Lissa Warren – Get your book on the store’s front table

On April 8th, 2009 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with author and publishing expert Lissa Warren on how to get your book into the sweet spot on those tables in the front of the bookstore. Lissa Warren has worked at several Boston publishing houses including David R. Godine, Houghton Mifflin, and Perseus Publishing, and is currently Vice President, Senior Director of Publicity and Acquiring Editor at Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Specifically, we were seeking answers to the following questions:

  • Who chooses which books go on a store’s front table?
  • What can authors do to help get their books on the front table at a chain bookstore?
  • What are some of the different kinds of table space available at a chain bookstore?
  • What can authors do to help get their books on a front table at an independent bookstore?
  • What kind of media is likely to make a bookstore sit up and take notice?
  • Does it help if you stop by bookstores and autograph copies?
  • What about readings in bookstores—do you get better table space if you do them
Lissa Warren
The author of The Savvy Author’s Guide to Book Publicity, she has spoken about publishing for the Virginia Festival of the Book, Lesley University , Publishers Marketing Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Publishers Association of the South, BookBuilders of Boston, ForeWord magazine, Grub Street, the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, and the Adirondack Writer’s Conference, among others. Since 2003 she has been an Adjunct Professor at Emerson College —in their Writing, Literature, and Publishing program—and she also teaches in Boston University ‘s publishing certificate program. She serves on the advisory board to the MFA writing program at Southern New Hampshire University.Ms. Warren holds a B.S. in English Education from Miami University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Bennington College . Her poetry has appeared in Quarterly West, Oxford Magazine, Black Warrior Re
, and Verse, and she’s a poetry editor for the literary magazine Post Road .

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