February 27, 2009

Locating all the book stores fast – 2 directories

Posted in Book stores, Directories, Marketing Books at 1:12 am by mknight1130

I went to the NorthWest Association of Book Publishers talk this morning about marketing self-published books. The speaker, Linda Kuhlmann provided a wealth of information, including the suggestion to locate every bookstore that can be found. This is where I piped up about using a directory of bookstores to speed up the research. Using a directory is like using a file cabinet to locate tax information. It is easier and quicker to find the tax information in one place rather than locating particular pieces spread across the rooms in your house. I will list 2 book store directories here that will save time and energy.

The first directory is Bookwire – Bookseller Resources, on http://www.bookwire.com/booksellers.html. The directory includes thousands of links to book sites organized by subject area. Choosing a subject area, e.g. “Mystery”, displays a page listing stores and a sentence about their business. In the case of Mystery there are over 50 stores. A quick scan through the list will provide ideas on which bookstores will be the most useful to visit first. The directory is maintained by Bowker, the company that provides a pulse to the book business. I first discovered Bookwire as an editorial intern, in 1995, for Charlesbridge Publishing. I have been a fan of the site and its directories ever since.

The second directory is ABA: ABA Bookstore Member Directory located at http://www.bookweb.org/aba/members/search.do. This is a directory of independent bookstores in North Ameirca (e.g. U.S. and Canada) that belong to the American Book Association. In general, independent bookstores that want to stay in business belong to the American Book Association to make use of critical resources. The ABA directory can be searched either by location and/or by subject area. A description can be entered to focus a search in a particular area. The search can also be limited to only those bookstores with a website. The search page results display the name of the bookstore, address, phone number, and a description. Selecting a bookstore may open its website. Keep in mind that the information in this directory is provided by each bookstore. As such, sometimes the information is incomplete or less intuitive to find. I suggest trying at least 2 different kinds of searches (e.g. choose only Oregon and all specialities, see what you find, clear the search form, choose Mystery and all states/provinces). The ABA directory provides a wealth of bookstore information that amazes me. For example, Oregon has over 50 independent bookstores.

I am very thankful for the bookstore directories provided by BookWire and the ABA. As an avid bibliophile, these resources make it easy to add to my collection.

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