Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meeting with borders romance buyer Sue Grimshaw

Last Saturday, the local chapter (TARA) of the Romance Writers of America had Sue Grimshaw talk to us about how borders operated and how books sales were going. I was also very lucky to have lunch with her at the meeting. She is extremely knowledgably and a very nice person to know.
She stated that romantic book sales are climbing nicely for all romance categories with the exception of erotica which is staying flat. She talked about how important book covers were becoming. This is so much so now that several publishers will send a jpeg to her for review before the book run. She detailed how books are purchased for the store and what criteria are used to determine where they will be placed. Placement is naturally a big concern for most authors.
She mentioned that book signing were not doing that well in moving the number of books that you need. There are many other ways to promote your books. It is important to get as much money from the publisher to promote your book as possible.
Borders has an affiliate program where you can make money. Why not, it doesn’t cost anything to sign up.
She mentioned one thing I found interesting. I know publisher have a monetary interest in a writer, but didn’t think about how much a book store has an interest in you becoming successful. She mentioned that she wanted to see authors grow and they wanted to help in that process. She mentioned how good web presence is and how you need to link to the borders true romance site. She also mentioned how important it was to be on social media sites like twitter. Of course, I loved that since I’m one of the most popular writers on twitter with around 14,000 followers.
She also mentioned how important it was to write a series. An example would be where on a stand along book where she would order say 3500 copies she would order perhaps 8000 or more if it was connected to a series. This is very interesting to know and perhaps why most agents want to know if you are planning a series. Another point she made is that on the series, they readers want it fast, if not almost immediately after they read the first book. In fact, she mentioned some readers will buy the whole series at one time if available.
If you ever have a chance to hear Sue Grimshaw speak, you need to take advantage of the opportunity. She is a wealth of knowledge and extremely friendly.

Johnny Ray


Sandra said...

That does sound interesting. I know my children are mad about reading series of books. Remember Clan of the Cavebear? That one went on and on, but I still bought them all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the valuable information about how Borders operates and the interest that book stores have in the success of authors. This post has been very helpful to me.

May Your Glass Always Be Half Full


Lori Brighton said...

Wow! Great info! thanks for sharing. Had no idea a series would sell better.