaches, mostly due to a few people who are unable or unwilling to read instructions—or who enjoy complaining about having to follow instructions. They want to submit what they want to submit, in the way that they want to submit it. Guidelines be damned! Continue reading

How to contact your local newspaper about your book signing

USNPL LogoYour book has been published, and you’ve arranged to do a signing at your local bookstore. Congratulations!

But now you need to get the word out, because you sure don’t want to sit there by yourself for two hours. Yes, you should tweet about it on Twitter and post an event on your Facebook page, but you’ll also want to let as many local folks in the community know about the signing as well — and one of the best ways to do that is to contact the local newspaper for the bookstore. How do you find out what newspaper covers the area for the bookstore? Why, you can use this handy-dandy list of newspaper contacts. Continue reading

Why You Need a Good Headshot (and how to get one)

Framing a Camera ShotOne of the most important promotional tools for any author is to have a good headshot that they can send to magazines, blogs, conventions and other media. Plus, it is a great piece for your website or blog and helps your audience “connect” with you.

Many people falsely believe that they need to spend a lot of time and money by hiring a professional photographer to take dozens of shots, in different changes of clothing. That’s only true if you’re aspiring to be a model or actor. For you, the aspiring author, head out to the shopping mall. Almost all department stores and even some portrait speciality companies offer professional photography services that are very affordable. Continue reading

Writing Your Author Bio: Things to Think About

woman thinkingI’ve been involved in marketing and public relations for many years now, and I am still amazed at how difficult it is for most professional people to write a brief paragraph or two that describes their business experience. I’ve worked with CEOs and other executives who are incredibly smart and qualified business men and women, but if I ask them for a bio to send out with a press release, I usually get their multi-page resume.

Through my many years of publishing experience at Virtual Tales and Barking Rain Press, I see that this problem is very common—even for professional writers. Writing fiction and writing a professional bio are completely different tasks (or at least, they should be). So I hope that this writer’s workshop on how to write your author bio will be able to help you create your own professional bio, because if you are serious about becoming an author, you need to have one.

So let’s get started! Continue reading

Writer’s Workshop: How to Write Your Author Bio & Get a Headshot

Writer staring at blank paperWhether you are an aspiring or published author, your never-ending magnum opus will be your biography—and you will probably need more than one. Unless you can afford a publicist, you will need to learn how to put your best foot forward on your website, a book jacket, a blog or guest appearance throughout your career. Continue reading