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How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores

The American Booksellers Association shared a very useful article last year by Karen Schechner (the senior editor at Kirkus Indie) explaining how self-published authors can sell their books at a few independent bookstores around the country.

We’ve expanded the collection and posted links to those helpful resources below, but you should read the whole article.

If your bookstore has an option for self-published authors, share a link in the comments section–we will update our article with more resources.

Bookstores That Accept Self-Published Books

Watermark Books and Cafe owner Sarah Bagby explained how self-published writers can add books at her Wichita, Kansas bookstore. Check it out:

“No questions asked, we’ll take five copies of a book on consignment,” said Bagby. The terms are 60/40, and the store keeps the books on the shelves for 90 days. “If they sell, we’ll get back to the author right away and reorder. If they don’t, the author needs to pick up their books.” … A second Watermark program offers tiered event options, which can cost from $50 to $500. Elements include a signing, newsletter inclusion, and front-of-store title placement, or a reading and signing, 100-postcard mailing to the author’s list, a four-color 11″ x 17″ poster hung in the store, and more. (Via Victoria Strauss)

Bookstore Resources for Self-Published Authors

(Follow the links below for contact information)

How To Get Your Book in Barnes & Noble Stores: “Each year, we review more than 100,000 submissions from publishers of every size and background.  Our buyers review publishers’ catalogues, marketing materials and galleys or sample copies to help them make their decisions.”

The Written Word: This Colorado Springs bookstore will take self-published books on consignment: “We usually ask for 5 copies minimum. The percentage is decided by the writer as the cost and percentage varies so much for the author and we don’t want writers to lose money putting books into bookstores. We also set up launch parties, signings, readings, and even speaking engagements at no charge. We’re happy to serve the community how we can. We don’t limit ourselves to Colorado, but will take books from anyone, and if someone with a book out would like to use our venue while traveling to this area they only need ask.”

Tattered Cover Book Store’s Rocky Mountain Authors program: “Our consignment program is focused on authors and small local publishers.”

Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville, Kentucky. Owner Carol Besse provided more details: “We will take almost anything on consignment … We’ll put it on the shelf, and sell it in the stores. We usually start out with 10 copies.”

The Literary Joint Bookstores in Maryland (3 locations):  ”[we] accept and have fully promoted self-published authors over the years but we do not accept books on consignment self-published or independently published as it became a hassle years ago. If we are going to support you we will buy them up front based on a point we came up with along with our customers. When a book is submitted to us (we get a minimum of 20 per week due to the oversaturation of the current market) a team of our customers read the submissions and based on their enthusiasm our buyer will buy them up front as long as the self published author or indie publisher is current on the pricing of the industry. Most times they are not and offer ridiculous prices that the industry has not operated by in 3 years. If a book is not selected by our stores to be shelved, we do offer the author the opportunity to do book events with us anyway because we will never turn an author away because people like different things. But as a store, we simply CANNOT stock everything so we select the best of the best at all times for our customers that we know we will move within 7-10 days turn around!”

Lyon Books in Chico California. Here’s more: “the consignment policy is to ‘take all comers’ as long as the author lives within 60 miles of the store. Currently, that represents more than 200 local authors … Consignment checks are written every two months, and the post-holiday run was more than 100 checks, totaling about $14,000.”

Watermark Books and Cafe Owner Sarah Bagby explained: “No questions asked, we’ll take five copies of a book on consignment.”

The Written World in Colorado Springs “will take self-pubbed books from authors on consignment. We usually ask for 5 copies minimum. The percentage is decided by the writer as the cost and percentage varies so much for the author and we don’t want writers to lose money putting books into bookstores. We also set up launch parties, signings, readings, and even speaking engagements at no charge. We’re happy to serve the community how we can. We don’t limit ourselves to Colorado, but will take books from anyone, and if someone with a book out would like to use our venue while traveling to this area they only need ask.”

Editor’s Note: The original version of this post did not identify the author of the ABA article.

 

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