Episode 207 – Library and Bookstore Strategies

This solo episode features a recording of a talk Mark gave at When Words Collide 2021.

Prior to the talk, Mark shares a personal update and a word from this episode’s sponsor.

This episode is sponsored by Findaway Voices.

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at

A really crappy computer-generated and non-human verified transcript of this episode appears below.

Links of Interest:

The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Transcript of the entire audio of this episode.

Please note that this was an automated machine-generated transcript and has not been human-verified.

Mark: Friends, Romans, reflective authors lend me your ears. Ask not what your library or bookstore can do for you, but ask what you can do for your library or bookstore.

Yeah, I know these are kind of purple passages from historical speeches, but it’s really about you, the author and strategies for working with libraries and bookstores – coming up in this episode at the Stark Reflections podcast.


Liz: [00:00:36] Welcome to the Stark Reflections on writing and publishing podcast. There has never been a better time for writers. More information, options and opportunities are available to you, but navigating these requires insight. Join mark Leslie LaFave, as he draws upon more than a quarter century of experience as a writer, a bookseller at a trusted book industry consultant to explore and reflect on the writing and publishing landscape to help you make informed choices on your writer journey.



[00:01:16] Hello, Reflectives, and welcome to episode 207 of the stark reflections podcast. This is your host Mark Leslie Lefebvre. In this episode, it is the audio of I talk that I did at When Words Collide in, Um, well normally in Calgary, Alberta, but it was virtual this year, uh, for the 2021 pandemic year. They turned the conference into a virtual conference.

[00:01:39] And so this was conducted for when words collide through a zoom meeting. And I’ve extracted the audio to share with you now, the content is an author’s guide. No, it’s not an author’s guide. That’s the book it’s based on a it’s based on. A few podcast episodes. You’ve probably heard here on the stark reflections podcast, also on my book, an authors guide to working with bookstores and libraries, a little bit of information from the book wide for the win as well.

[00:02:06] But it’s a talk on strategies to use for libraries and bookstores as an author. So again, it’s for both traditionally published authors and self published authors, or some ideas on things you can do. And, uh, probably plenty of content you may have heard before. And I’m hoping that maybe just a refresher, if you have heard it before, because sometimes you have to hear something a few times before, before it sinks in.

[00:02:29] Or before that third time you hear it. That’s when the inspiration strikes NIGO. Ah, I got an idea from this that I’m going to apply to my own unique author journey, which is what I hope you’re doing when you’re listening to this podcast. I hope you are like me reflecting on the things you’re learning.

[00:02:46] Taking everything with a bit of a grain of salt and then applying it to your own goals and your own paths. Um, so in any case, that’s coming up later in this episode, I’m going to do a brief personal update. But before that, let’s hear a word from this episode’s sponsor.

[00:03:02] This episode is sponsored by Findaway Voices. Now, if you are looking for ways to get your audio books into libraries, look no further than find a way voices, because you can’t get your audio books into libraries through. ACX find a way voices not only has more than 43 retail in library systems, but is the premier way to get your audio book in to library systems, if you are an indie author.

[00:03:28] So the way that find a way voices works is you can find a narrator through them, or you can upload an audio book file that you’ve already had professionally produced. And then you can select which of the 43 plus retail and library systems you want to distribute to. Or you can just distribute to. Now the way that it works is if you selected some of the various library, wholesale platforms, the library, or the librarian buyer, or the acquisitions person at the library can see that your titles are available through their catalog.

[00:04:00] So depending on what they use, if they use overdrive or if they use Biblioteca or, or hoopla, or one of the other dozens of, of library, distribution platforms around the world, whatever that local library is that they use, chances are it’s going to be available to them through find a way voices. So it’s not immediately available in the library until.

[00:04:19] Purchases it or puts it into the cost per checkout program. There, the way that I found out about the value of selling audio books through libraries was I had some digital chat available, like some short story collections, many short story collections available through the library markets. And I kept seeing these reports coming in from finally, I was like, who’s this I’ve never heard of this platform.

[00:04:39] And I realized it was a library wholesale platform that had a cost per checkout model. And what was happening is I was getting, uh, you know, uh, a micro payment for every time somebody checked that book out of whatever library system that they were purchasing through. And those can really add up. So if you’re looking for ways to get your audio books into library markets, as well as into digital bookstore markets look no further than a find a way voices, some phenomenal tools and control available to you in the author.

[00:05:15] You can check them out over at stark reflection. Dot CA slash find a way in terms of a personal update. This has been a very, very productive week. I just finished a, an amazingly packed weekend of the virtual. When words collide conference. Of course you heard from the previous episode, a keynote from Steena Holmes, as well as, uh, one of my talks that I’m sharing with you here today.

[00:05:41] And if you’re a patron, then you may have already heard the other talk that I shared to the patrons only feed on author branding for 2021 with a huge thank you to my patrons who support this podcast over at reflections. Hope you’re gaining some value there. I’ll probably be reading some of the comments I’ve seen from patrons, uh, in the next episode, but a busy week in terms of, uh, pro book projects in, in making some.

[00:06:14] So, first of all, I got the edits back from my editor for, um, publishing pitfalls for authors, which is coming out on Tuesday, August 24th, just a few days from now. So I got the first pass edit back then I went in and I, I made the EPUB version and I uploaded it. Cause, you know, I know, I know I still had some time, but I wanted to get that later edited version in, uh, and I did my tweaks obviously.

[00:06:39] And then I sent it back to my editor who then did a, sort of a final pass slash proofread. And then I just got back that back, um, yesterday. Um, I’m recording this on, um, August 19th, uh, on the 18th. And went back through that final pass. Did the final, you know, 20, 30, uh, additional tweaks, uh, created the EPUB file.

[00:07:02] And I use Dave  Atticus for that. It was an interesting experience. I still had to, when I got the EPUB, I was still wasn’t satisfied with the look and feel. There were still a few tweaky things. So I opened up sigil and I, and I did that editing manually. I loaded that up to all the, all the platforms. And then, uh, this morning when I got up, I went into work on the, um, the print version, which I have loaded, and I’ve got the paperback available through drafted digital print.

[00:07:28] He did he print beta. And that should be, I’m not sure. It’s probably, it may not appear by the 24th, but I just wanted to get that out there. I’m pretty pleased with the process I’ve been using Adobe in design for that. So that process has been nailed down, but also in parallel at the end of last week. I got, uh, Joanna Penn and I got back from her proofreader reader, the relaxed author.

[00:07:51] And so I went over that in bits and pieces throughout the weekend between sessions. And then we just did a final pass of the digital proof. And then Joe is working on a print proof that she’s going to send me, she’s going to have a print proof herself. I’m gonna do that one final check for that book coming out in September.

