The best way to buy my new book
I’ve had a number of people ask me the best way to buy my new book, The Dead Hamlets. Normally my response is to say buy it at your local bookstore or favourite online site. Unfortunately, while Chapters sells the book through its website, it isn’t carrying many copies of The Dead Hamlets in stores. (U.S. readers: Chapters is the national bookstore chain in Canada — sort of like a Barnes and Noble only with more pillows and picture frames. The book is available at Barnes and Noble stores.)
I’m not entirely certain why this has happened. Part of the problem is likely Chapters’ ongoing shift to a cultural lifestyle store, which means they’re carrying fewer books for a shorter amount of time. Small publishers like ChiZine are obviously going to get hurt by this. At the same time, ChiZine’s main distributor, HarperCollins, decided to get out of the distribution business in Canada right around the same time the book launched. I can’t help but think that The Dead Hamlets got lost in the shuffle. So the book got hit by a double whammy at the worst possible time. It’s almost like there’s a witch’s curse or something….
I’m not really blaming Chapters here. People are ordering more books online or simply giving up on print altogether and ordering ebooks. Unless you’re a bestseller or have bestseller potential, it’s becoming harder to get shelf space in bookstores. As for the distribution changeover, well, that’s the way the industry goes sometimes.
I am kind of crushed by this development, however — every author wants their new book in bookstores, after all. This is kind of the author’s life, though. Business happens.
So that gets to the question of how you should buy my book. A number of people have asked if I’m selling them directly at events. I am, and you’re welcome to buy a book from me in person. Seriously, if you see me walking down the street, just come at me with money in your fist. I will almost certainly stop to talk to you.
But I would prefer you didn’t buy the book directly from me. Instead, I would appreciate it if you buy The Dead Hamlets — or any of my other books — from a bookseller. Why? Well, it’s good for the cultural ecosystem and all that. So there’s my public service announcement of the day. But more importantly, it’s good for the author. If people order the book at Chapters bookstores or even order it online from the Chapters website, where it is available for sale, then maybe Chapters might think twice and stock more copies of it in stores.
Similarly, if people order it from Amazon or Kindle or whatever, that also helps me. Every sale on Amazon boosts my sales ranking, for instance, which helps more people to see the book. Plus, whenever someone buys a book through Amazon, the algorithms send that out through the system and populate other people’s recommendation lists with the book. So if you buy say, A Game of Thrones book and The Dead Hamlets, then The Dead Hamlets will show up for other people who go looking to buy A Game of Thrones book. Or something like that — the Amazon system can be a bit of a mystery sometime.
You can always buy it from your local indie bookstore, too. They’re often the ones with the best selection, and they need support in these times more than ever.
The point is buying a book from a retailer helps me way more than buying a book from me in person does. This will be especially important when it comes time to publish the third book in the Cross series.
Wherever and however you find The Dead Hamlets, I hope you enjoy it. If you do like it, please consider giving it a shoutout on social media or a review on Goodreads, etc. That sort of thing really does help book sales.
Thanks for reading!