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I recently contacted 5 local bookstores and 3 have agreed to sell some of my books. One of them will take the book on consignment. Has anyone had any problems with this type of there any other way? The other two stores are owned by friends so there isn't an issue.

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The Ask the Booksellers website also includes listings of some independent bookstores:
I think the demise of some of the big box stores is going to be a big help to local independent bookstores. For authors and publishjers It means having to negotiate and mange various types of creative deals but in the long run there are people who want to see what new books are available and local stores can fill this need.

I'm new to marketing and really want to put my book into local bookstores. Can you give me a few tips on how to go about this, and ultimately, sell my book? Thank you!

It's tough to get into bookstores outside your own area.

As for your local bookstores in your city or area, go visit them - early when they first open and are not busy with customers. Ask them if you can do a talk at their store. Speaking at a bookstore is the best way to introduce yourself to the bookstore people and their customers.

Another great way: Book an appearance on a local radio show. Then tell the bookstore that you will mention them on air as the source of your book IF they will stock your book.

The Top 700 Independent Bookstores:

What an excellent resource. Thank you for sharing. I am trying to work my way through the posts and replies here. Learning a lot already.

I live on an island - Kauai, Hawaii. We have only one book store about 25 miles away. They do handle my paper books, but since I have published my last 3 books as eBooks, I will need to get them into paper soon. Yet, I have no problem selling ebooks either but I'd like more sales, like everyone else. With the paper books published through an expensive publishing company, I have never broken even on costs.


How many of us have made their costs back and finally realized a good profit?

With CreateSpace now, you can publish a book via POD at no cost but one sample book. Yes, books published via POD are more expensive per unit, but you are always guaranteed to make some money on every book sold.

Never, ever, never, ever buy one of the marketing packages or editorial packages or design packages offered by CreateSpace, Lulu, Author House, or other print-on-demand publishers. Especially the marketing packages. They are worthless at best. And detrimental to sales and branding at worst.

Thanks for the tips, John.


Hi, John

  Your advice on publishing is highly valuable. I am not known as a writer, might never be, but to avoid publishers who want to sell you a package is incredibly good advice. Yes, CreateSpace's do it yourself is a good deal. Thanks!!

I have  never had a problem with books left at bookstores on consignment.  I had a problem with "me!"

Make sure you keep excellent records on where you left them, with whom, get a "signed" copy back that they were left, the amount of books, the price, their discount and your precentage with royalty; have all this on the paper they give you with the books left. Don't allow too much time to go by without checking back with what is left on the shelves. I'd say at least once a month.

That wasn't my problem. I got comfortable thinking the manager or owner kept good records on what had sold in sales.  I'd come in after leaving five books and saw I sold two. Then they would want six more. The other title might have sold four and they wanted only two more.  I'd leave  without marking down the ones sold and the ones left. I might have left four on one title, three on the other, and then six on the next.   

What I do now to make it easy, is to leave 5 books of one title (the same with multiple titles) and don't get a check for one title until all five books are sold. If they want more, I leave the same amount of "only" five more.  The store owner loves this idea. Looking at the stock we know we started with five books and there is no confusion on how many sold. If I sold two of the other title, I don't collect until they are all gone and I don't leave any until they are. It's easy to get confused when you have more than one or two titles left on consignment.

Keep a good relationship with the owner or manager.  Going by their store for an errand? stop by just to say "hello."



  Thanks for your words of wisdom. I will call the bookstore that has my books today.

           Have a good weekend, Alice D

good advice


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