HEART


HEART 

by Sharon Stevens

A mother and her young son came into our bookstore to price college textbooks. After they found what they were looking for we took a moment to discuss the high price of books, the terribly hot weather, the rising cost of fuel, groceries, school clothes, work clothes, play clothes, cost of living and just life in general. As they were leaving I invited them to rummage through the basket up front that I keep filled with trinkets of stickers, bubbles, necklaces, bracelets, bouncing balls, slinkys and other such odds and ends that find their way into my stash.

The mother declined but encouraged her son to go through and pick something out to take home. After stirring everything up with his fingers he reached in and chose a golden heart bracelet and shared it with his mom. But he didn’t just pass it on to her, he placed it against her chest and told her he chose it special for her because it reminded him of her heart. The look she shared with her son for this wonderful gift I will carry in MY heart forever. What a precious thought from a young man to his mom.

The dictionary definition of heart describes it as a “chambered muscular organ in vertebrates that pumps blood”. I understand that. You have to have a heart to survive. But I also recognize that heart transcends all definitions and connections. Thomas C. Foster mentions in his book “How to Read Literature Like A Professor” that a heart can have so many different meanings. His book reminds me to never look at a heart simply the same way again.

And if I had my druthers I would choose for my definition the verb tense that describes a heart as one that encourages. Even though it is not in general use it fits me to a capital H.

I watched the mother and son leave our store after just heartbeats in time. I wonder how many pulses were exchanged between the three of us not only in that lifespan, but how many hours that moment will sustain us for the future. Who knows.

It wasn’t until after they left that I realized the young man had placed the bracelet heart against the RIGHT side of his mother’s chest instead of the left.

No matter, his mother and I both knew which side her heart was on.

– Sharon Stevens

Click on the author page above to connect with Sharon.

MAKING RETAIL CONNECTIONS


Making Retail Connections

By Natalie Bright

If you’ve self-published a book, it’s up to you to establish retail connections.

An author once told me that he’d only intended to write the book, and never wanted to be a book salesman. Now he’s traveling around with a car full of books. Welcome to the reality of today’s publishing world.  How are people going to read your book, if they don’t know it exists?

As the CEO of YOU, guess who is in charge of book promotion?

Make the Connection

While the internet offers a multitude of book promotion opportunities, for this particular post, I want to talk specifically about working with retail outlets and how to approach owners or managers.

On cold calls, approach them in a friendly, cooperative manner, introduce yourself and ask if they’d like to see your book. Most bookstore owners are always interested in talking to authors. Ask them if it’s a subject their customers might like. Information flyers and postcards work as well. When I receive inquiries in regards to my middle grade book, OIL PEOPLE, I offer to leave the store manager a preview copy. If it’s an inquiry by phone or email, I always offer to mail a preview copy. Be sure to include promo copies in your budget.

Store Owners Rule

Retail stores have to realize at least a 50% to 60% markup in the items they sell. They have a store front to operate which includes payroll, building utilities, and inventory expense.

DO NOT tell the storeowner the retail price. It’s their store, they set the price. Business owners are independent and territorial. If you tell them how to run their business, you’ll be out the door in a flash. Quote them the price you need, and you can suggest a retail price but ultimately the cost to customers is the store owners decision.

Setting the Price

If you self-publish, you have to leave a little wiggle room when setting your price. I hear this complaint all of the time and it is confusing to self-published writers. Authors quote the price printed on their book or the over-inflated price they paid for printing, expecting that’s the price they are due. Shop around and find the best possible printing deal in order to keep your price per book as low as possible. Hopefully, you’ll have room to make a few bucks, and the store comes out ahead as well.

Retail owners are in business to make a profit. If business owners’ efforts aren’t going to generate dollars to pay for the cost of staying open, it’s not worth having your book take up valuable shelf space.

The key, I think, is being able to offer a low price to retail outlets and being able to negotiate a price without being too pushy.

Consider ALL Possibilities

Major chain bookstores may not be an option to self-published authors for many reasons which are beyond your control. Are there specialty shops in your area? What about possible connections through family and friends?

Think about cross-selling. If you have a book of poetry, why not approach a lingerie shop? If you have a children’s book about horses, drop by a saddle and tack store or the local feed store. Stop stressing over things you can’t control and consider all of the possibilities, and keep writing!

Natalie Bright

HEART


HEART 

by Sharon Stevens

A mother and her young son came into our bookstore to price college textbooks. After they found what they were looking for we took a moment to discuss the high price of books, the terribly hot weather, the rising cost of fuel, groceries, school clothes, work clothes, play clothes, cost of living and just life in general. As they were leaving I invited them to rummage through the basket up front that I keep filled with trinkets of stickers, bubbles, necklaces, bracelets, bouncing balls, slinkys and other such odds and ends that find their way into my stash.

The mother declined but encouraged her son to go through and pick something out to take home. After stirring everything up with his fingers he reached in and chose a golden heart bracelet and shared it with his mom. But he didn’t just pass it on to her, he placed it against her chest and told her he chose it special for her because it reminded him of her heart. The look she shared with her son for this wonderful gift I will carry in MY heart forever. What a precious thought from a young man to his mom.

