Here are 8 ways brick and mortar stores can welcome indie and eBook
Introduce readers to indie authors and/or eBooks your store
recommends, create affiliate links to the NYT, USA Today or other
bestsellers list to eBook distributors as an affiliate to companies like
Amazon , BN.com and Smashwords
Sell the Kobo a viable competitor to the Kindle instead of bemoaning
the eReader's existence, many indie bookstores are exclusive to Kobo
which is a pretty wicked operation and a major eBook player outside of
the United States. Consider how offering KoboBooks as an indie bookstore
seller will generate an unending revenue stream in addition to in-store
book sells. (People buy eBooks at all times of the day and night even
when the store is closed...and all sales made by a reader referred to
your store count as revenue for you.)
Ingram is the exclusive
wholesale distributor for the Kobo to independent bookstores per the
American BookSeller Association.
Make your former enemy your friend… sell Kindles and receive a
portion of all ebooks the customer buys going forward.
Invite eBook authors to do readings and signings (there is an app
for that... several now and many of them are free. I use
Engage readers online (GoodReads, Twitter, Facebook, Shelfari,
Pinterest and LinkedIn... yes LinkedIn too!) OR hire someone to do it
who loves books on behalf of your bookstore.
Establish a YouTube channel and do Google Hangouts on Air with
authors whose ebooks and hardback books are selling well in your store.
If authors can't afford to travel to your location bring the readers
from your venue and them together to “hangout” online IT'S FREE. Live
broadcasts become part of your channel and help you build an online
presence... or use another online platform. (Back in 2008 I used what
then called Mogulus and is now called Livestream to do a show called
Faithful Folios and interviewed brave authors using live video and
chat... so I have a soft place in my heart for online video author
Post reviews and other book related news on your company’s blog. If
you don’t have a website for your bookstore for financial reasons.
Blogger.com is uber simple, mobile optimized and FREE!
Take it one step further and be part of an online book promotion
community... bookstore blogs, twitter feeds, Facebook pages, Google+
profiles, Goodreads profiles, Instagrams and Tumblrs are expected to
share book content. Join an online promotion community and use content
about books prepared by someone else to help you engage the reading
community and continue to build your brand online in the literary
Embracing ebooks is important to the financial health
of independent bookstores by helping store owners maximize exposure by
offering all literary formats, creating relationships with a new
generation of readers and writers as well as generating more revenue.
I'll admit there are no absolutes so it is possible there are
communities where eBooks and social media engagement aren't detrimental
to the bottomline of a bookstore. However from a financial standpoint
any business owner hoping their store will outlive them must consider
todays youth. They are tomorrow's book buyers and some of them may like
paperback books but some will prefer only eBooks, or audible downloads
and being positioned to offer content in paper and electronic formats
offers the means to provide reading opportunities for readers of all
mediums and continue to keep the doors of independent bookstores open.