[00:08:09] So I’m taking a bit of a breather, uh, before I sink my teeth back into my fright nights, big city, the next, uh, fiction, uh, project, which I’m looking forward to doing. So it’s been, it’s been fun. Busy-ness uh, and in some great things going on, also working with Sarah. On her kiss me in the rain, which is a romantic thriller, phenomenal novel, and she’s rewritten it.

[00:08:33] And I’m really seeing that through stark publishing. And so I’m also going to be working through sort of my final kind of final line edit, copy, edit of that. As we prepare, uh, the advanced readers copies and all that stuff for her also September release. So busy enough to keep me out of most trouble. But other than that, I hope you enjoy this talk from when words collide on strategies for working with libraries and bookstores.


[00:09:05] Hello everyone. And welcome to the session on working with bookstores and libraries. My name is Mark Leslie Lefebvre. I have, uh, been an author, uh, well, since I was a kid and I’ve worked in bookstores since 1992. And so what I’ve done is I’ve put together a, this is the first time I’ve ever doing this particular talk.

[00:09:22] I’ve written about it and talked about it, but I’ve never actually done a talk on working with bookstores in libraries. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to do the screen share, and I’ll walk through the presentation of what I’ve put together for you. And if you have any questions or any such things, uh, you can go ahead and hopefully hold off till the end.

[00:09:39] And then I can answer questions like in the last 10, 15 minutes of the session. So let, let’s just jump right in to the presentation I put together. So this is library and bookstore strategies for. High-level as I said, I’ve been a bookseller since 92, I’ve worked in every kind of bookstore imaginable, former president of the Canadian booksellers association.

[00:10:02] I was the person, the director of self publishing and author relations, a Kobo who created a couple of writing life. I’ve presented on publishing and writing throughout Canada, the U S and the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. I’ve been very lucky to get to do those things. My very first published short story was 92.

[00:10:17] The same year I started in the industry and my very first self published book. Well, before all the cool kids were doing, it was 2004. And that’s when I created the start publishing imprint. My first tread pub book was in 2006 and I’ve edited now, actually now nine anthologies. I haven’t updated this. Um, and I’m a serial collaborator in a giant book.

[00:10:39] So this presentation is based mostly on the content from, uh, two of my books. That’s the, uh, working with libraries and bookstores and wide for them. And then I’m going to tell you they are available in ebook and print, and I would highly recommend that you ask for them at your local bookstore. Maybe ask them to order a book, a print copy.

[00:10:57] And they’re probably not going to have it in store. And I’ll explain why that is. But please also do ask for it through your local library because they have access to either the print or the E book for you. Very, very convenient. And you’ll be doing both me and the library and yourself. A huge favor now.

[00:11:18] There’s never been a better time in the history of writing and publishing to be a writer. There’s more choices, more options than ever before. And that is a phenomenal thing for writers. It can be overwhelming because there’s so many choices available to you. But just remember this you’re the one who’s created the content.

[00:11:36] You’re the one who gets to decide how it gets published, where it gets published. But you’re also the one who has the onus on how are you going to work within the industry in this particular case, bookstores and libraries, to ensure that your book can actually get in front of the right customers. Now digital made it easy, digital publishing.

[00:11:57] So eBooks and print on demand made it easier than ever before. For more writers to realize their dream of being published. They did not have to wait for somebody in New York or Toronto or London to give it a thumbs up. Do it themselves, if they want it to now true and proper self-publishing does not equal low quality.

[00:12:17] And a lot of people still think that the only self in self publishing should be self-directed you’re in control of everything. Now that means you professionally self publish. And the professional indie authors know that they bear all of the responsibilities that their publisher normally has for editorial, for design, et cetera.

[00:12:38] So all that the self and self publishing is when done properly is that self-directed I can decide when it’s going to be released. I can decide the price. I can decide the cover. I can decide what editor is working on it, et cetera. I can decide if I want to make changes at any point in time. I don’t have to wait for someone else, else to give me permission.

[00:12:57] Now, the ones who do this are the ones who do. And prosper and not necessarily early on it often can take years before they established that. But digital is only the start because why even think about bookstores and libraries. So many indie authors think, oh, um, I can make all my money by selling eBooks and I don’t really have to interact with people.

[00:13:22] And that is true. That is possibility. But why would you want to consider working with bookstores and libraries other than they’re some of the most magnificent places in the universe? This is a study from the Panorama project through Portland state university, and they showed for discoverability of books is how people discover is a recommendations from friends and favorite author recommendations from family.

[00:13:44] So personal recommendations are pretty important. The discoverability they may discover through online books. They may discover through brick and mortar bookstores, and they may discover through in person events or even sometimes virtual events, like when words collide. Um, and they often go by genre. And category then by author.

[00:14:04] And then they look for reviews. Now, one in three people bought a book in a bookstore that they first found in a library, 75% of respondents to this particular server. They did were library card holder. So it was very library centric. So the most important factors for book purchase. Now, this is not necessarily the thing that drew them to it because the cover often will draw them or draw them away.

[00:14:26] But this is the decision for purchase. Usually starts with category. I’m looking for books in this category. They walk into a bookstore or library, usually in a category or the browsing by category. The author is usually a prominent feature because they may be going with authors that they already know in, like they saw a wonderful keynote talk when words collide and they want to go check out their books.

[00:14:48] Then they look at reviews that consider the price. The cover is a part of it, especially if it’s in the genre and it’s an author. They know the cover is not as prominent there. The cover may be more prominent when they don’t know who you are. And those are some of the factors involved. Now this is from book net, Canada.

[00:15:06] One of the studies. This is how people discover, uh, discover books or decide to buy books. They read the book description, they see what the genre is. Look at the cover, who the authors are very, very similar. You see an, all of these things that can happen. Uh, how people generally discover at word of mouth is still 44%.

[00:15:23] When you think about that and browsing online as high as 32% browsing and physical stores, and this is a Canadian data where as the Portland one is American data. So you can see some of the fluctuations public libraries are still high. Um, social media, nominees, winners, online communities like good reads, et cetera.

[00:15:40] Uh, television radio is relatively small compared to that, uh, as well as print, uh, et cetera. This was the average Canadian book buyer about four or five years ago through book net, Canada. Just to give you an idea of who they are, where they are. 59% of book buyers are female. Usually have some sort of post-secondary.

[00:16:01] They’re married, they’re employed somehow a paperback, 54%, 20, 25% hardcover and 17% ebook. It’s probably gone up a little bit more where eBooks closer to 20%, uh, in that case in one of the challenges is when you’re thinking about traditional publishing is the traditional published books that you books are often more expensive than the paper pack.

[00:16:21] So it’s, uh, it’s something that the traditional publishing world is not necessarily doing all that well, but women are 5% more likely than men to purchase a book as a gift for someone else. So that’s another thing that can become important, especially when you’re thinking about bookstores now, books, uh, engaged per month by gender you’ll notice print books is still relatively high.

[00:16:40] Yes, he books are continuing to grow, but some stats show that in the overall industry between 70 and 80% of all book sales are still coming from print books, because most people still have not read any book. There’s nothing like walking into a bookstore or alive. And finding one of your books on the shelves.

