Shoes and Socks Not Required: Sell Your Books (from home) To Unique Locations


I apologize; I’ve been away (okay, hiding from my writing responsibilities). I’ve been hot, sweaty, and working my butt off but not writing. We’re in a heat wave here and my brain has shut down from all the humidity and triple digit temps. And I’m trying (and trying and trying) to get my nutrition book up on Udemy as an online class but not-so-tech-savvy me is having a hard time figuring it all out. Turns out I need video equipment for a mandatory thirty minutes of video (who wants to see me yakking on and on, I don’t know) to go with the class. Ugh.

There Is An Upside To This

The upswing to this coronavirus is everyone’s home and online – either you’re offering something (like a class) or you’re buying something (like that writing class you’d been meaning to take but were too busy livin’ large). Did you know you can get your book into numerous venues while still wearing your jammies?

An interesting post came to my attention a short time ago and I want to share the gist of its information with you. Since bookstores and many physical retail outlets are temporarily closed, what’s a writer to do? We have to keep selling our books, don’t we? In a previous blog, I wrote that we have to continue marketing regardless of this pandemic and to not feel guilty. So here are a few interesting options that maybe you haven’t thought of as a place to sell your books (and not feel guilty), courtesy of Brian Jud, author of the post, and Stephanie Chandler, of the Nonfiction Authors Association (dot.com).

Unique Venues Abound If You’re Looking

Of all the places that sell books (most of which are closed temporarily), the two best places to have your books for sale at are… wait for it… SUPERMARKETS and PHARMACIES! Yep, they’re open to the public and they always have a book selection. Obviously, certain types of books sell better here, like cheesy romance novels. If your book is more family-oriented, this might be a place for you to consider. Also, according to the article, fiction outsells nonfiction here (think cheesy romance novels). But books like mine, a nutrition book, might go over well with people trying to make better food choices in the grocery store.

Think about how to price your book for one of these venues. Supermarkets tend to discount their books (up to 25%) and book prices in pharmacies are usually under twenty dollars. Are you willing to go a bit lower in retail price to gain exposure?

That said, how will you get your book distributed to these markets? Does your current distribution partner provide access to supermarkets and drugstores? The following is a short list provided by Brain Jud and contains useful information on getting your books into these stores:

Symak Sales Co Inc.“is a leading importer and distributor of general merchandise throughout North America. Symak products can be found in a wide range of retailers and wholesalers, including discount stores, variety stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, distributors, department stores, and dollar stores.”

Readerlink Distribution Services, LLC “is the largest full-service distributor of hardcover, trade and paperback books to non-trade channel booksellers in North America, including the biggest names in retail across multiple retail channels.”

Choice Books distributes books through more than 11,500 displays in various retail locations (i.e. supermarkets, mass merchandisers, airports, pharmacies, travel centers, gift shops, etc.) across the continental United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. At regular intervals, Choice Books sales representatives visit each retail location, replenishing best-selling books and replacing damaged/slow-moving books with new books. Major book categories include family living, self-help, devotional, entertainment, gift, cookbooks, adult/juvenile fiction and bibles.

There are other unique opportunities as well: hospitals, liquor stores, and pet stores, to name a few. If you put your thinking cap on, I’m sure you can come up with additional options. Sans shoes and socks.

Post Script

hemingway app

Source: Google Images

Post Script:

I couldn’t stop thinking about that Hemingway app. Curious about my nonfiction writing score, I added portions of my nutrition book to the editor. I first downloaded a section from the beginning, The Qi of Life, and here are the results:

Hemingway app1Hemingway app2

So my nonfiction scored much higher in readability than my fiction. Hmm…

When I added in another section, this one from the first chapter, the readability shot up to Grade 10! Whoa! I’m practically a NYT bestselling author (snark snark)!

When I added yet another bit from a later chapter, the readability went up to grade 11 but the app still recommended I lower my readability to grade 9. This makes no sense to me. I thought my writing was clear and concise, and readily understood. Guess not. Guess 10th and 11th graders can’t read my book. Not without 9th graders to translate and explain. 🙂

Hemingway app3Hemingway app4

Perhaps the Hemingway app is another of those online tools that has its used but is taken with a grain of salt? Not sure how I feel about it, just that I need to use it a few more times to see if it’s a helpful tool.

What were your scores? Did you try it? Might be fun! Maybe your book is too smart for 11th graders too!