Carole Anne Carr said...
Kate, I find every step of the way a hurdle I have to overcome. Now I am officially on Waterstone's list, (the equivalent of Barnes and Noble), I now have to approach the individual shops! Not an easy task even with the backing of the head office. Argghh! :0)
I feel your stress; distribution is the hardest part of the modern publication process. First off, congratulations on getting your books listed! Everyone can check them out here: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/simpleSearch.do?simpleSearchString=carole+anne+carr&typeAheadFormSubmit.x=0&typeAheadFormSubmit.y=0
What kind of marketing are you doing? You can call, email, direct mail, visit, or social network booksellers. There are also professional events like trade shows. All of these take various amounts of time and/or money.
A few suggestions:
Make every connection a personal connection. Don't "To Whom It May Concern" people in emails or letters, and NEVER send bulk emails to people who have not signed up for your mailing list. However, give them a way to join your mailing list, fan club, social networking sites, blog followers, etc.
Picture=1K words. Use visuals and short descriptions or blurbs in your marketing. If you are making face-to-face visits, have postcards, brochures, bookmarks, or other materials with this information, including the ISBNs. Make sure your materials look professional; this isn't the time to print stuff out on a home ink-jet printer.
Keep a list of your contacts, including names, addresses, email, phone, and how/when you've contacted them.
Offer them something. Would they like to be informed when you have a new book coming out? Would you be interested in doing an author event like a reading or a signing in their shop? Could you add a link to their shop to your website or blog under the heading, "My books can be purchased from..."?
Does anyone have any other suggestions? What would make YOU stock someone's books?