[00:17:01] That is honestly one of the most sweet experiences. This is Sarah Rose at night Naya Novelis sank in St. Pete Florida for, for Novelis Inc. Uh, was it three years ago? And we walked into and we went into Haslam’s bookstore. It was sort of a, a day trip where a bunch of writers went to bookstores and some breweries.

[00:17:20] And this was the first stop. And lo and behold, you found on the shelf, my traditionally published book, tomes and terror. And you found a Sarah’s self-published indie published title. On in the bookstore. So interestingly enough, it is possible to go into a foreign city foreign state foreign province. Find your book on a book, show a store shelf, whether it’s traditionally published yourself published.

[00:17:43] Now it’s a little bit harder in one case, I’m going to kind of explain that Sarah and I had to do a heck of a lot of work to make this happen. Now, for example, the reason Haslam’s had Tums of terror is because I wrote about them, the ghost of Jack Kerouac that hang that resides in Haslam’s bookstore. I several times gone in and interviewed and talked to staff who shared firsthand accounts of their encounters with the ghost.

[00:18:08] So they carried it because it was easily available through a traditional publisher. But also because I did some work, the reason they carried Sarah’s book is she was using print on demand. Now she did make her books fully returnable for her experience. And this is like through Ingram, through lightning source print on demand.

[00:18:25] She made them fully returnable. She was willing to take that risk because the returns for her. We’re small. I got burned the first time I did that, I actually had a chapters indigo by about 300 copies of my very first self published book in 2004, which is kind of cool, but they put one book in every store, across Canada.

[00:18:47] Nobody knew about it because you know, the average chapters or indigo has 70,000 to a hundred thousand titles and it was just spine. So six months later, half the books came back on sold and I actually lost more money on the return. That I made on the sale. So I was actually in the hole, uh, for, for several months while I had to sell more copies to, to, to get back out of that hole.

[00:19:07] Uh, in Sarah’s case, uh, I asked the manager of the bookstore, how did you find out about this book? And he said, uh, I have a customers. Sarah also had had some traditionally published books. And so he did have summer for other books and had customers come in and say, oh my God, I love her. I’m reading her new series.

[00:19:24] He learned about the series from a customer. He went and found them online and he said he would award them even if they were non-returnable because he knew that he had customers that loved her writing. So again, uh, she had to do some extra work, but also her fans did some of the work for. Now being self-published doesn’t mean you can’t get into bookstores and libraries.

[00:19:46] Having a publisher may make having, uh, getting books into bookstores library a little bit easier, but not, not necessarily. It may make it easier. I want to kind of get into that because in either case it’s really comes down to our relationship that you have to curate and you have to nurture. I’d like to say, don’t ask what your local library or bookstore can do for you.

[00:20:07] Ask what you can do for your local bookstore or library. That’s a consideration you want to keep in the back of your mind. It’s a relationship where you both need to benefit. And if you don’t understand the benefits to the library or bookstore, it’s going to be difficult to get the benefits for yourself.

[00:20:25] You’re going to go over some high-level ebook strategy. So. EBooks, the publication of eBooks is free, not talking about the editing and the cover design and all that, but that’s just publishing this freight. What happens is the retailer keeps it present or the distributor, so you can publish direct. Most platforms are Amazon, apple, Google play, Kobo nook.

[00:20:44] Those are the main five, uh, retail platforms for e-books there’s dozens of others. But you can also use a distributor to get to the platforms like draft to digital or Smashwords there’s many others out on the market differences. It’s usually a 10% difference because you’re the middleman. The distributor gets to keep us a small.

[00:21:03] But even among these digital publishing plate platforms, maybe less Amazon, and it’s more difficult with apple, but definitely with Kobo and nook, which are born out of retail, um, uh, bookstores relationships are important. Having relationships. It can happen that can happen through conferences. You got Dave Reynolds from indigo, for example, who’s here, you maybe, or, uh, you had a chance to do a Q and a session with them.

[00:21:31] With when words collide at other, uh, writers conferences. You may have representatives from Amazon or Kobo or, uh, Google or nook at the conferences where you can interact with them, could be Smashwords drafted, digital, published, drive any of those other places. It’s really important to attend to those sessions.

[00:21:49] See what they have to say, listen to their podcasts. Kobo writing life offers a podcasts. Podcasts. IngramSpark has a podcast as well, communicate with them and potentially think about offering them content that would actually be fitting for their audience. Think about what it is that you can do for them to help them out.

[00:22:07] That’s a great place to start with curating those relationships. Now, the inclusive in your approach, this is really, really important. And in many of the retailers pay attention to this. So include links on your author website to all of the platforms, not just Amazon tag them when you’re sharing your book link so that they can see that you’re actively promoting your book at their store.

[00:22:29] Ideally using universal book link books to offers them for free, whether you’re traditional or indie published. This is just an example. Over on the left, you have haunted hospitals, which is a traditionally published book through Dunder and Canada’s largest independent publisher. And over on the right, you have a Canadian Morwell fan New York, which is published under my stark publishing imprint itself, pub self published.

[00:22:50] So what I have is, instead of saying, here are the eight Amazon links and here are the 29 Kobo links in here are the 30 Google links and here’s the one nook link. And. I just have a single link to rule them all and I can put my affiliate codes. So I have my Amazon affiliate and my apple affiliate in there.

[00:23:07] So if anyone clicks this link and goes off and buys anything, I’m still making my money off the affiliate codes. And there’s a little bit of tracking right now. It shows me the top three stores that people click onto. It’s soon going to have a little bit more of those free analytics for people, but again, whether it’s tread, published or self, any published, I have a single link for all of these links in a different formats.

[00:23:29] Uh, it is soon going to be including prints as well. Ebook strategy. Rakuten Kobo. So Kobo has a unique partnership with dozens of bookstores around the world. So here in Canada, for example, when your book is loaded to rackets and Kobo, whether it’s directed Kobo, whether it’s through a publisher or whether it’s through a distributor like drafts to digital, it’s automatically going to get listed on chapters, indigo, who is their Canadian bookstore partner.

[00:23:54] Uh, they just handled that eBooks for them. So they do that in dozens of countries around the world where w H Smith in the UK, for example, FINAC and France, Monta, Dorian, Italy are some of the bookstore partnerships that rockets and Kobo has. So if your book is an e-book on. It’s available through that bookstore through dairy buck offering in the U S you have indie, which is owned by the American booksellers association.

[00:24:18] It’s an opportunity to connect eBooks through, um, through local bookstores and, which has came onto the scene just about a year and a half ago. That is primarily print books, but offers the opportunity to have an online bookshop in support of a local bookstore, which you can do as an author to help support the local bookstores.

