Online stores are the most common venues for indie authors to sell their books, whether in digital or print format. And while digital publishing gives authors access to readers around the world, many self-published writers are also eager to get their books into neighborhood bookstores. So if you’re an indie author interested in getting your book in your local bookstore, here are a few tips to consider.
1. Know the Store’s Policies
Most bookstores list their indie bookselling policies on their websites. Before you make a sales call, familiarize yourself with the way they do business and make sure you’re okay with those policies.
For example, many indie bookstores have a consignment policy, which means they’ll stock your book, but they will only pay you if and when it sells. Some stores, such as Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri, have a reading fee. This fee compensates the staff for the time it takes to read your book, discuss it with each other, and make an evaluation of whether it’s appropriate for their shelves.
If this, or any other policy, is not agreeable to you, don’t try to talk them out of it. It’s their store, their policy and their financial model, and they get to make the rules.
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