Confessions of a Book Buyer

Introduction for Kate Larking's confessions of a professional book buyer series

When I gave a presentation on book buying at the 2015 Sirens Conference in Denver, CO, I underestimated how many people wanted to know more about the process. I found myself in a room with many curious writers…and most, if not all, of the guests of honour ready to learn about the process as well.

And then in dawned on me.

The Main Misconception about Book Buying

A lot of writing and publishing advice websites and articles concentrate on the:

  1. craft of writing,
  2. publication paths between self-publishing and traditionally publishing, and
  3. marketing that the author can do.

Which is great. I mean, those are all tools and information that a writer needs.

But in the publication paths section, there is something that really annoys me. A lot of blogs, when talking about going indie or aiming for traditional publishing, phrase traditional publishing as “something writers should do if their goal is to have their books on the shelves of bookstores.”

As a book buyer, in charge of choosing which traditionally published books go onto a shelf in my store, my position is omitted when looking at publishing this way. Looking simply at traditional publishing as a guaranteed way of getting books into stores misunderstanding I’ve seen both indie and traditionally-inclined writers experience.

About the Confessions of a Book Buyer Series

It’s my goal to answer a question bi-weekly about book buying and publishing from a book buyer’s perspective. My information will not be universal across all bookstores and buyers. Why?

  • I did not train with my predecessor in my bookstore
  • I’ve established my own systems for analyzing books for order
  • I bring a writer’s perspective to ordering which is more accommodating than non-writing book buyers
  • I am just one voice in one store.

If you’re curious to follow me as I venture to explain book buying, you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Do you have a question about professional book buying that you would like to see answered? Leave me a comment and I will be sure to answer!

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