Great Lakes Region “Regional Access Program"
“How can I best get word out to the independent booksellers & the public about my book that has particular appeal in the Great Lakes region?”
Why a regional program?
We all know how effective IndieCommerce's national ‘Advance Access’ has been in bringing “independent books” to the attention of booksellers and the public. We all also know how important regional books are to independents. If you’ve published a book of regional interest, you may have felt the national outreach was not targeted enough for you. That is where GLiBA, with its regional focus and contacts, can help out.
The regional program will work just like the national program, except that you’ll send your notices to me, Deb Leonard, here at GLiBA instead of (or in addition to) the Advance Access contact at ABA. Here’s how it works:
Monthly, we will email independent booksellers in this region with news of galleys, reading copies or finished books that you are offering for review. After receiving a free review copy from you, stores will read and decide whether to carry it in their store, and hopefully even nominate it for the Indie Next List. Also, your book can start to build some momentum towards selling in more stores regionally and work its way onto the Heartland Bestseller List. No obligations or promises, but it is one way to prime the pump and get the word out.
Stores will email you directly, and, generally, you can expect requests from 15-25 booksellers. The stores do know it's first come, first served. The more booksellers you can satiate, the better, of course.
All book descriptions must come to me on email, with
# of free copies you have to offer
2 sentence description max
and an email address to which the booksellers can write to directly request a copy.
IMPORTANT: Put this all in one paragraph, without actually putting in the words “Title, Author, etc.”, and put your email address at the end of this paragraph. This is all so I can easily cut and paste your email into the larger email to the stores. (Do NOT include website info nor attach press releases or jacket jpg's. Thanks!) It may take several weeks from your first writing to me until word of your book offer gets emailed to the stores.
What qualifies as “regional?”
For us, it means books set in or about any of the states abutting the Great Lakes down to the Ohio River and into the Plains. Of course, the regional category spans many categories: fiction, non-fiction, children’s, cooking, nature, etc., and we welcome them all.
Is there a fee?
Not for GLiBA members. Affiliate Business Memberships are $150 per year. Cost for non-members is $175 per title.
Your follow-up with booksellers
When you hear from the booksellers requesting a copy of your book, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU INCLUDE A NICE, SHORT NOTE WITH EACH BOOK YOU SEND OUT. Short and sweet; even just a thank you and your name are just fine, plus a 'write Deb if you like it.' You can include press material, but chances are pretty good they'll be tossed; save the money and just send the book - that's my suggestion, at least. I don't want to raise expectations; most books do not make the Indie Next List, but at least this gives your book a shot, and at the very least, your book will find fans in several great independent bookstores and word will spread. You can also save the email addresses of the booksellers you sent books to, and after a month's time, follow-up with a short query as to whether book has been read. (Pls. note that booksellers' good manners are such that if they didn't like it, they may just not want to say so.
How to contact me:
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Please note that GLBA has many additional opportunities for promoting your titles in our region, including our on-line newsletter, trade show, and holiday catalog. Publishers who have succeeded best in getting a book to sell well in the region have done many things, but most especially taken a booth at the fall trade show. You can find details at our website, www.gliba.org. You can find information on the national ‘Advance Access’ Program at ABA’s website, www.bookweb.org.