Last Fall I decided to submit the ISBN for my memoir Candy Apple Butterscotch into the expanded distribution market. Basically my ISBN (the number that identifies my book for marketing/sales tracking purposes) went into a catalogue that is only available to purchasing agents for retail stores. Hundreds of thousands of books fill this catalogue and by nothing short of a miracle my book was selected and distributed nationwide a few months ago.
There are 100 different districts and my book sold in five of them. One in Chicago, Cleveland, NorCal, NYC and one somewhere else categorized as a “combined district” sale which basically means it came from one very specific store and as an author I’m not privy to that information per their source agreement. They don’t want me running off to that store and buying every the copy to unfairly influence my sales patterns/seller rating.
My seller rating actually matters now that I’m in the catalogue. I’m somewhere near the bottom of the NYT Best Sellers list. I’ve sold more than zero so I’m not at the very bottom, but I guarantee my rating is nothing to celebrate.
Those five copies that individuals took home? Those very special five copies that total strangers saw, flipped through and deemed worthy of their time and money? THOSE are cause for celebration.
Never ever did I even dream that my book would get past the purchasing agents and see the light of day on retail shelves. I had hope, obviously since I submitted my ISBN, but zero expectations. Even if I only sell five copies, and the rest of them get returned to the DC never to be ordered again, my book was on a bookshelf at a legit retail store.
I am beside myself. Lol. I’m so incredibly thankful. I’m so completely blessed. I don’t know what to do. I seriously “can’t even” right now. I guess I better focus my 2020 goals more on marketing than writing/production of new materials. I’m on the list, might as well work my way to the top right?
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