The death of traditional book stores

Brick and mortar stores are losing to online bookstores.

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles online on how many bookstores are closing their brick and mortar stores while keeping their online store. The internet, they say, has killed their traditional bookstore business.

As self-publishers, their loss is your gain. You stand to make a lot more money and to reach a larger segment of your audience by using the internet to sell your book rather than your local bookstore.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to hang out in bookstores. The trouble is, I hardly ever buy books there. I buy them on most of the time. Two reasons: One, I get better deals online. (And free shipping with Amazon Prime.) Two, bookstores don’t stock the kind of books I normally buy, mostly books on e-commerce and book publishing. (I confess I get my fiction fix from the local library.)

Bookstores stock books from the big publishers because they know those books have marketing dollars behind them. They don’t stock self-published authors for the most part because they know the book has no advertising budget and limited distribution.

So what’s a self-published author to do?

Forget about the bookstores and work on promoting your book online.

Build a website and include freebies for download – a free chapter, report, ezine, etc. Have the book for sale on your website, or link it to your sale page on Create links back to your website by:

* Reviewing books on your topic on Amazon. Sign the review with your real name, author of (insert name of your book.) Cost: free

* Using social media sites to spread your message and meet people who are interested in your topic. Create a profile on Facebook, a lens on Squidoo, or a MySpace page. Keep it updated with news about your topic and your book. Cost: free

* Blogging about your topic. New content on blogs get re-indexed by the search engines. This will make it easier for your audience to search and find your blog and your website. Cost: free

* Creating a video about your topic and posting it on YouTube. Include a shot of your book and url. Cost of creating the video: varies. Cost to post on YouTube: free.

The net is a great equalizer. Take advantage of these free website services to create content that will send potential buyers to your website.