Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

My first novel, Perfect on Paper, was originally self-published before it got picked up by Amazon Publishing, but I didn't let that stop me from getting it into brick-and-mortar stores. And I don't mean bookstores! Here's what I did:


  • I identified my main target audience as single, professional women.
  • I went to an art store and bought a handful of cute little bookstands.
  • I headed out on foot around the San Francisco neighborhoods where my book took place and looked for boutiques where single professional women might shop.
  • In each store I asked to speak with the owner.
  • If the owner wasn't there, I found out when she would be. I learned very quickly that in boutiques, the owner is usually the lone decision maker.
  • Once I was in front of the owner, I explained that I'd written a book set in her store's neighborhood, and that my readers were a lot like her store's customers.
  • I pulled out a copy of Perfect on Paper and a stand and asked if she'd like to sell the book on a commission basis.
  • I offered to give her a signed copy for herself.

My strategy worked! Within a few weeks my book was on display (and for sale!) in seven stores, each one perfectly suited to my target readership. All seven owners enjoyed my book and actively recommended it to their customers, which helped generate a little local buzz. I was also able to list those stores on a "where to buy the book" section of my website, which gave the novel a boost in street cred to anyone who checked out my website, e.g. book club moderators I contacted.

Where do your target readers shop? Have a think about it - then get out there and see if you can get your book on the shelves!


You may also be interested in...

Marketing tip: Stay organized!

Book marketing tip: Put a sample on Goodreads Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at

1,568 Views Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, marketing, writing

Feb 27, 2018 10:51 AM Lorem_Ipsum    says:

My target readers are crackheads. Unfortunately, few crack dealers have stores.

Mar 19, 2018 6:38 PM GraphicGeek    says:

Great tips, Maria! Thanks!

May 4, 2018 3:49 AM AnnaMid    says:

Amazing tips! You may also examine this article about AMA format.

May 19, 2018 12:32 AM keerthi    says:

Exellent info. If anybody needs tips of marketing tips, writing tips and more.