A few weeks back, @TaylorTrade raised the issue in a comment on another post about authors referring readers to particular stores or online accounts — if you’re an author and someone asks where they can buy your book, what do you say? Or if you’re a book publicist and an author asks you this question, what advice do you give?
First, if a book is only available at a certain account (store), i.e., because it’s self published, then the answer is obvious. But for most books published by large (and small) publishing houses, they are sold in independent and chain bookstores as well as online at Amazon, BN.com and numerous other online accounts, including, in some cases, the publishing house’s website.
The bottom line is that if an account is selling a book, then we — authors, book publicists, literary agents and anyone else seeking to promote or market a book — need to support them. I like to say something relatively generic like, “[Book title] is available online and at bricks-and-mortar stores nationwide,” leaving it up to the reader to pick whichever store they prefer.
When adding buy links to a website, one should include at least these accounts:
- Indiebound (which represents most independent booksellers)
- Publishing house (if they sell directly to the consumer)
Some authors also include links to accounts like 800 CEO Read and Hooks Book Events (both for bulk sales), Powells.com (which has a particularly large online — as well as, in Portland, a bricks and mortar — business) and others.
For those authors with author / book Facebook pages, you may consider adding a “Buy the Book” tab to the page with the iFrame HTML tab app (although you should note that Facebook no longer supports iFrame, i.e., it still works now, but may not eventually). So while it doesn’t hurt to spend a couple of minutes copying and pasting the following to a FB page for a book coming out this fall, don’t spend a lot of time installing it or count on using the following forever more.
— Search for the iFrame HTML tab app for Pages.
— Click “Go to App.”
— Connect with Facebook and allow the app access to your FB account.
— In the HTML field, add the following code (or whatever variation you prefer). The words in capital letters below represent what you need to replace:
Purchase <em>INSERT TITLE</em> at your favorite bricks and mortar bookstore or from the following sites:
–<a href=”INSERT AMAZON URL HERE” target=”_blank”>Amazon</a><br>
–<a href=”INSERT BARNES AND NOBLE URL HERE” target=”_blank”>Barnes & Noble</a><br>
–<a href=”INSERT INDIEBOUND URL HERE” target=”_blank”>Indiebound</a><br>
–<a href=”INSERT PUBLISHING HOUSE URL HERE” target=”_blank”>PUBLISHING HOUSE</a><br>
— To change the name of the tab (which will appear on the left together with Wall, Info, Notes, etc.:
Edit Page > Apps > iFrame HTML tab app for Pages > Edit Settings > ENTER YOUR NEW TAB NAME > Save > Okay