How Indie Authors Can Get Into Bookstores
I can't be the only author who's had trouble getting into bookstores. Both my books were uploaded to Ingram Spark and to Createspace, so in theory, bookstores should be able to order them. But, of course, they don't because the books are print-on-demand. How to get around that?
Getting Into Bookstores
At the San Francisco Writers' Conference, I met with a representative of Dartfrog Books. I bet you don't know what a Dartfrog is. Well, it's an endangered species--endangered in "the Amazon."
Dartfrog's mission is to sidestep Amazon and help indie authors get into bookstores. They're already got 120 bookstores signed up, and they'll vet the books so that bookstores don't have to wonder about quality. Dartfrog puts their label on the book, decides if it's worthy of a gold frog or not, and then configures the files so they can be put into a Book2Look "biblet." Here's mine.
Dartfrog gave me the above link to use in social media. They also send a physical copy to 20 bookstores so that the store can preview the book and hopefully hand-sell it. I provide the 20 free books, but after that, stores can order from Ingram, which is their normal way of ordering.
What makes this a unique opportunity is that Dartfrog has a dedicated table in the bookstore where the books are displayed cover up, not spine out as they would be on a shelf.
What's the Catch?
To get your book accepted by Dartfrog, you must pay a fee, and it's pretty steep.
The book undergoes an initial evaluation. Mine scored 97.5 %. I thought it would pass muster because the book was a Finalist in the INDIEFAB Awards, a Finalist in the Eric Hoffer Awards, and a Silver Medal Winner in Readers' Favorites and Readers Views.
If your book does not pass the initial screening, however, all is not lost. Dartfrog can refer you to an editor, you can fix whatever problems exist, and resubmit.
I know that the online bookstores own a much bigger slice of the pie these days, but going with Dartfrog doesn't prevent me from selling that way, too. (I can spend as much money with Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) as I want.)
In the event that any of you are interested, here's the link to Dartfrog.