Why Physical Bookstores Aren't Important (At First)

Generally speaking — opportunities like getting into bookstores and/or libraries come after your book succeeds. It’s pretty simple: If/when your book has proven success, bookstores and libraries will want to carry it. Before that, they won’t.

This is true whether or not you self-publish or work with a big publisher.

It’s actually a big myth that traditionally published books automatically get into bookstores!
Most books don’t end up in bookstores, whether or not they are self-published.
Successful books can and do end up in bookstores, whether or not they are self-published.

My thoughts are that all successful books start out by generating attention and sales online (in today’s day and age), and I would hate to see anyone refrain from writing a book because of concerns they have about bookstores.

The most important thing is to write a good book that people read — and to use it to build buzz and an audience (like I teach in the Accelerator). Once that is done, opportunities like this can arise (and are unlikely to beforehand).

Some people have inquired about registering their books with the Library of Congress in order to increase awareness. Registering with the Library of Congress unfortunately is unlikely to get your book noticed on its own. It’s more for people to look up your book after noticing it (due to book sales, marketing, building your audience, etc.). 

That said, as long as it doesn’t take you significant time or money (I would never recommend paying someone to do it for you, for example), it certainly can’t hurt. But I would primarily focus on what I teach in the program.

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