When we hand sell books to customers, it helps to have more than just the plot of the book in our bag of tricks. Don’t get me wrong. It’s very important to know about a book to sell it. But if we can add something extra–a story you heard the author tell, or an interview you read in a publication–this anecdotal information is perceived as added value in the customer’s eyes.
I really like what Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill has done with their blog. They’ve had a great blog for a while, but back in November they created “On the House: Insights from our Editors and Authors.” With it, Algonquin wants to offer insight into their authors’ work.
So far the posts have included an essay by Lee Smith, who learned about the position of the omniscient narrator through the one-way glass in her father’s elevated dimestore office; and a piece on writing advice from Algonquin co-founder and champion of Southern prose, Louis Rubin, Jr., who just passed away in November. And yesterday they posted writing advice from Gap Creek author, Robert Morgan, whose latest novel is The Road from Gap Creek. These pieces can help provide the added value the customer is looking for. Especially those who aspire to be writers.
So read this blog to add to your bag of tricks. And while you’re there, take a look at Algonquin’s new website. It’s pretty great.