Indie Insights | How to get your books into bookstores

In Guest Articles, Indie Publishing by Online Manager1 Comment

“I want to see my book in Big W!” It’s a goal for many Australian authors and a reason why they will continue to pitch and submit for that elusive traditional deal.

Okay, if that’s a priority for you, go for it. But for those of us who choose the indie route, Big W isn’t worth the effort for the return on investment.

However, getting a print book into a bookstore isn’t impossible. There are still more than 170 Independent book stores across Australia that are happy to stock and support indie authors, especially if you live close by.

I recently moved to the Sunshine Coast and I was surprised by the amount of Independent bookstores in the area. I approached them by writing the following email:

Hi (Owners name)

I’m a Sunshine Coast-based author with two Australian Fiction/Romance titles currently available here in Australia and overseas. They are titled The Brothers of Brigadier Station and The Outback Governess.

They are available in both eBook and paperback format, and are available via Ingram. I am also happy to drop some autographed copies off to you anytime that is convenient.

I very much look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for taking the time to read my email.


Sarah Williams


I also attached the cover, blurb and reviews. 9/10 bookstores replied positively within three days. All wanted me to hand deliver autographed copies. Meeting the owner in person lead to other opportunities, like book signings and launch parties. Readers love to meet the author behind the glossy covers and book store owners know this.

But being in a book store doesn’t guarantee sales. A lot of people like to browse the aisles, then download the ebook. Or, your book could end up getting relegated to the dusty bottom shelf at the back of the store. It happens, we can’t control everything!

So, it may not be Big W, but as Indie’s we should be supporting other Indies, and that includes Independent bookstores. I love my local. It smells great, serves coffee and has cozy nooks where I can curl up and read. I much prefer it to the noisy department store where I buy my kids clothes and underwear.

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams spent her childhood chasing sheep, riding horses and picking Kiwi fruit on the family orchard in rural New Zealand. After a decade travelling, Sarah moved to Queensland to enjoy the warm weather and country air. 

When she’s not absorbed in her fictional writing world, Sarah is running after her family of four kids, one husband, two dogs and a cat. She helps to run the local writers centre and supports her peers achieve their publishing dreams.

Sarah is regularly checking social media when she really should be cleaning. You can find her online at her website, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.


  1. Great advice and what a brilliant response rate!

    My local bookshop is wonderful. They stock both books in the current series and send buyers to my shop (just down the road) to sign them lol. And in the next town, Collins have also been supportive.

    Really it is the best of both worlds, isn’t it?

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