Here is a quote from Waterstones’ website…
We are extremely keen to support independent publishing, and recognise the rich contribution that independent publishers, who have a long and prestigious heritage in the UK, make to the world of books and literature. Finding and championing publishers that are small, new or hard to find on the high street is a big part of what we do.
Two branches of Waterstones have be SO KEEN to help me that they have lost the copies of my novel that I lent to them! Of course it’s always possible that they sold them but that wasn’t what they were supposed to do.
The initiative today was to visit my local Waterstones to see whether they’d entertain the idea of helping me publicise my novel. This was Owen’s suggestion and he was right on the money. The “boss” wasn’t in but I was assured that she was very supportive and she’d be delighted to talk to me about selling and promoting a self-published book.
“Look,” said the shop assistant. She pointed to a slender, well dressed woman hovering by a table and a small pile of books. “Why don’t you speak to Rose? She’s promoting her book today and she’s published her own book.”
So I went and spoke to Rose Edmunds who was very helpful and advised me to take a look at the Book Guild and explained how regional Waterstones branches were gradually getting to the point of inviting her along, instead of grudingly allowing her to invite herself. Naturally I couldn’t come away without buying a copy of her book ‘Never Say Sorry’. I look forward to getting my teeth into this when I’ve got through the current stack.
So I’m quite encouraged. I had no idea whether this approach would bear fruit but it looks quite promising after all! Maybe Diana has it right; the bookshops have to find some way (any way) to keep and edge and encourage the footfall.