Exploring Creative Venues to Sell Your Book

When you’re thinking of places/stores/establishments that might carry your book, what’s the first one that comes to mind? Is it a bookstore?

Authors often immediately think of bookstores when seeking out places to carry their books, and why wouldn’t they? After all, a bookstore is a perfectly logical option, and a great start. However, it’s important to move past the bookstore market. Keep in mind that there are countless alternative locations to consider when looking for book carriers. From bakeries and coffee shops to toy stores and museums, there are a wide range of unique places that might want to carry your book based on its subject matter or just because they love your book! It just comes down to finding them! Here are some suggestions to get your brainstorm going:

  • Children’s book authors might look into toy stores, children’s museums, children’s libraries, children’s hospitals, daycare centers, restaurants, and clothing stores in their area that might consider carrying their book.
  • There are many specialized museums in the US that could relate to your book’s content. These museums are great places to contact. Check out the American Alliance of Museums for a list of potential markets.
    • This site allows you to narrow down your museum search by location and type, so it’s even easier to find a specialized museum close to you.
    • After selecting “Richmond, VA” and “History Museum” in the drop down menus, we were able to find The Valentine Museum, Virginia Historical Society, Virginia Holocaust Museum, and American Civil War Museum, all fantastic options for authors who have written books that have a historical focus.
  • Organizations and associations that relate to your book’s subject matter are also great options. For example, non-profits can be a great market, especially if there are fundraising opportunities for them. Check out the Directory of US Associations to find an organization that fits you and your book. The free trial option for the Directory of Associations site is 48 hours. This is a general list of US organizations and associations for your reference.

Brandylane author Caley Cantrell (Dogs do NOT Love Holiday Cards! and You’re Bringing Me A Baby?!) has had great success in finding unique places to sell her books. She offers her advice:

“Do a little brainstorming about your book. Think about it as a ‘product’ and not the labor of love that you spent so much time with. Where are ‘natural’ places for your book to show up? Is your book tied to a season in any way? Christmas, spring, Mother’s Day? Can you make any connection like that? Then gift shops that thrive on those holidays may make sense. Take a piece of paper and write your book’s title in the center. Then create a wheel of ‘spokes’ around your book, each is a possibility of a different, yet related, place your title can live.”

Books can be sold almost anywhere! Where are some unique places you’ve seen books for sale?