[00:24:38] These are just some of the things you can do with ebook strategies. I like to say be creative. So one, one possible idea you might want to do when you’re thinking about a bookstore offer free book. Um, Hey, if you show me that you bought this at any of these local bookstore, Contact me, send me a picture of you with the book and the receipt or anything like that.

[00:24:56] Just to show that you got that, I’ll send you the ebook for free, cause I want, I want you to support the bookstore, but I want you to have something extra in the convenience of being able to read it on your phone or on your Kindle or Kobo or whatever, maybe there’s content or value that you can offer is support of there’s independent bookstore day, which takes place in, um, I think it’s in may in the U S and it’s an August in Canada, uh, different times of the year, but there’s, there’s these days where even during the pandemic, when you can’t get into the bookstore, you can do some virtual events, um, on a print book strategy, you can try.

[00:25:30] Now the best way. As a, as I mentioned to get a book into bookstores, uh, is through a traditional publisher, uh, ideally a publisher that doesn’t use print on demand. A publisher that actually does large offset print nuns actually has books in warehouses, warehouses, those books, and has an established sales relationship with numerous bookstores.

[00:25:48] Now I am a publisher start publishing, but I wouldn’t dare call myself a publisher in the way that I think of traditional publishers who actually have stock in a warehouse and sales reps out there interacting. Like when I was a bookstore buyer, I would interact with a sales rep. So it would come in and show me catalogs and suggest things that I should buy from their catalogs.

[00:26:09] That is the best way to get into print bookstores. But even if you have a publisher, you probably still have to establish and leverage connections and relationships. And an often I recommend start locally. That’s a really good place to start. And remember that with print, whether it’s self published or traditionally published.

[00:26:26] I mean, the percentage that you keep as an author. So tiny, it’s typically 10. It’s like usually about 8%. Uh, that’s what I’m getting from. Most of my published, uh, traditional publishing deals. And when I think about the percentage I end up with, once everyone takes a slice of the pie on my print, on the band stuff that I’ve self published, it may be somewhere in that range.

[00:26:46] Sometimes it’s a little higher. Sometimes it’s a little lower cause everyone needs a piece of the pie in prints with the book. There’s less pieces of that pie getting divided is something you can do. Just some ideas, uh, order author copies through your local bookstore. So for example, done during gives me 40% off.

[00:27:03] Uh, if I want to buy author copies directly from the publisher, I can get them for 40% off so I can resell them, myself and local events and stuff. I don’t actually make royalties off of those, but if I contact my local bookstore and order a box through their bookstore, they’ll get the 40%. Or hire sometimes depending on the volume that they’re ordering.

[00:27:23] And I usually request, Hey, I’ll order a box. You just order it in it’s 50 or 60 copies of the book. Can you give me the staff discount? Which means they’re going to make 10% still it’s a pass through sale. They don’t even have to unbox it practically. You just have to grab the, the purchase order, receive it into their system, ring it through.

[00:27:40] It’s like in and out, it’s an in and out sale. It registers as a sale with book net Canada here in Canada, or with Nielsen BookScan in the state. So it counts as a sale supports the bookstore, but also supports the publisher has. In a positive way. So that’s just one of the things that I’ve done through, uh, several different bookstores, uh, over the years.

[00:28:01] And, and, and it’s worked for any bookstores. Uh, I think most of the time where they’re willing to do that because, Hey, it’s a guaranteed sale of a, of a minimum margin. Why not take it? Uh, and, and it is showing us collaborating. I’ve offered personally signed books or to through a local bookstore. Hey, if you want to personally sign book for anywhere in the world, order from this bookstore and they’ll contact me, I’ll bring stock over, I’ll sign it, they’ll ship it because they have the means.

[00:28:27] They do shipping and receiving all the time. Uh, and it saves me the hassle, but it also shows my support through a local bookstore. And then they either buy it on consignment or sometimes they’ll just order, order it in. Um, but oftentimes it’s consignment and I just bring it directly to them. So. Another print book strategy, if it’s available through a distributor, um, or if it’s traditionally published, it can also include Ingram print on demand.

[00:28:54] The bookstore might disorder it. Uh, traditional titles, as I mentioned are usually fully returnable. There’s less risk to the bookstore. Now I have. But bookstores to bring in stock, whether it’s returnable or non-returnable, I sometimes I’ll want them to bring in more stock just so we don’t sell out. I’ve actually sold out a few of my book, launch events, where they actually sold out in half an hour.

[00:29:16] And you sat there for the next two hours, wondering like you just wanted to greet people in Sam story. They sold those, but I’ll offer to buy any stock that doesn’t sell. So they’re not stuck with it or they don’t have to return it. That’s another nice thing I do in collaboration with the bookstore. And I’m going to talk about the reasons why I do that later.

[00:29:33] And then there’s, there’s often consignment options, a lot more work. It’s a lot more work for the bookstore and it’s a lot more work for you, but sometimes it’s the only option that they have, and that can be used with traditional or indie mostly within the published titles, because when it’s trend, they’ll usually get it through the distributor.

[00:29:49] The generous, this is a couple things that I’ve done. Uh, so when I released creepy capital, um, uh, haunted books, uh, haunted ghost stories of Ottawa, I created a t-shirt on the front, it had the book cover and on the back it says, I love to hunt and I made a shirt. The three different indie bookstores. I was doing the book launch for that weekend, uh, different locations, different times.

[00:30:12] I love to hunt perfect books and I had their URL. What is your favorite book is Sean’s. And then, uh, when I launched tomes of terrorist, like I love to Ohana Hamilton public library, and I made a bunch of ice. So I made an extra, a bunch of shirts for perfect books in different sizes. And I gave them 10 of them.

[00:30:29] And I said, here you go, because I know indie bookstores have really passionate local customers that are there, the regulars who come in all the time and they love to give them free stuff. It’s usually swag from publishers. Hey, here’s a Michael Conley coffee mug and here’s a, here’s a, um, Diana Balden, uh, you know, the sword letter opener or whatever, uh, from Outlander, uh, they, they get stuff like this from publishers all the time.

[00:30:51] So I wanted to make something that helped them advertise. Their store and their favorite customers probably love wearing a shirt with their store logo on it, but it also has my book on it. And they did the same thing with Tom’s of Tara. I love to hunt, uh, you know, what’s your favorite book is haunt or bookstore haunt or whatever.

[00:31:07] So again, just a little thing for marketing, something that can last a long, long time I’ve done, uh, collaborations and experiments. Uh, when I was launching creepy capital, I contacted the local Ghostbusters group and I said, would you be willing to come out? Cause they, they, you know, they love, uh, doing cosplay.

[00:31:24] They love dressing up. So I had to go so you can come and meet the Ghostbuster, uh, when you, when you came into the store. So one of them you can see is over at a chain store at indigo, uh, Rido center downtown. And this other one was at an independent bookstore, uh, just up the street, uh, as well, two different days, two different Ghostbusters, just a really great opportunity for bringing people in.

