Should you try to sell your book in stores?

bookstoreMost bookstores do not typically want self-published authors on their shelves, and in our opinion, the fight for your spot is probably not worth the effort. Putting your book beside the latest release from a major publishing house is not going to attract the sales you want, so we have advice for you on focusing your efforts online.
Nowadays, most people are buying their books online, so having your book available for sale at a bookstore should not be a priority. With online self-publishing being as easy as it is, this is also a great way to launch your book at a low cost and with the best results. Furthermore, your audience is much more likely to invest a smaller amount of money on an ebook and rely on online reviews to make their decision than to spend more on a paperback novel by an unknown author. Focusing on online sales allows you to reach more potential customers and market yourself to a specific audience that you know will be interested in your book, rather than waiting for the right person to stumble upon it in a bookstore.
If your book is regional, like ‘Dining Guide for New Orleans’ or ‘Hiking Trails in San Diego’ it might be a worthwhile investment to sell your book in local bookstores or coffee shops. This market tends to shop for physical copies and seeks a local’s advice on travel, hotspots and eateries. Bookstores may accept your book on consignment, depending on how your book compliments their inventory and how well it sells. To have your book in a store on consignment, you must pitch your book to the bookstore and be willing to surrender copies that will not be paid for until they are sold. It is a bit of a different process than is typical of professionally published books, but it could be a great way to draw attention from locals.
Whether or not you should sell your book in a bookstore is ultimately your decision and definitely depends on your target market; for example, older readers may be more likely to invest in a paperback copy of your self-published book if they are not familiar or comfortable with ebooks. However, it is often more practical to invest your time in online sales to begin with and build an audience that way, targeting a specific market and allowing your audience to grow through online sales and reviews. In either case, publicity is the common thread in gaining sales and is key in building an audience for your self-published book.