At last, I'm back touring bookstores. I went to 6 bookstores yesterday. Actually I only went to two because 4 locations were closed! I got the bookstore addresses from the Internet - but instead of bookstores, auto body, gardening, and empty spaces occupied the storefront addresses.
Of the two bookstores that actually existed, the first was run by a nice, middle-aged lady named Mary. I showed her my book and asked her if she would stock it on consignment. She looked the book cover over and said, "No." She wasn't interested because she knew it wouldn't sell to her customers.
"Why not," I asked.
"Because most of my sales are romance novels," she responded. "I sell them used at $4.00 a copy. What does your book cost?"
"$16.95," I said ruefully.
She didn't want to waste both of our time stocking it. I gave her my card and left.
Cover to Cover Books
The second bookstore I got inside was run by another middle-aged lady. I told her that I was a local author and asked if she might be interested in stocking my book. She said she would like to see it. I showed her a copy. She paged through it for a minute and then handed it back.
"Sorry, I'm not interested," she said.
"Why not," I asked. "I'm curious."
"Most of the books I sell are used paperbacks. New books I've bought in the past from local authors have sat on the shelf for over 2 years and still not sold. I don't believe my customers will buy your book."
"OK," I said and I left the store, hauling my satchel of unsold books back to the car.
We'll try more bookstores tomorrow.