[00:31:47] It was something that was related to the book and would draw people into the store. Um, I think, uh, yeah, there’s, there’s different styles that you can do because again, they may not be necessarily interested in the book, but they come for the Ghostbuster, but while they’re there, their interest may be peaked.

[00:32:03] I’ve done collaborations with epic books in Hamilton, Ontario, close to Halloween. I actually had a fog machine set up outside, a friend of mine who is six foot four dressed up in a skull and mask. And I was inside sharing ghost stories and he was just attracting people and he was dancing to a repeated loop of Michael Jackson’s thriller over and over on unlocked street, uh, in Jamie’s relatively small store, just basically attracting people going, what is going on over there.

[00:32:31] They had to come over and check out my goofy friends, dancing in a, in a skull costume. Uh, and then they came in for those free ghost stories. And again, they, uh, Jamie had copies of haunted Hamilton. She also had some of my, uh, other books, uh, available for. I’ve collaborated with the local ghost walk groups.

[00:32:48] This is haunted Hamilton that came to my, they came to my ghost walk. Uh, they did a free ghost walk for my launch of, of haunted Hamilton. And it was a really awesome, uh, tour where people got a chance to check them out. Uh, it was like a 15 minute tour and they normally do two hour tours. It was completely free.

[00:33:08] Everyone got a coupon, so they could get $5 off if they booked a full tour on one of their full tours and obviously had a local bookstore there that, that came in and was there to sell the books. Uh, and it was at the library because the library sometimes we’ll sell the books or we’ll sometimes, um, work with the bookseller or sometimes they just allow you to bring in either your own books or why not work with a bookstore.

[00:33:32] Um, that was a good one. Cause I think I had over 120 people to up for that downtown event. Um, this is a one sheet and it’s available over at mark Bookstores libraries. This is an example from, uh, Rachel and Amfleet, uh, she’s a UK crime author, and this is the one sheet that she sends out often to libraries or bookstores.

[00:33:56] You can download a sample of it, so you can see there’s other samples from Rachel at that same page. But just to give you an idea of some of the stuff that, uh, she’s she’s offering and other tips for authors, bookstores, and libraries really important to define yourself as a local author or a big fish in a small pool.

[00:34:16] If I compare myself to Stephen King, as a guy writes scary stories, I’m not going to get anywhere, but if I compare myself to every single other horror author from my small town of Lubbock, Ontario, I’m the number one author. Well, I’m the only one, but I’m the number one author from that town. So that’s a really important thing.

[00:34:34] My best-selling book, spooky Sudbury from my small city in, uh, mid Northern Ontario, 90,000 people still outsells MOCAD Montreal city of millions, the second, most populous city in Canada. Why the local interest factor it. But first book was released in 2013. I believe in, in 2021, I’m still selling more copies, uh, per year than of the more recent McCall.

[00:35:00] Because of Sudbury, it can be you as a local author, and it’s not just where you live, where you born, where you lived for a number of years where you went to school, where you were a resident. Think of that, you know, Lincoln slept here. You were an author who slept in that town or lived in that town. That can be a factor.

[00:35:16] Hey, so-and-so spent six months in whatever writing a book or was, you know, in bam, you know, on this, on this retreat and wrote the book over four days. Anything that ties you to the local spot can be used in an interesting way, especially when you’re talking to bookstores and libraries and it can be the content of your book is local.

[00:35:34] So it can be set in that locale. So for example, my novel, a Canadian werewolf in New York, my main character lives at the Algonquin hotel, which is a literary hotel in New York. I’ve actually had readers who didn’t know about the Algonquin hotel, actually go and look it up because they didn’t know if I was making.

[00:35:50] Or not, was it a real hotel? Cause it sounds so cool. And sure enough, it’s a real hotel. I’d like to believe that maybe some people will end up staying at the Algonquin hotel because they heard about it through that. There’s an opportunity for me, not just to work with the bookstore and library, but I’d love to send them some copies of the book and just put them on display in their, uh, in their lobby that maybe that’s because, Hey, this hotel I was featured in this book or this series, I should say, here are the important things not to.

[00:36:18] Bookstores or businesses. They have costs so many hidden costs and they operate on really low margins. So the books that they carry, they need to sell, they have to sell in order for them to pay all those costs. To keep the lights on our libraries are similar and on the books they stock don’t sell, but they need to circulate to customers.

[00:36:36] Otherwise they’re just dead space taking up space. They’re frustrating. Librarians want people to be engaged and interact with the library. And much of that is the things they check out and the stuff that goes into circulation. So they want stuff that is going to resonate with their clientele. Be mindful of the time that you approached them.

[00:36:56] You don’t walk in on December 24th, just three hours before it’s closing best Christmas shopping day of the year and try to pitch your book to them. They’re a little bit busy right now. So think about the approach. So sometimes when you go into a bookstore and something’s going on, it may not be. The best time, uh, to, to connect with them, whether it’s librarian, whether it’s a bookseller.

[00:37:19] Uh, the biggest question that you should ask as an author is how is this book, or does this book help them achieve their goal of selling? Will it sell to their customer base? Who is their customer base? If I go into the back of Phoenix books, a science fiction and fantasy book shop in Toronto, and I try to pitch them my contemporary fiction book, or I try to pitch them one of my non-fiction books for writers and publishers, not really going to go over well, but if I try to pitch them, you know, Hey, you should carry my urban fantasy novel, a Canadian werewolf in New York.

[00:37:52] That’s more their cup of tea. You should carry the science fiction anthology. I edited. That’s more their cup of tea. So think about who the customers are and how your. Connects with who those customers are. And then also consider what your first impressions might be when you reach out to them. When you email them, when you see them in person, when you talk to them, ideally, do you already have a relationship and support them before you’re asking for something from them?

[00:38:16] Have you given them something, uh, have you given them business, have you given them support through the local community? That’s a great way to have a real relationship with a bookseller, not just think of them as a conduit for a place where you can sell your books. And another thing that’s really, really incredible is please help them out by using familiar comp titles and your descriptions.

[00:38:35] Um, and, and a lot of people will say, well, that’s dumbing. My book down in my book is so unique, so beautiful and so wonderful. And it’s like, unlike anything that’s ever existed in the history of publishing, but let’s remember, we know the common we have to think about. We have to understand things based on what we already know.

[00:38:54] So for example, when I described my novel, a away, uh, in the Canadian Marvel series, I say, well, it’s like planes, trains, and automobiles meets Logan. Now those are movies, not books, but most people are familiar with. Planes trains and automobiles. So they go, okay, it’s a road trip, some sort of misadventure on some sort of road trip.

[00:39:15] And Logan involves a cross country trip with, uh, a man and a, a young, uh, a young girl that he’s protecting. I think I know what this book is about. It’s about a guy who’s wearable. If he’s trying to protect a young girl from another predator, as they’re rushing on a train across the U S from Manhattan to Stowe Vermont.

