It can be difficult for a self-published author (a/k/a indie author) to get their books into bookstores. Add the fact that my books are published by Amazon, which many booksellers believe is the sole cause of their struggles, and well... you see the challenge.
Tattered Cover Bookstore is one of the premier independent bookstores in the country. If they were in danger of closing, I would petition hard for Denver to do whatever it had to do to keep this gem open. They are so special and iconic that they intimidated me. I never asked them if they'd be interested in selling my books. Not in the two years since my first book was published.
Instead, I approached a newer and smaller (much smaller) bookstore. The owner advised me that she didn't have a crime fiction section in her store. What? A staff member later backed her up by saying that she didn't even have room for a cookbook section, and the owner loved cookbooks. I got the impression of a bookstore catering solely to non-fiction readers and fiction that would fit nowhere else other than solidly literary.
Imagine my sadness when I spotted some crime fiction in the store (big name, big publisher, and crime fiction) and even some lesser known CF authors holding book signings. Apparently she didn't think I'd notice. As much as I loved that little bookstore on my few visits to it, I won't be back unless she comes to me to sell my books. It's just not a wise use of my energy... physically, emotionally, or economically (it ain't close).
Fast-forward to my friend, Jenny Milchman, approaching me to do a joint presentation next month at Tattered Cover. Whoa! I'm pretty sure I didn't hesitate three seconds before responding with a huge yes. Jenny, working through her publicist, was setting up another cross-country tour promoting her newest book. She had the big connections and hoped I might have the smaller, local connections. (That's yet to be seen, but I'm trying.)
I put off contacting Tattered Cover (that intimidation thing) until a couple of weeks ago to see about selling a few of my books in their stores (they have three locations). Yes, one month before the presentation.
Imagine my surprise to be warmly hugged. That's the best description I can give you. It might have helped that I'm doing an "event", it might have helped that my latest book is a finalist for two literary awards in Colorado, but I suspect that this is SOP for the bookstore. They truly want to support local authors, regardless of how they're published.
For readers: my books are now available through one of the finest independent bookstores in the country. Here's the link: Peg's books at Tattered Cover If it's in your DNA to support one of the most respected independents in the country, this is where you ought to shop.
For writers: don't hesitate to contact that intimidating independent bookstore where you live. Yes, they might have a couple of requirements but they want you in their store. If they don't, move to Denver and contact Tattered Cover.
For everyone: If you or someone you know is in the Denver area on May 14th, let them know about this event. They can thank you later.
It's all better with friends.