How To Get Your Book Into Airport Stores

by Jack Thomas August 01, 2023

For any author, the opportunity to have their book displayed in a bustling airport store is like winning a literary lottery. With a constant stream of travelers passing through, airport bookstores offer a captive audience hungry for captivating reads to accompany their journeys. But, how do you secure a coveted spot on those shelves? Fear not, aspiring writers, for we have prepared the ultimate guide to help you navigate the heights and successfully land your book in airport stores!

In this blog post, we'll take you through a step-by-step journey, exploring the strategies, insights, and insider tips to increase your chances of getting your book stocked in these bustling retail havens. From crafting an irresistible pitch to understanding the airport store's unique demands, we'll cover everything you need to know to make your literary dream take flight.

If you're publishing of have published a book in the past buying book reviews is a key piece to driving successful marketing, SEO, and downloads. 

So, buckle up, fellow wordsmiths, as we embark on a thrilling adventure to unlock the secrets behind how to get your book into airport stores and have your stories soar to new heights!

We have also written a actionable strategy for getting your book into Costco. Complete with a One Sheet template!

What Are Airport Stores Looking For When Ordering Books:

  • High-quality books: Books that are well-written, edited, and designed. Books that are engaging and will keep readers interested. Books that are relevant to the airport audience and their interests. Don't think that you can pump out some crap from AI and get on shelves. 
  • Appealing to their demographic: Books that appeal to the interests and demographics of the typical airport bookstore customer. This could include books by bestselling authors, books in popular genres, or books that are relevant to the current news cycle. Is anyone taking on your dungeons and dragons cheat code book at the airport. Probably not, but niche isn't bad. In topic, but more broad interests are better.
  • Accessible with a complete trade discount: Books that are available at a competitive price. This means that the airport bookstore will be able to sell the books at a profit. 'Money talks and bullshit walks' is what my grandma used to say. Put the retailer in a position to make real money. Give them some for free even. Remember their mindset: WIIFM.
  • Demonstrated track record of sales success: Books that have a proven track record of sales. This means that the airport bookstore can be confident that the books will sell well in their stores. Your sell sheet (discussed below) needs to F'n bring it! Blow them away. To do this you need to pay for email blasts and pay for book reviews to boost sales numbers before you even bother to try and shake hands.
  • Marketing and PR strategies that project significant sales potential: Books that have a strong marketing and PR plan in place. This means that the author or publisher has a plan to promote the books and generate interest in them. Here is a marketing plan for Facebook, TikTok & YouTube.

How can you present your book effectively to airport retailers?

Airport stores are busy and unpredictable places. Customers come in periodic surges, with spikes of activity before flights board and lulls in between. Shoppers lack sufficient time for in-depth book discussions, so it's crucial to be well-prepared when presenting your book to an airport bookstore. 

Buy printed materials that look money when you meet them. Use Fiverr or Creative Market for this. These marketing materials need to look fortune 500, not amateur at all.

Here are some items you should have ready

  • A one sheet, sell sheet or pitch sheet for your book that summarizes your book's key information, such as the title, author, genre, and ISBN.
  • A hard copy of your book so that the buyer can see the quality of the print and the cover design.
  • A brief pitch that highlights the unique selling points of your book and why it would be a good fit for the airport store.
  • Your contact information so that the buyer can reach you if they have any questions.
  • Put it all in a well printed folder. Something that looks and feels expensive. This matters. They have to know you've put money into this and that you're serious about it. AKA, this is not the only meeting you have. It's also important because they're probably busy. You'll likely leave your materials with them and follow up later. Make them memorable.

If you don't have a strategy for facebook ads already, you can read ours here.

What To Include In A One Sheet?

A One Sheet is a one-page marketing document that summarizes your book's key information. It should include the following:

  • Title: The title of your book, including the subtitle if applicable.
  • ISBN: The International Standard Book Number, which is a unique identifier for your book.
  • Retail Information: Distribution details, price, and availability in various formats.
  • Endorsements: Any positive reviews or endorsements that your book has received.
  • A hard copy of your book is also a valuable tool to leave with the buyer. This will allow them to physically see the quality of the print and the cover design. If you're able, leave a few copies as testers or gifts.
  • Tagline or Elevator Pitch: A brief, catchy sentence that captures the essence of the book's story or main idea.
  • Book Description or Summary: A concise and engaging summary of the book's plot, themes, or content.
  • Author Bio: A short bio of the author, highlighting their credentials, achievements, and relevant background.
  • Testimonials or Reviews: Positive blurbs or excerpts from book reviews that build credibility and interest.
  • Target Audience: A description of the intended readership, including demographics and interests.
  • Selling Points: Key features or unique selling propositions that make the book stand out.
  • Author Contact Information: How to get in touch with the author or their representative for inquiries or further discussions.

Your approach and mindset matter greatly! Just like crafting a strong 90-second elevator pitch, possessing cerebral speaking skills is vital for success. However, it's the exceptional attitude that overwhelmingly seals the deal in 9 out of 10 cases (not that I've verified the statistics). Remember to honor their time and responses, and maintain unwavering determination towards your long-term objectives.

Quick interruption to share a list of our favorite gifts for authors and book lovers here.

Most airport bookstores are part of large chains, which means that the employees who work at the stores do not have the authority to decide which books are stocked. If you want to get your book into an airport bookstore, you will need to reach out to the buyer for that store.

When you do reach out to the buyer, be sure to leave them with some materials about your book. This could include A One Sheet, a business card, or even a paperback/hardback copy of your book. This will give the buyer something to remember you by and to help them make a decision about whether or not to stock your book.

It is also important to maintain persistence. In case you don't receive an immediate response from the buyer, persevere and continue to follow up until you receive a reply.

One more suggestion is a lap desk for working in maximum comfort on the couch or outside!

Jack Thomas
Jack Thomas

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