Thoughts on Selling Print Books

Last weekend, we went out and sold things at the BGC Art Mart! It was 22 Luna's first bazaar event, and I sold a few books there.

Just to compile my thoughts/insights on book selling, I'm bullet-pointing them here:

  • Everything I learned in business school suddenly rushed back here. Marketing, Sales, Operations, GAH.
  • My sisters did this brilliant thing where they said 'Hi!' to everyone who approached their table. No sales pitch, no product description (yet). I noticed when they did this, they were able to engage people in conversation and see what they really liked. It sounds like a normal thing, but not all the tables were doing this.
  • I generally have bigger print book sales that ebook sales. Not just in amount, obviously, but in sheer number. The interest is definitely there, it's just a little hard to get it out.
  • Get ready to say goodbye to your browsing copies. People will bend that thing into submission just to check it out.
  • Everyone seemed genuinely surprised when I said that (1) I, the author, was the one selling the books that I published myself, that (2) I'm Filipino and that (3) I'm not a Lit Major. Only goes to show that there are still a lot of people who don't know about us!
  • People did this really cute thing where they saw my books and say to their friends, 'uy oh, Marry Me!' or just kind of mutter the title under their breath. This happened specifically for Marry Me, Charlotte B! and not Cities, but it was the book that sold more. So good titles and good covers definitely matter!
  • Questions I was asked, "M'am kayo talaga nagsulat nito?" "Coloring book ba ito?" "Can I get this in bookstores?" "Ay, novel to??" "Dalawa palang books mo?"
  • A lot of Moms spoke to me about how their daughters/kids were aspiring writers too, and maybe I would want to talk to them about self-publishing, just to motivate them to keep writing? Ninangs also, who give books to their inaanaks. :P
  • I wrote a little 'intro' on the books written as 'If you me!' (inspired by the Speed reading!) This brought a lot of people, but I still have a lot of stocks left. I think they weren't expecting to find someone selling books at an ArtMart?
  • Random fact. A couple of Indian families bought my books and happily told their friends. I thought it was really sweet. Other nationalities tended to just look at the books and move on.
  • Everyone asked me to sign their book copies! Not easy when you used cling wrap...whoops.
  • Cities generally sold more, because I wrote the magic 'h-word' in the introduction. All women, some mothers asking if it was appropriate for their younger daughters (yes!).
  • People holding Fully Booked/Book themed bags looked at the books, but didn't buy them. Not sure if this was a preference thing or the books themselves? Observation only.
  • Buyers were from their early teens to early-30s, plus mothers and the occasional husband/dad who wanted to buy it for their kids/wives.
  • There was a guy who was writing a children's book for his daughter (based on a story he tells her every night)  and asked for my help finding a printer and my heart kinda melted. <3
  • Sunday sales were MUCH slower than Saturday. Not sure if it's because we changed places or the crowd?
  • I ran out of cards, though! Does that mean anything?
  • Would I do this again? Yes! I think I did pretty well, despite the long lulls where I was wondering 'omg what if my books suck??' and distracted myself by meeting other artists.  But probably not for two days, and with more titles! Happy to say there's room for us out there. :)