The dictionary definition of heart describes it as a “chambered muscular organ in vertebrates that pumps blood”. I understand that. You have to have a heart to survive. But I also recognize that heart transcends all definitions and connections. Thomas C. Foster mentions in his book “How to Read Literature Like A Professor” that a heart can have so many different meanings. His book reminds me to never look at a heart simply the same way again.

And if I had my druthers I would choose for my definition the verb tense that describes a heart as one that encourages. Even though it is not in general use it fits me to a capital H.

I watched the mother and son leave our store after just heartbeats in time. I wonder how many pulses were exchanged between the three of us not only in that lifespan, but how many hours that moment will sustain us for the future. Who knows.

It wasn’t until after they left that I realized the young man had placed the bracelet heart against the RIGHT side of his mother’s chest instead of the left.

No matter, his mother and I both knew which side her heart was on.

– Sharon Stevens

Click on the author page above to connect with Sharon.

MAKING RETAIL CONNECTIONS


Making Retail Connections

By Natalie Bright

If you’ve self-published a book, it’s up to you to establish retail connections.

An author once told me that he’d only intended to write the book, and never wanted to be a book salesman. Now he’s traveling around with a car full of books. Welcome to the reality of today’s publishing world.  How are people going to read your book, if they don’t know it exists?

As the CEO of YOU, guess who is in charge of book promotion?

Make the Connection

While the internet offers a multitude of book promotion opportunities, for this particular post, I want to talk specifically about working with retail outlets and how to approach owners or managers.

On cold calls, approach them in a friendly, cooperative manner, introduce yourself and ask if they’d like to see your book. Most bookstore owners are always interested in talking to authors. Ask them if it’s a subject their customers might like. Information flyers and postcards work as well. When I receive inquiries in regards to my middle grade book, OIL PEOPLE, I offer to leave the store manager a preview copy. If it’s an inquiry by phone or email, I always offer to mail a preview copy. Be sure to include promo copies in your budget.

Store Owners Rule

Retail stores have to realize at least a 50% to 60% markup in the items they sell. They have a store front to operate which includes payroll, building utilities, and inventory expense.

DO NOT tell the storeowner the retail price. It’s their store, they set the price. Business owners are independent and territorial. If you tell them how to run their business, you’ll be out the door in a flash. Quote them the price you need, and you can suggest a retail price but ultimately the cost to customers is the store owners decision.

Setting the Price

If you self-publish, you have to leave a little wiggle room when setting your price. I hear this complaint all of the time and it is confusing to self-published writers. Authors quote the price printed on their book or the over-inflated price they paid for printing, expecting that’s the price they are due. Shop around and find the best possible printing deal in order to keep your price per book as low as possible. Hopefully, you’ll have room to make a few bucks, and the store comes out ahead as well.

Retail owners are in business to make a profit. If business owners’ efforts aren’t going to generate dollars to pay for the cost of staying open, it’s not worth having your book take up valuable shelf space.

The key, I think, is being able to offer a low price to retail outlets and being able to negotiate a price without being too pushy.

Consider ALL Possibilities

Major chain bookstores may not be an option to self-published authors for many reasons which are beyond your control. Are there specialty shops in your area? What about possible connections through family and friends?

Think about cross-selling. If you have a book of poetry, why not approach a lingerie shop? If you have a children’s book about horses, drop by a saddle and tack store or the local feed store. Stop stressing over things you can’t control and consider all of the possibilities, and keep writing!

Natalie Bright

HEART


HEART 

by Sharon Stevens

A mother and her young son came into our bookstore to price college textbooks. After they found what they were looking for we took a moment to discuss the high price of books, the terribly hot weather, the rising cost of fuel, groceries, school clothes, work clothes, play clothes, cost of living and just life in general. As they were leaving I invited them to rummage through the basket up front that I keep filled with trinkets of stickers, bubbles, necklaces, bracelets, bouncing balls, slinkys and other such odds and ends that find their way into my stash.

The mother declined but encouraged her son to go through and pick something out to take home. After stirring everything up with his fingers he reached in and chose a golden heart bracelet and shared it with his mom. But he didn’t just pass it on to her, he placed it against her chest and told her he chose it special for her because it reminded him of her heart. The look she shared with her son for this wonderful gift I will carry in MY heart forever. What a precious thought from a young man to his mom.

The dictionary definition of heart describes it as a “chambered muscular organ in vertebrates that pumps blood”. I understand that. You have to have a heart to survive. But I also recognize that heart transcends all definitions and connections. Thomas C. Foster mentions in his book “How to Read Literature Like A Professor” that a heart can have so many different meanings. His book reminds me to never look at a heart simply the same way again.

And if I had my druthers I would choose for my definition the verb tense that describes a heart as one that encourages. Even though it is not in general use it fits me to a capital H.

I watched the mother and son leave our store after just heartbeats in time. I wonder how many pulses were exchanged between the three of us not only in that lifespan, but how many hours that moment will sustain us for the future. Who knows.

It wasn’t until after they left that I realized the young man had placed the bracelet heart against the RIGHT side of his mother’s chest instead of the left.

No matter, his mother and I both knew which side her heart was on.

– Sharon Stevens

Click on the author page above to connect with Sharon.