[00:39:35] So that kind of dumbs it down to simple concepts. They can understand who the potential readers might be. I have plenty of books, seller insights in the stark reflections on writing and publishing podcasts with Susan fi and indie author herself who, uh, opened up, uh, an independent bookstore specifically to stock books from indie author.

[00:39:58] Yes. Uh, and it’s in, uh, it’s in Northern Ontario, not too far from thunder bay. It’s right on the highway there. And Susan’s, she moved up there. She bought the store, opened it up in the midst of the pandemic and, uh, heck a whole bunch of my titles and pretty much, you know, 90% of the bookstore is in the author titles, which is pretty phenomenal.

[00:40:17] I’ve got other ones, uh, author author, which is an online bookstore. And I talked to Laura Hayden who opens and runs that. And she also shares a lot of great insights from their perspective. And if you’re looking for librarian insights, I’ve got insights from the youth services librarians in Pennsylvania.

[00:40:34] Uh, just a general conversation about working with, uh, bookstores and libraries. And then the, the consumer survey from the pandemic, uh, uh, Pandora project, the immersive media report. Uh, I’ve got an interview with the two doctors who put that together, uh, just earlier in 2021. This is just some of my.

[00:40:53] Contact information where you can find me online, et cetera. If you want to take a screenshot, I’m at the half hour mark. So I thought I would stop my sharing and move over so I can see your beautiful faces again, and answer questions, et cetera, just so I can see questions, but feel free to unmute your mic and, uh, go ahead and ask any questions that you have.

[00:41:21] If not, I’ll start reading the questions.

Can you ever really have enough skulls? Julie said, no, you’re, it’s so true. You can’t ever have enough skulls. Uh, Brian said, well, this document be available later. Yeah. Brandy, what I can do is I can make the, um, uh, I make a PDF available. Um, try to figure out how to get that to you guys.

[00:41:40] Um, you can always email me, mark it, mark. Leslie dot. Say, that’s a great way for me to send it to you, So you don’t have to spell. You don’t have to spell Lefebvre. I’ll put, I’ll put that in, uh, in the comments so you can copy and paste. I think I typed it correctly. Uh, can you put up the, where to find you for a moment again?

[00:42:05] Ah, yeah, let me do that again. Uh, share screen where you can find me. Hopefully you can see that, um, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, over on the left, you got my email, et cetera. And T come on, please follow me on TikTok. I have no followers there and no action. Come on. I need some love. Um, uh, Michael asked if your comp mentions and author name, is that a bad thing?

[00:42:31] No. So Michael a comp is really just sharing to a potential buyer or a book’s a seller or a librarian. Hey, it’s like a Michael Conley novel written by Terry Pratchett or something like that. Right. So when you’re using them now a comp title, when you’re sharing what it’s about, there are certain online advertising platforms where you can’t like you can’t put an author name in Amazon keywords, for example, but you can definitely help a book seller help a librarian, help a potential reader say, yeah, it’s like, so-and-so wrote a book on this topic.

[00:43:03] Like imagine, you know, imagine, you know, it’s like the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy as a player as applicable to, as if it were written by blank. So that, that just helps people understand a little bit of where you’re coming to. So Lori says seems useful. And wondering if self-publishers can use it.

[00:43:24] I don’t know what all it is. So I’m going to have to look unless you can explain what it seems to be. Lori, don’t be shy. You guys can unmute yourselves if you want. Mark. I had one a little bit farther up in the chat, but just wondering then if we should make our books returnable or not. Yeah. So Danielle, that’s a great question.

[00:43:45] Um, I’ve been bit by that and I, and I, and I lost, um, it was, it was only a couple hundred dollars, but I was in the hall for a while with my first self-published book, by making it fully returnable. I stopped doing that cause I kind of got gun shy once bitten, twice shy kind of thing. But what I have done recently is I use drafted digital print to make all my paperbacks now.

[00:44:08] Cause it’s just easier to get them out there. And I use Ingram spark for the hard covers and I’ve made my heart covers returnable. The, her covers are so expensive there. These. Trade like a cloth, um, hard, hard case, uh, cover without, without a dust jacket that just printed right on the hard, hard case. And I’ve done that because they’re so bloody expensive that I don’t think they’re going to order a lot and they’re probably only gonna order it if they believe they’re going to sell it or probably for a special order for someone who wants the hardcover.

[00:44:39] So I have made them available. And I think of the, and again, I don’t think I’ve sold more than 50 or 60 copies of the hard cover of a Canadian Marvel from New York, only to the diehard people who wanted to have the hard cover. I think I only had one. From Ingram on that. So, so it wasn’t like I sold 50 and I had 25 return, which that returned ironically costs more than the sales.

[00:45:00] So, uh, that one returned didn’t hurt me. So I’ve been lucky, but I would be very, very, very careful. Or maybe you can make it temporarily returnable and test it out. Um, again, I, it was, it was great that a chapter’s buyer, uh, went and bought a bunch of my books and wanted to support me. I was, that was very nice of them, but, you know, buying the books without any marketing support, nobody knows they just show up in the store.

[00:45:27] No one knows about them and they’re going to get returned. Um, that’s rarely going to happen to people. So that, that’s what, that’s what hurt me. Uh, stats from Ingram do show that about 1%. Uh, on average, 1% of books get returned at Ingram. I just happened to be in that negative one. Um, Laurie says all, all lit up seems to be a promo book, just throw collaborative of some sort, and they pay shipping for Canadian publishers to ship to remote areas.

[00:45:55] Oh, that looks interesting. I’d have to check it out. So thanks, Laurie. I’ll have to look it up and see, maybe I’ll, I’ll end up talking about it on, on the stark reflections podcasts. If it looks intriguing or if it scares me and I think it’s a scam I will definitely share. Um, Sarah says, looks like all lit up only accepts books published from all literary press group members.

[00:46:14] Okay. And literary press group. Like they represent a lot of smaller publishers in Canada. So, um, that’s cool. Um, uh, and I guess, I guess I missed Danielle’s question. Oh, didn’t Mark Dawson get into trouble for ordering a huge amount of, yeah. So yeah, when Mark Dawson did, uh, so Danielle made a comment, um, Mark Dawson had a deal with a traditional publisher and he offered to buy because he’s so bloody generous.

[00:46:42] Copies of his books so he could sign them and ship them, whatever. And it was, and it was again in support of the bookstores in support of the library. And it ended up because it was going through the, the BookScan, it ended up that people like, well, Hey, you’re scamming the system. Well guess what big publishers do that all the time?

[00:46:58] You know, I don’t think Mark Dawson did anything wrong. He was supporting the industry, supporting the publishers. He was supporting this fans and, and he got, uh, crapped on, uh, for that. And so I think it was kind of a weird, a weird one and why not? He’s supporting the bookstore. And again, like the quantities I’m buying are never like, I’m not no Mark Dawson.

