Retail Focus FAQs

What does the Retail Focus service guarantee?

The Retail Focus campaign is a marketing program targeting independent bookstores. Your book will be pitched to 25 independent bookstores in the United States with a focus on your local area or state over a 90-day period.* Three progress reports are provided, and the final report will detail the locations that have agreed to test your book. At least two independent bookstores will agree to carry a copy for at least 2-3 weeks on a test basis.

*Other types of campaigns targeting libraries and children’s bookstores are also available. Contact your Marketing Consultant for more information.

Will my book be on display at these bookstores?

No. When a bookstore agrees to test the book, they are agreeing to put the book on the category shelf. Stores charge extra for in-store promotions. There is a chance, however, that the book will be displayed if it’s a new release, or if there is local interest in the book.

Will bookstore chains be contacted?

No, chain bookstores cannot make decisions at the local level and require approval from their main offices.

What criteria are used to select bookstores?

Your location and book topic determine the 25 independent bookstores that are targeted during the 90day period. Bookstores that specialize in your book’s topic are more likely to agree to a test, as are bookstores in your area (as they are often interested in promoting local talent).

How are the bookstores contacted?

The contact begins with a direct phone call to the buyer-in-charge for each bookstore. The sell sheet about your book, a specially crafted cover letter, your pitch, and a copy is sent to the bookstore, and succeeding follow-ups are done via e-mail and/or phone. A call to confirm that a test copy of your book is available in-store completes the pitch process.

For how long will a test copy of my book be available in the bookstore?

If unsold, bookstores typically keep a test copy for 2-3 weeks.

Your final report will contain the names of the bookstores that have agreed to carry a test copy of your book. However, some books may sell faster than others and your book may have already been sold by the time you receive the third report.

How many copies do bookstores usually carry as a test?

Bookstores will usually carry 1-2 test copies of a book.

Will you be pitching the hardback version of my book?

While some libraries may prefer to purchase the hardback version, the campaign will focus on pitching your book’s paperback version.

Will you provide the name of the bookstore buyers?

In the final report, iUniverse provides the addresses and phone numbers of those bookstores that have agreed to test your book. Make sure to read some helpful tips appended to your third report, before contacting these bookstores.