Once upon a time, the only way to get your book into a bookstore was to follow a traditional path. Submit a manuscript to a major publisher, wait ages for acceptance, and then leave it up to them to distribute and market your title. But the thing is, the world of publishing has changed. The rise of self-publishing and digital sales channels like Amazon have allowed a wider number of authors to not only publish their work but to make money from their work. Ebook sales are wonderful but there is something to be said for walking into a bricks and mortar bookstore and seeing print copies of your book sitting right there on the selves. When you self-publish, you are in charge of the marketing and distribution of your book and if getting it into a bookstore is your goal, than you’re the one that needs to make that happen. Knowing where to start is half the battle. Here is a list of 10 bookstores that are receptive to stocking self-published authors:
1) Barnes & Noble
Obviously it would be a big boon to get your book on the self in a national retailer and none are bigger than Barnes & Noble. But remember, the larger the chain, the more submissions they are likely to receive. This does not mean that it would be a wasted effort, however. You can’t succeed if you don’t even try. Here are the guidelines you need to follow. If you can meet their criteria, it is more than worth a shot!
Indigo is Canada’s major book retailer and includes Indigo, Chapters, and Coles bookstores. When it comes to purchasing your title, they prefer to work with publishers and distributors with whom they already have a relationship and they require a Canadian price to be listed on the cover. But, they will accept books on consignment. This is all handed at the local level by the store managers so it means directly contacting all the locations where you wish to have your book placed. Click here for all the details.
3) Powell’s Books
Located in Oregon, Powell’s Books is perhaps the largest independent bookstore in the world. And the good news is that they are willing to consider self-published books for their inventory! Follow the steps listed here and keep your fingers crossed!
4) Watermark Books
Found in Wichita, Kansas, the store’s owner has said that without question, they will accept books on consignment. Why not reach out and get your book on their shelves?
5) Vroman’s Bookstore
Vroman’s is Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore. As such, they love to support independently published titles. All you have to do is fill out their consignment form and you’re on your way!
6) Saturn Booksellers
Saturn Booksellers has their own self-published section and are willing to accept books on consignment. The consignment period will only cost you $25 and lasts for 6 months. It’s a small price to pay to get your title on the self.
7) Changing Hands Bookstore
Changing Hands relishes the opportunity to expand their offerings which means they truly value self-published titles. In fact, they have been supporting independent authors for decades! Read up on their consignment program here.
8) Brazos Bookstore
Brazos Bookstore accepts submissions from self-published authors as long as they fall into certain genres. Reach out to Brazos for more information and to find out if they are taking consignment requests at this time.
9) Charmichael’s Bookstore
Charmichael’s accepts a range of titles from local authors. If you aren’t from the Louisville area, it is still worth contacting them to see if they will consider your book as well. A store that supports independent writers is a great place for you to start marketing your work. Check out their local author policy and their contact information here.
10) Your Local Shops
Hands down, the best place to start selling your title is your local bookstores. More often than not, they are excited by the prospect of helping local talent. First, make sure your work fits their current offerings and clientele and once you’ve established that it does, ask them about taking your book on consignment. Odds are good that they have a program in place or would be willing to work with you on an individual basis. Once again, you can’t know if don’t try.