How to Get Your Book in Airport Bookstores: Step-By-Step Guide

Most if not all of our countries have airports or transit stations with a variety of gift convenience shops. Having print books available to travelers and giving them what they need to keep them occupied on the trip is an enticing prospect for authors.

Stores at travel hubs are generally laid out differently and stock a different selection of books, carefully merchandising the kinds of books that appeal to travelers, and priced so that they are appealing to impulse buyers. The success story of Carol Cooper's second novel Hampstead Fever illustrates the potential of self-published books for prestigious front-of-store advertising at a national bookselling chain, not only in airports but also in train stations.

So. how do pattern Carol and get your book in airport bookstores? Today we present you with a step-by-step guide. Let’s get to it!

How To Get Your Book In Airport Bookstores: Step-By-Step Guide

How to Get Your Book in Airport Bookstores?

There are several distinct steps to getting your book into a chain of airport bookstores, but it is important to know that this is merely a guide of the general steps, every situation may be different.

The general steps you will follow are:

1. Understand What Sells In Airport Bookstores

1. Understand What Sells In Airport Bookstores

The first step to getting your book in an airport bookstore is to research. That’s right! At the end of this guide, you will need to pitch your book to prospective airport stores. In order to do that, you will need to know what airports offer books in their stores and the particulars of what they would be interested in. 

For, example, airport stores typically stock the following genres:

  • Self-Help
  • Chick Lit/Romance
  • Mystery, Suspense, Thrillers
  • Literary Fiction
  • Inspirational Non-Fiction
  • Women’s Fiction
  • Children’s Picture
  • Business
  • Board and Activity Books

Not all stores will stock all of the above genres, so something like this would be good to know ahead of pitching to an uninterested store. 

2. Figure Out Where The Airport Store Orders Their Books From

Many airport stores are hard pressed on only ordering books from an Ingram Wholesaler such as Ingramspark while others may order a few copies of your book based on a personal pitch. There are also other wholesalers utilized by these stores, but these wholesalers vary regionally, making them difficult to access by independent authors.

When ordering books, airport stores look for the following items: 

  • Books of high quality
  • Demonstrated sales record
  • Demographic appeal
  • Books with a full trade discount
  • Sales forecasts that are based on marketing and PR plans

3. Get Your Book Written

3. Get Your Book Written

Now that you’ve gotten all your ducks in a row it’s time to write the book. Putting my heart and soul into a book just because it fits the market or trend as perceived at the time would be impossible for me, and I'm sure many indie authors would agree. So, take the time to create a book you can be proud of then get it professionally edited.

4. Give your Book The Best Chance For Success

4. Give Your Book The Best Chance For Success

Next, you will edit, proofread, typeset, and design the cover for my book so that it is as good as possible. You want your book to appeal to the airport stores you are trying to attract as well as their customers. As such the way your book is packaged and presented matters immensely. 

5. Set Your Book Up On Ingramspark

As one of the largest book distributors in the US, Ingram distributes to over 40,000 retailers, including airport stores, schools, and libraries. 

Ingramspark grants self-publishers access to Ingram's global online and print distribution partners, by being one of the world's most trusted distribution channels for most brick and mortar stores. 

 Basically, they help to share your book with the world once you've written and formatted it.

6. Pitch Your Book To Your Preferred Airport Stores

6. Pitch Your Book To Your Preferred Airport Stores

The final step is to pitch your book to the airport stores you’d like to see your book in. Customers come in waves to airport stores. It is not uncommon for them to be busy before and after major holidays or even before each plane boards. It is also true that the store is sometimes empty during the day. Many shoppers are too busy trying to catch their flights to discuss your book with the sales reps from the store. 

The store managers know this so they aim to find books that will speak for themselves with great packaging. So, if you believe you’ve nailed that step, let’s dive into how to pitch your book to an airport store.

How To Pitch Your Book to Airport Stores?

Preparation is the key to pitching your book to airport stores. Contact each unique bookstore by email after you've done your research. When the opportunity to pitch your book arises while you're traveling, you should have these items with you:

1. One Page Press Kit Or Book Sheet 

This is a printed marketing piece for the airport store that can be handed over to the employee or buyer. The following information should be included on this sheet:

  • Book Title
  • ISBN of your book
  • Recommended Retail price
  • Distributer availability
  • Endorsements 
  • A snippet about you including any awards or large achievements you’ve received
  • Your contact information

2. A Free Copy of Your Book Plus Promotional Goodies

2. A Free Copy Of Your Book Plus Promotional Goodies

The buyer will be better persuaded to purchase your books if they see the quality of the product. Also, consider giving away some copies or promo goodies as gifts or testers if you can.

3. A Winning Attitude  

3. A Winning Attitude  

Along with a solid 90-second book pitch, you must possess an aura of confidence as well as cerebral speaking skills to give your book the best chance. It's usually the great attitude that makes the difference! 

ever give up on them, but be respectful of their time and answers.

It's important to remember that most of these bookstores are chains, which means your book doesn't really have any power to be placed on the shelves by the clerk or employee running the stand. At the very least, leave a book-themed business card or one sheet of your book behind (or better yet, the whole book!)