My bookshop story. A tale in two parts.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.

Do you have a favourite bookstore?

As I said in the title, this is a post of two halves.

You see, I have a somewhat problematic relationship with bookshops, at least when it comes to my own work. More about that later.

Actually, when I’m not being a writer, I love a good bookshop. There are quite a few independent ones near me, as well as some branches of well-known chains, and I always enjoy a good browse. Plus, there’s the distinctive smell of printed paper and the almost reverential atmosphere that a wealth of knowledge and adventure, just waiting by your fingertips, creates.

As a writer, I also like to see what’s new and on display. It shows me trends, what subjects are being written about and what’s popular in cover design. This can give me ideas for my own work.

Now, we come to the issues I’ve had with two (unnamed) local independent bookshops. One of which has now closed.

The first stocked one of my titles, supplied by me at industry standard terms. I heard from a local book group that they were using my book as their read of the month and had bought all the copies in the shop. Wanting a couple more, I supplied them with the rest myself, directly from my own stock. I then went to the shop to see if they wanted restocking.

An argument ensued. I was told that nobody had bought the book. When I asked them to either produce the ones that hadn’t been sold or give me my money, as per our agreement, I was thrown out and told never to return. I got my money in the end, but it took an official letter to do so.

The second was a shop that took a copy of my book to “evaluate, as we don’t think that self-published work is suitable for us.” When I asked them what they thought of it, a few weeks later, they denied all knowledge of ever asking for, or receiving a copy.

Hence, I will never try to sell my books through independent shops.

I’m sure the rest of them are run by very nice people, but I’m not letting something like that happen again.

 I just go in now and browse, soak up the atmosphere and keep my twenty-plus novels to myself. Amazon may have its faults, but they’ve never treated me like that.

How about you? What’s your relationship with bookshops like? Please comment below, then head on over to see what the other contributors to this bloghop have to say on the subject.

Until next time.

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8 Responses

  1. Darlene Foster

    That is terrible. I can’t believe a bookstore would treat you like that. I have had nothing but great experiences with independent bookstores in Canada and prefer dealing with them over the big stores.

  2. Stevie Turner

    Sorry you’ve had such terrible experiences with independent bookshops. I’ve tried to get my own books into local bookshops, but have been told only local travel/guide books would be accepted. I guess they’re inundated with requests by self-published authors.

    • Richard Dee

      I wonder how they would treat traditionally published local authors or celebrities with books to sell?

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