By Bailey Merlin
Introducing Bailey Merlin… Bailey Merlin is a talented writer with a rich background in fiction and media, medicine, and health. She holds an MFA in fiction from Butler University and an MS from Harvard Medical School, and her writing has been published in numerous literary magazines.
Since launching her debut novel A Lot of People Live in This House in May 2023, she has been promoting her book around Boston and in bookstores, including Barnes & Noble and a speaking event at Harvard Coop.
You can check out Bailey’s author journey on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CuUgZqHrFKg/
In this month’s Brilliant Byte, Bailey shares her advice on getting into bookstores…
DO NOT FEAR THE WORD “NO”
Do not fear the word “no.” After the hype of your book’s release dies down, you will enter into the slog of convincing people to buy your book. If you’ve never published a book before, it’s hard to know where to start. Let me help.Start with your local bookstores and your libraries. Call and ask to speak to their manager or person in charge of purchasing and/or marketing. “Would you carry my book?” or “Would you be interested in hosting an event?” are great questions to start with. If you’re a new author, you might be seen as too risky to take a chance on (remember: these folks are concerned with getting people through the door and selling books). You may hear the word “No.” Don’t take it personally. I know it’s hard because your book is a piece of you and is very personal, but know that this single person’s answer has nothing to do with your and your book’s merit. Instead, this is a great opportunity to ask them another question.If they say, “We don’t have any availability for an event right now.”You say, “When will you? I’d be happy to pencil something in for six months from now.”If they say, “We don’t have book events at all.”You say, “Can you think of someone who would?”If they say, “We don’t accept books unless they have x amount of reviews.”You say, “I agree. Can you think of anyone in town who would review my book?”These questions are exploratory and help transform you into a curious person that a stranger is more likely to help. That’s your sweet spot. This industry can feel incredibly impersonal and cruel; however, if you can remove your ego from the situation, success is just one “yes” away.