Writing Excuses 9.47: Conversation With a Bookseller

Bookseller Sara Glassman joined us at the Out of Excuses Workshop and Retreat to talk to us about her perspective on this industry, with an eye to the things that make it easy for her to put a book in a customer’s hands. We talk about back cover copy, covers, query letters, signings, and what booksellers look for on page one.

(Note: Brandon refers to a book of the week pitch that Sara made for us. We needed to run this episode out of order, so you’ll get Sara’s pitch for that book sometime next year.)


Have three of your friends to send you a random photograph of an object. Use each object in the first 13 lines of your story.

The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley, narrated by Susan Duerden

6 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 9.47: Conversation With a Bookseller”

  1. We were very fortunate to have Sara on-hand to not only be a guest, but to do the book of the week, the writing prompt, AND do the Mary bits of the intro.

    Sara needs her own podcast. Oh yes.

  2. I really like the point with the Venn diagram.

    I’ve talked to too many aspiring and newly published authors that get upset that I don’t love their book. I’m not a reviewer or a critic, I just read a lot. If the book is written for the orc-romance crowd, and I prefer sandworm-noir, that’s okay. Don’t force the book on me because it has a sliver of sandworm-noir in it. A book cannot be everything to everyone. It’s okay to let a book be what it is meant to be.

    And as a consumer, I’m want to buy a book that is what it presents itself to be.

  3. Thanks for the great podcast, as always.

    Howard/Jordan/The dark forces of the internet can moderate this comment to death if it’s too off-topic, but I”d just like to hijack the comments for one second to give a shout-out to everybody currently doing NaNoWriMo. Keep it up, everybody. (I’m a little past the halfway mark myself. so much for doing an even pace of 1667 a day…)

  4. The discussion of back copy and catalog copy reminded me of a recent trip to the bookstore. I may be the only one, but the thing I absolutely don’t want on the back copy is a list of endorsements. I want to know what the book is about. But when I was in the store, it happened time and again, endorsements galore. I just started replacing the book as soon as I saw one.

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