Adventures in local bookshops

Walking into a bookstore as a first-time published author, looking for evidence of your cherished output on the shelves, is an activity both exciting and a little shameful. Having been encouraged to introduce myself to local booksellers, this week I have learned quickly that no matter how good your publicity campaign is, most people will never have heard of your book. My cheeks flushed with pride when I saw a pile of my books on the front table at Newtown’s largest bookstore, Better Read Than Dead, although I left without any self-introduction. A bit further up the street the book was, to my amazement, actually in the shop window – but the bookseller on duty had no idea what I was talking about when I went inside to thank him. A friend visiting from New York told me a horror story about going into Borders in the middle of Sydney’s CBD to ask for my book, which was nowhere to be seen. The Gen-Y assistant looked it up on the computer. “Oh yeah, we have a box full of them out the back,” he said. “Maybe in a few days we’ll unpack them.” Thus I can be confident of a few lost sales. There are so many variables in the book publishing game – timing, zeitgeist, packaging, sales-force enthusiasm for a title, media-friendliness of author and story, let alone the quality of the book itself – that my complete lack of control over the choices of booksellers is a sort of perverse, if frustrating,┬árelief.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hello Virginia,
    I am writing to let you know I have just finished reading your beautiful book having borrowed it from my mother. She went in to Moir’s Bookshop in Lane Cove to buy it (she heard of it from someone we all must know but I don’t know who… my brother went to school with Trent so that must be the connection). Anyway, the lady in Moir’s not only had the book immediately at hand to sell but had also read it and loved it. I just thought you might like to know. Thank you for writing such a beautiful book and being free enough to share part of your story with the world.

    Cheers, Susie

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