Independent booksellers have one powerful weapon in the battle to survive in a marketplace dominated by online retailers–good old fashioned handselling.

At a special American Booksellers Association (ABA) presentation at BEA, we collected tips for handselling from veteran booksellers Suzanna Hermans and Dan Cullen. These seven do’s and three don’ts will help indie booksellers, publishers and writers sell more books in real life.

1. Ask your customers lots of questions–handselling is fundamentally about listening.

2.Practice handselling often. That’s the only way you will get comfortable talking to customers about books.

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