The Art Of Getting Into Book Stores
Why Getting Your Books into Indie Bookstores will help Your Career.
Every author’s dream is to see their novels on the shelves of Barnes & Noble. Seeing their display of books next to their poster, and it is at that moment you shout, “ I made it to the big leagues. I am an author hear me roar.” The question is how do I get into Barnes & Nobles or Books-A-Million? I’m an indie author and I’m hearing all of these rumors that if you publish on Create space they won’t put your book into their stores. Barnes and Noble told me no so what should I do?
Today, I am here to give you some tips and also help you understand the business of getting into bookstores. My goal is to help you target the right bookstores and prevent being turned away. Getting your book into indie book stores, and how it will be profitable to authors like you and myself.
Barnes & Noble is not always the best option for new Authors.
I know this sounds heart breaking or like I’m a hater. The worst experience is walking with your brand new debut novel, a big smile, and you ask for a manager who is mean, and just angry for no reason from Barnes & Noble . You greet him, give a summary of your book. While doing this he’s rolling his eyes, sucking his teeth and burping. He immediately shuts you down with an attitude. He announces, “I’m not placing your book in my store and for god sakes your not even listed in Ingram Spark. You Createspace authors get on my nerves.”
Immediately, your spirit is crushed,or you may react and deck him in the eye. To avoid this or a jail bid with Big Bertha and her friends. I suggest building relationships with smaller indie bookstores because it gives you more exposure. Indie bookstores are more likely to give you a chance then a large bookstore like Barnes and Noble.
Disclaimer: This is not discourage anyone to seek putting their book in Barnes and Noble. I’m offering options to giving your books a broader audience.
Indie Bookstores vs Barnes & Noble
- Barnes & Noble is more likely to give front shelf space to best selling authors as oppose to newbie indie authors.
- Indie book stores especially locally are more likely to give you front shelf space, and granting you book signings.
- Some Indie book stores will buy your book on a non-returnable basics.
Selling Your Books to Indie Book Stores. The Two Agreements
There are two types of book agreements when dealing with Indie book stores traditional and consignment.
Traditional Agreement: It is a contract between the author and the bookstore where you agree to sell your book at 50% or 55%. Always ask that your books are non-returnable. Most will suggest that your books are return and if paid in advance you pay them back the amount not sold. If the agreement is that your book is returnable and you have to buy back your book only sell a minimum amount. (No authors like getting the call they have to buyback their book.)
Suggestion alert: Create your own traditional and consignment contracts.
Consignment Agreement: It is basically you split the sale of the book. Normally the agreement should be created at 60 (for you)/40(for them).
Suggestion alert: Not every bookstore will agree to your terms. They may want 50/50.
Tip: Be professional at all times. Set up an appointment via email or a phone call. Have a media kit and website ready.
Suggestion alert: Get it in writing. Most bookstore will have a contract of their own. Coming to the table with your own terms & conditions shows the bookstore owner you are aware of the business.
If you decide to take the returnable option be clear what should be done and whether they can keep it or pick it up.
Tip: Always have invoices pre-printed and at the initial meeting with book owner.
Keep track of your books and money
- create a spreadsheet for each book store include: name of store, address, manager’s name and number of books given.
- Date of delivery, time, and price to sell books.
- Date of payment, outstanding invoices, and books not sold.
- Always check up on sales.
Lastly, reach out to at least two book managers at your local bookstores, establish relationships, shop and buy books. Once placed in the bookstore advertise and promote. Use Facebook,Twitter, promote the bookstore, and asked to do an event at the store.
I hope this will help you and increase book sales.