Monday, December 03, 2007

Powell's Books and selling your book

Scott Timberg of the Los Angeles Times writes today about Powell's Books in Portland and the issues it faces as Michael Powell retires. An interesting piece, it has at least two elements of note for the self publishing author who sells their own books. The first is the overwhelming presence of Amazon and warehouse clubs in terms of book sales. The second is the continuing potential of downloadable books.

It seems to me that the self publisher needs to: 1) plan on selling through Amazon and 2) plan on having a downloadable version of the book. Both have importance when determining the retail price of the book. Read it all here.


Duncan McGeary said...

Very interesting. Thanks for the link.

Powell seems a bit of a puddleglum.

Tom McDannold said...

Hi Duncan: Funny that we had to read about Powell's in a California paper. BTW, my what is a puddleglum? LOL

Here is a question that you may be able to shed so light upon: Would independent bookstores be more likely to carry the books of a self publisher if the pulbisher put them in the store on consignment?

Duncan McGeary said...

A puddleglum, like it sounds. An kind of half glass empty, we're all doomed, sort of personality.

I would think many stores would prefer consignment, especially for an unknown quality.

The problem with consignment is that it is a bit of a record keeping nightmare, so I don't usually do it myself.

Duncan McGeary said...

I should probably also say, that I've come to the conclusion that if something is worth carrying, it's worth paying for, and if it's not worth carrying, consignment won't help.

But it took many years to reach that conclusion, and I'm sure most owners don't feel that way.

Tom McDannold said...

Dunc: Thanks for the insight--I had not thought about the record keeping. Consignment seems like a way to get exposure for the book and some new titles for the store.