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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 agreement...is there any other way? The other two stores are owned by friends so there isn't an issue.

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Publish America is guaranteed for non/terrible placement. Bookstores do not want to deal with PA because their books are non-returnable. Not to mention their horrible contracts and terms...
Mary,

Where do I send my book(s) for concideration for putting in your magazine.

Steve Roberts
Feon,
Hang on to your dream and dont give up. Just continue to learn as you move through this process and continue to apply what you've learned.

Best wishes!
Look at it from the bookstore point of view. They have to pay rent, taxes, electricity etc and have to deal with the pubic too! If your book looks good and looks like it will sell, we will be more keen to enter into an arrangement with you. Remember, it is your personal project, so you think it is a great book, but you HAVE TO CONVINCE the bookstore that their customers will like it, too. Basically, you are competing with all the other books for shelf-space.
Five important tips:
1. Make sure your book is bookstore-friendly: i.e. you have to have an ISBN and a bar-code to work with their sales system. If they have a certain classification system, tell them where your book fits in in that. If they have a standard % to pay authors, and you want a different % then administering your book will be extra work for them.
2. The bookstore manager has tight time constraints. We HATE IT when an author comes in, without an appointment, and just thinks we can sit down for half an hour to talk about their book. Be professional, arrange an appointment beforehand, send an email with brief details so we can review it before the meeting, and aim to keep your meeting short and to the point.
3. The bookstore will not want to lose money from shop-lifting or from shop-soiled books. Neither do you, of course. Have a realistic expectation for the clauses in the agrement about books not returned to you in perfect condition.
4. Be REALISTIC. A small town bookstore will probably only order a max of 10 copies of a good seller. Don't expect them to take 100 copies of your unknown, unpublicized work.
5. Expect to do something to sell your book, too, like a signing day or give the bookstore posters or something like bookmarks to give away. Basically, if an author won't work with us to try to sell their book, even to give us one hour for a book reading, why should we bust a gut on their behalf? We have a limited amount of time and money to spend on marketing, and we will market the books of those who do the most to work with us.
Thanks Marion for your input...it looks like I have done everything the book store has required, so that is good...because I have never had a book in the stores before I didn't know if leaving the books on consignment was a good thing or not...or if it was the norm...I suppose there is no other way other than a distributor doing it for me. thanks again

www.freewebs.com/cindyjost
Yes, Cindy, consignment is quite normal. A bookstore's main problem is capital. That stock on the shelves is really a whole pile of cash just sitting there in a non-bankable format!

Normally a distributor would give the bookstore 60 or 90 days credit, and allow returns within a period. So if I buy 20 copies of the latest Harry Potter to go on our shelves I don't pay for them for 90 days, allowing me to sell them before I have to pay the distributor. Also, if I miscalculated and think that I really should only have ordered 15, because sales are slower than I had hoped, I can return the extra 5.

Because we have a large volume of business with the distributor, and they have the accounting system set up to deal with all of this (they net the returns off the next invoice), the system works.

For just one book, most bookstores would not want to get an invoice, and then have to do a refund invoice to you. So consignment is better. You just settle up at the end of the 90 days. The net result is the same.

If you worked with a distributor ... because they give the bookstore 90 days credit they probably would settle up with you even later (120 days?) and would of course give you a lower % on the cover price.
Thanks Marion...I agree with David..you have been a good source of information on bookstore insight
Great information, and I certainly understand. But how do you convince that you are willing to put most of the muscle behind promotions and working to sell your book? I experience being rejection over the when trying to schedule a meeting.

At a total loss.
Tanya
Marion, thanks for the great insights from a bookstore managers perspective. Great info!
Marion, thank you. Such great info. I didn't know that either.

I had one bookstore owner come up to me at a network meeting and ask why my books weren't in her store and would I like to do an "author event". Well, I jumped on it; followed up and called her. Not heard a word since. But then, I know other things come up in peoples' lives so I'll give another call soon. It's good to have the information you gave so I know more of what to expect from book stores.

Revvell
http://podcast.thebookcrawler.com
cindy,

This is the book world we live in.

there are buy backs and consignments.
the key here is where your book is placed and getting some book signing events. support the book signing events with FREE radio, television or print media advertising.
remember that the press and media need us as much as we need them.

send out press releases to local radio, etc. to get local interest.

put posters up.
anything you can do to get people to come.
offer free pens raffle for a free book.

setup a memorable table

you need to make sure that the people who come by will remember.
talk to the sales staff. THEY SELL YOUR BOOK. THANK THEM FOR ALL THEY DO. They will remember this and make sure they know what your book is about and how they can sell it. You are selling them just like customers.

chef robert
Hi thank you for your ideas...I have already contacted my local radio and television stations and there has been one bite so far. On September 10th I will be appearing on our local daytime show to talk about the book...

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