[00:47:18] So his quantities were big. Like, Hey, if I’m buying 60 copies of a book that, that ain’t going to be much of football on anyone’s radar. How do you deal with having your book catalog a catalog properly since most libraries, no longer do their own catalog. And yeah. So, uh, libraries often use Marc records, MIRC records.

[00:47:36] Uh, I have a link to that over on, uh, mark, bookstores libraries. Uh, there’s, there’s a link to more information about that because it’s really complex, but a lot of them do rely on, uh, by Zack book, industry standards, um, subject and classifications, the subject codes, uh, that are tied in when the book is self-published because they usually get feeds, uh, either through a distributor that goes into a place like overdrive, uh, that would deal with libraries or baker and Taylor that, uh, wholesales to libraries or Ingram.

[00:48:07] And then usually they interpret the book industry standard subject codes into mark records for you. So that’s a that’s, uh, that’s usually one way, uh, that that can happen. Uh, now. And make our books returnable. And then Gary said that the returnable books stripped. So Gary, um, return of a books are only stripped in the case of mass market paperbacks, which usually means that the publisher printed 50 to a hundred thousand copies in that small pocket size.

[00:48:36] And the reason they strip it is because it’s cheaper to destroy the paperback. You rip the cover off there’s the barcode and all the information to the publishers on the front cover. And you mail back 300 copies of a book and a thin envelope to get credit for it because the cost of mailing those back and forth is cost prohibitive.

[00:48:54] It’s cheaper. Cause that’s how cheap they are to produce. It’s actually cheaper to recycle those. And that’s a, that’s a, a long standing industry. Uh, terms. So we can’t make our books. Strippable when they’re print on demand, they’re actually fully returnable. So what I did with my return returnables for Ingram is I pay a little bit extra because they’re hardcover, they’re a little bit more durable.

[00:49:15] Hopefully not going to be as damaged as much. If they get returned, I pay extra to have them shipped to me. So I have extra stock that I can either maybe give away if they’re slightly damaged, uh, or, uh, or, or sell myself. And Michael, you have your hand up. I see. Yeah. A quick question. Um, if you have your, a book online for sale and you have your blurb, how critical is it to put that blurb on the back cover of the book, as opposed to maybe just a blurb from another.

[00:49:45] Um, when it’s a self published book. Exactly. It’s on demand. It’s not what I mean by the time they have the book in their hand, they’ve already paid for it. They’re not using not going to see it. Right. Like to pick it up and turn it over. So unless it’s, unless it’s going to be displayed somewhere or someone can see it in my mind, it doesn’t really matter.

[00:50:03] You just, you don’t really need to have anything other than the barcode on the back of it. But, um, it could be beneficial. Uh, it’s it’s more beneficial in the description. Like those reviews, those blurbs from, uh, from a big name author or someone who writes in the same genre and just raved about it or, or a, a review from publishers weekly or a review magazine or something like that.

[00:50:26] So if you wind up with your book, you’re in a bookstore or in the library, I mean, someone’s looking at the cover. That’s one thing, but how are they supposed to know what’s inside of it?

[00:50:38] How are they supposed to know what’s inside of it? Um, like what what’s it about? So you get that little blurb from another. Yeah, hopefully that’s enough. Well, I mean, you, you should have some sort of description. It’s, it’s going to be in a category that covers going to speak to what the category is, obviously the genre.

[00:50:53] And then, then a little bit of, uh, uh, and again, there’s a whole art of, of, of that sales copy. That’s really sales copy. There’s some great, uh, Brian Meeks and Brian Cohen offer free webinars and stuff on how to get this right. I’ve hired Brian Cohen, a read Brian Meeks book on the topic as well, uh, to write blurbs.

[00:51:13] Cause that is critical. Uh, thanks for the question though. I hope that did that answer it. So, thank you. Uh, can I explain the one sheet Marilyn asks? Can I explain the one sheet a little better? So, so the one sheet, uh, I often use a PowerPoint to make them, uh, but you can just use a word document, then you make it into a PDF.

[00:51:32] It’s got the book cover, it’s got the ISBNs the formats it’s available when it’s released. Is it part of a series? What about you? The author is there, like Michael said a blurb about the book from another author from a reviewer. Um, it’s basically a simple cheat sheet and it very much looks like the sales sheets I would get from in catalogs from publishers.

[00:51:52] Hey, here are the books we’re publishing this fall. And I would sit there with the rep and we would go through, it’d be a catalog of like maybe 50 bucks and they would highlight the five that they think I should buy. And that’s where the sales sheet is. It’s just yet another tool that they can look at and go in a single.

[00:52:06] View, they’re obviously going to judge it by the cover, but where can they find out more? So one of mine says this is available through overdrive, through hope, love through bibliotech through burrow box. So again, depending on what library system I send it to, if they use those platforms, they know, oh yeah, yeah.

[00:52:22] We use anger. Oh, we use overdrive for eBooks. We use whatever. So that makes it easier. Um, Jeff asks, uh, I hope Marilyn that answers sell sheets, get any specific questions, feel free to pop in and ask something or a comment I’ve got five minutes left just to let you guys know. Jeff says, have you ever attempted to sell self-published books to the library wholesaler?

[00:52:45] Yeah. You know what, actually, uh, Jeff, uh, right here in Kitchener, Waterloo is Ontario’s library wholesaler just around the corner and I set up an account with them and then there’s a catalog thing you have to send. And, and I actually have fallen behind. But I am attempting to send them my full catalog of all the books.

[00:53:04] I’ve got a book on publishing from. Uh, Katie’s Graham I’m rereleasing, uh, one of her books and doing the next four in the series through stark publishing, even though I’m not a real publisher, I am, uh, you know, I am working as hard as I can to get this book out there and to the market. So I will want the library to know, Hey, I can bring you some stock because the cool thing is I don’t even have to pay for shipping.

[00:53:27] I can just drive them over. Uh, so I don’t need to charge them shipping and all that stuff. So I am looking at that. Uh, and I will report back to the industry in general, because I think that’s a possibility. I know it’s a lot of extra work people aren’t necessarily willing to do for new writers. Um, perhaps, uh, J Paul Cooper says you should mention public landing rights.

[00:53:46] Thank you, my friend, I did not mention public landing rights, but if you’re a Canadian author, uh, or you’re in a Commonwealth country, if you’re coming from another country, not the U S I’m sad to say you can register for public landing rights, go and put in your catalog February 1st, go, just put a calendar entry that says public lending, right?

[00:54:03] If you have a book that is published in print and ebook or. Whether it’s traditionally published, whether you’ve self published it, you register with the public lending rights and they will do a random sampling the following year to find it. And if they find it in libraries, you make money, the public lending, right check that I received, uh, in the last four years.

[00:54:25] Has paid for the equivalent of a week-long all-expense paid tropical vacation. So it’s not chump change. It’s actually can add up over time. It’s actually a significant, and the reason I know this is, it usually comes in around the same time a year that my credit card has some sort of bill like that on it, and it just covers it.

