- 1.John Kremer on Marketing Books
- 3.Brown Eyed Girl
For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
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.
I put together a bookstore consignment agreement about 20 years ago. Since you asked for a sample, check out http://www.bookmarket.com/consignment.doc. It's a Word document format. Simple. Easy to adapt.
John Kremer, author, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books
There doesn't seem to be much understanding among authors on the inter-workings of bookstores and why you run into resistance much of the time, if you are a self-published author, independent, or small press author. The main obstacle is the bookstore's accounting system. Generally, they want to order books from one source and that is usually through Ingram (or others of this caliber). That makes taxes, returns, inventory, and pricing all inside their accounting system so the point-of-sales, their cash register, can properly account for all sales. Anything outside the system is risky and that's why only the local manager or local colleague will bother with you.
What authors don't stop to think about is there are a lot of newbie authors popping up daily and they all come into the stores eventually, so there is a steady stream of people wanting desperately to be included on shelves in competition with James Patterson. That's a real lose of income to the store owner. Shelf space is highly prized. If you can sell as part of a book signing that is handled off-line, that would be doable. If you can establish a track record of sales, that's even better. But the first step is to be registered with Ingram and the other biggies depending on your type of book so they can be ordered through the store accounting system.
It really makes sense now.
Local bookstores are probably the only ones who will take books on consignment. Here in NJ, Barnes and Noble and the other big chains are "thanks but no thanks". I am certain this is not comforting, but,sadly, realistic.
Local bookstores are not the only ones who will take books and sell them, and I'm not talking about consignment. Currently, my books are in a few Barnes & Noble Stores and Borders/Waldens. It is not as difficult as one would imagine, just hard work and a willingness to see it through.
Local Barnes & Nobles and Borders will take local author books. But they do like to order from a wholesaler or distributor whenever possible. Baker & Taylor is one of the wholesalers they work with that any book author can hook up with (for a price, alas).
And both chain stores will carry your book and feature it - if you set up an event in the store. Talk to their events coordinator or community coordinator (the title changes from store to store).
I had trouble getting any publisher other than a POD to publish my books. I wish I was Sarah Addison Allen or one of those great writers who go from college into the best seller world. But just getting a POD was as good as it gets.