Yesterday I decided to go back to the websites of some of the independent bookstores I emailed about The Alchemist’s Theorem to see if they are selling it. I found that pretty much any site that allows users to search their inventory has my book listed as “special order.” My neurosis kicked in immediately and I asked myself “What does this mean??” I asked Jerry, my sales guy at Thomson-Shore, and he delivered the deets.
“Similar to how many sellers on Amazon have made the book available, independent bookstores can also grab information from wholesaler catalogs. If there is interest from consumers, those bookstores can quickly order inventory from a wholesaler to meet their demand. In the world of online shopping, in which even small traditional bookstores have websites, there is no reason to not do this. No one wants to give a potential buyer reason to start shopping somewhere else.
“Indiebound is a good source for finding what stores are pulling the information on titles. In most cases, the stores displayed will order from Ingram when a customer requests a book. Once there is significant enough demand for a book, Indiebound also allows orders through their own online store now, which they will order via a wholesaler like Ingram. When someone purchases directly from Indiebound, the proceeds are split up among the whole network of independent bookstores linked to Indiebound.”
And there you have it! Another blogpost I didn’t have to write. And more importantly, the indie bookstores are adding my book to their inventory list as special orders, which have the potential to turn into stock. Those hundred plus emails I sent out were worth it!