Saturday, March 14, 2020

Selling My Own Books, In-Person or Online

I once heard the reason Taylor Swift is so rich is that she knows that musicians don't get most of their money from record sales, but from touring. And she likes to tour. Consequently, she is probably one of richest 30-somethings on the planet rather than some forlorn artist who made a lot of money for the record label but not much for themselves.

The same logic applies to books. Once the retailer, distributor, and publisher get their share (and I'm not faulting them for wanting to be paid for their portion of the work, especially low-margin small presses), there's less for the author. One solution for authors looking to make more money, therefore, is to sell direct. I've heard of more complex methods of doing this, such as selling bookmarks with a QR code linked to a one-time e-book download, but the method I settled on was buying lots of my stock wholesale from the publisher and hitting up event like science fiction conventions, gun shows, local festivals, etc.

Then I moved onto selling directly online, selling my wholesale copies of Little People, Big Guns and Battle for the Wastelands to people I knew online or in real life. Some bought through Amazon, while I made individual arrangements via PayPal or Facebook (which now has a "send money" option).

That's come in particularly handy this weekend, which was supposed to be the Atlanta Sci-Fi and Fantasy Expo. I first attended that event in 2018 and that was the first event where I sold through a complete print run of The Thing in the Woods. The second event in 2019 was less successful because the only new thing I had was The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Vol. 2, in which I had only one story and people from the previous year were expecting new stuff. I was looking forward to this year's event because I had new books like Battle, LPBG, and my reissued short-story collection Flashing Steel, Flashing Fire, but then the coronavirus outbreak happened.

(Not really blaming them for canceling--not only do medical professionals recommend avoiding large crowds at the moment, but on a more self-interested level if they went through with it, attendance numbers would likely crater and nobody would make any money. Better to wait.)

So although it's unfortunate the event got canceled, I've got the infrastructure in place to sell signed copies to anybody in the United States. If you'd like anything of mine signed, e-mail me ( or contact me via Twitter (@MatthewWQuinn) and we can work something out via PayPal, VenMo, or Facebook.

One person has already contacted me about a two-book deal, so let's get this going. :)

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