Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Don't Do This!

A writer friend of mine wrote to me and said something along the lines of, "I'm just gonna start putting my book on the shelves at Barnes & Noble.  Once people snatch enough off the shelves, they'll be begging me to supply them more."

I shook my head...and laughed.

Don't do this.  Please don't do this.  It's tacky, it's petty, and it can frustrate potential customers.  When someone takes one of your books to the counter, and it doesn't ring up, the reaction isn't, "Gee, what talented author is this?  I must check into it more!"  No, the reaction is actually, "Well, that asshole struck again.  I'm sorry, but this is not one of our titles."(Usually followed by an eye roll)

It's not like it's hard to get your stuff out in this day and age, but please don't do it like this.  It's not even remotely imaginative, and it will piss people off.  Barnes & Noble employees will just laugh at you - the corporate office won't even hear about it - and people who were willing to take a chance will just sour on you.

Talk to independent bookstore owners and offer copies for free for them to sell, with them getting all the profit.  Get your message out on social media.  Get into reading clubs.  But don't do the dance of the desperate.  We all have images of our book with its own display at a place like Barnes & Noble, but just sticking your book on the shelf and hoping people discover your brilliance is like that dork at the school dance who is dancing with himself.

Just say no.

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