I’m preparing for a book launch in St. Louis, and several friends have asked where they should buy the book so that it is most beneficial to me. On strictly a monetary basis, that’s through the Hop On website. But for those who are going to be at the event, purchasing through the hosting bookstore is better for everyone. I’d argue this is particularly true for self-publishers. Here’s why:
- It shows support for the author. The people who have asked me about this, although they also want the book, are mostly trying to support me as a new author. This is accomplished no matter how the book is obtained, short of borrowing it from a friend.
- It keeps the bookstore in business. I could list the many benefits of helping keep bookstores alive and well, but that is for another time. Suffice it to say, brick-and-mortar stores have benefits to society. Independent bookstores are the ones most likely to welcome new authors to an event, and these stores have stiff competition from national chains and the Internet. If you want to keep your bookstore in business, you have to purchase from there.
- It raises the image of self-publishing. If a self-published author can not only get a large audience for a book signing but also motivate people to buy their book at the bookstore, the bookstore will take self-publishers more seriously. The store will be more willing to take a chance on other self-publishers. And when self-publishers can get the same exposure as traditionally published authors, it levels the playing field and increases the odds that they will do more than just break even on their book investment.
So, if you know you want to buy a book from your author friend, consider the benefits of doing so, not through Amazon, but through a real live bookstore. And if your author has an event, know that buying at the event can have a much greater impact than would a couple more dollars for the author.
Like this blog? Check out Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro, available through Hop On Publishing, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Left Bank Books, and other retailers.