[00:54:42] So that’s kind of a cool thing. Um, but definitely check a public lending. Right? So if you just Google public landing rights, Canada, uh, I’ve even got some videos online about that. Uh, the print on demand service that I use, um, I use a draft two digital print, which is in beta. So if you have a draft digital account, you click on little print tab and you can get added to the waiting list for a beta, but I use English.

[00:55:06] Uh, now I used lightning source in the early days. That was the only way you could get in. And you had to set up like a regular publisher account. It was a lot of bells and whistles. They now have Ingram spark, which is like a easier front end version to, to use, uh, for print on demand. And whether you go through IngramSpark or draft to digital, um, your books are available to libraries and bookstores through Ingram, which is the world’s largest English language wholesaler of print books.

[00:55:34] There are other services out there that may use and leverage that, but those are the two primary ones that I can use. I also use a local printer here in Kitchener and Waterloo, M and T printing. So if I need a hundred copies or 200 copies of something, it might cost me a little bit more per unit or sometimes a little bit less, depending on the volume, because usually with them, the cost goes down with volume, but the shipping from the U S from the Nashville, Tennessee warehouse to me in Waterloo, Ontario is cost prohibited.

[00:56:04] But the shipping for me to drive down the street and pick up a box from M and T is great. And even there’s a, there’s a company in Montreal called Rapido. Uh, and they do print on demand printing and offset printing, and they do amazing work. And I’ve used them a couple of times. And even the cost of shipping from Montreal to Waterloo is minimal compared to what I would pay when it’s crossing the border.

[00:56:26] Uh, so I use a combination of print on demand services as well as local printers, especially if I’m looking for larger, uh, Quantity, uh, quantities of books. Uh, and, uh, Jay Paul Cooper says you only have to register a book once. Uh, stefka Stephanie says you have to register for every year. So you register with them.

[00:56:44] You have an account under your author named Stephanie, and then every year you register any new books that you may have published in the proceeding year. Uh, and what does happen is your front list or your newer books earn more money when they’re found in the library. And then after they are more than like five to 10 years old, you earn a little bit less every year.

[00:57:03] Um, and you can’t register anything. That’s been published more than five years ago. Um, when you, if you’re first registering. So hopefully that helps you. Uh, so that is, uh, well, it’s two 50 Eastern. I hope I was able to answer all your questions. If not ping me over it. At mark, If you’re up for ghost stories, I’m doing a haunted Fort tonight, a virtual haunted Fort.

[00:57:27] We’re just going to be sharing ghost stories and having some drinks. And Dean’s silly, but thank you guys so much for your great questions. I hope I got to everyone’s questions and I hope you enjoy the rest of when words collide. Have a great afternoon.

[00:57:43] Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for, uh, thanks for co-hosting then Nicole. Appreciate it. Thanks mark. Awesome as usual. Thanks Sarah.


So how Metta is it if I want to reflect on. What was just basically an hour long reflection of me talking. Um, I, uh, I, I was just thinking about, um, what I’d said in the introduction when, uh, to introduce the talk is that sometimes you need to hear something or see something or experience something multiple times before inspiration strikes.

[00:58:18] And, and that even happens for me because sometimes when I’m putting together content of something that I may have spoken about before, uh, the effect of the audience or the effect of the audience I’m doing it for helps me refine it in a new way. You may have noticed, especially if you are an experienced indie author, you may have noticed that, um, a lot of the perspective that I shared came to an audience, it’s probably not.

[00:58:48] As familiar with indie publishing, um, as, as some, you know, specifically indie publishing audiences, because when words collide is a very balanced conference and if anything probably leans more heavily towards the traditional publisher. So when I’m doing a talk, I always want to make sure that I try to cater the talk to the audience in question.

[00:59:10] And in one of the biggest mistakes that I often make is. I want to provide as much content and value and information as possible and to some audiences particularly. And I find this when I do this, you know, for local libraries where people who don’t even know the digital publishing opportunities that I really have to scale it back.

[00:59:31] I really have to pull my punches because I can really terrify people. Uh, occasionally I’ve done a talk where I’m just like, and here’s all the cool things you can do. And, and, and, and, you know, I look at the crowd and it was big deer in the headlights look on their faces because of like, you can publish any book for free, right?

[00:59:47] Like, and I’m not mocking those folks because this is something they’ve never seen. This is something they’ve never experienced. So that’s something that’s a really important. And it’s really difficult in larger crowds because you’re going to have a range of people. You’re going to have experienced authors who who’ve done, you know, hundreds of different things or, uh, you know, been published, uh, for decades, uh, traditionally published for decades.

[01:00:13] So they know the ins and outs of that. And so when I’m talking about that, they’re like, well, yeah, you’re, you’re kind of simplifying it a little bit. Uh, and then on the flip side, when I, when I talk about the indie publishing scene, uh, there may be folks who are, you know, from traditional publishing and go well, okay.

[01:00:26] That’s new that I’ve never heard that before. That’s interesting. I didn’t know you could do that. Whereas, you know, somebody who has, uh, you know, a decade of experience in, uh, in indie publishing is going to go, yeah, well, that’s that, that’s basic. Why am I here? I want to get something new. So that’s always a challenge that I have, but even if it is something that you’ve heard before seen before, sometimes for me anyways, it is that.

[01:00:52] Access or exposure to the content that that helps inspire me. So, like I said, I hope you found something in that talk that maybe even is related to, or maybe just a different way that I said it, uh, than in some of the previous episodes of this podcast where I talked to about this specific strategies for libraries or bookstores, there were two separate episodes.

[01:01:13] So I did go into a little bit more detail for each, but hopefully you found something to reflect on and be inspired with that’s it for episode 207. Thank you so much for joining me here as a listener, I really do love the fact that I’m in your. Right now, thank you for giving me the time, uh, to lend me your ears.

[01:01:37] That sounds like I’m going to launch into Julius Caesar. Doesn’t it. But, but friends, Romans, I do love you and I appreciate your being here. There’s this, thanks so much for listening to the stark reflections podcast, you can find show notes and links to cool things over at stark reflections that CA feel free to of course, share your comments, thoughts and reflections.

[01:01:57] Let me know if this kind of solo episode where I’m sharing audio from talks that I’ve done. If, if you find that valuable and you’re like, well, let’s just recycle content, man. I feel like you ripped me off. Um, yeah, let me know. I’d love to, I’d love to hear your feedback because I do respect your thoughts and perspectives.

[01:02:13] So until next week, when we’re gathered here to again, in this audio digital space that we are in and sharing dear listener, here’s wishing you great writing and good stark reflections.


Liz: [01:02:30] Thank you for listening to the stark reflections podcast, you can find show notes for each

Mark: [01:02:44] music for this podcast, laser group was composed and produced by Kevin McCloud. Check out more of Kevin’s great music at

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