Sunday, May 03, 2009

Author Events with Barnes & Noble Booksellers

Our B&N regional director assistant recently spoke about how B&N stores work, some special programs, and how to develop a good relationship with your local outlet(s). I'm paraphrasing some of her comments here.

First, a few matters on what not to do.
  • Don't send a letter that isn't professional. You only have one shot to make a good first impression, so ask other people--like published authors in your writers group.

  • Don't try to "up" your sales numbers by calling all your local stores, ordering your own book, and then not purchasing them. You will be found out, and you will be blacklisted.

  • If you're trying to work with a bookstore, don't send a letter that complains about your placement in the store, etc.

Here are a few things you should do:

  • Learn the lingo. For instance, all Barnes & Noble stores have a community relations manager--they're called CRMs. Use the term.
  • Find out the names of your local CRMs and be prepared to work just as hard (if not harder) than the store in promoting an event you're involved in.

  • Remember that if you're involved in an in-store event, your book will be "endcapped," or given preferred treatment on the ends of the aisles.

Finally, the names of two B&N programs authors should know about:

  • BN Recommends - These are "un-put-downable" books recommended by B&N booksellers. You'll find these books, along with a little pamphlet, directly inside the store.

  • Discover Great New Writers - The selections in this program are considered for an annual award and are selected twice per year based on "exceptional quality."

For more tips for writers, go to the BN Inc. Web site and click on the "For Authors" button.

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