In my last article, I showed you how to get your self-published book stocked in mainstream bookstores. Getting into independent bookstores can be easier, depending on the quality of your book. Indie stores are usually more open to hosting local authors for book signings than mainstream stores because they don’t have tight ties to big corporations that set rules against supporting local self-published authors.

3 Easy Ways to Get Stocked in an Independent Bookstore

  1. List with Ingram. Ingram Book Group is the largest wholesaler/distributor of books in the world. Almost all indie bookstores have an account with Ingram, so the easiest, most sure-fire way to get stocked on their shelves is to have your book listed with Ingram.
  2. Consignment. Unlike mainstream bookstores, indie bookstores love local authors. Putting your books on consignment means you have to keep track of how many books you have stocked at each bookstore and get paid when they sell, not upfront. Check up on each store regularly to get reports on how many books have sold—at least once per month. Once you have a record of sales you send an invoice to the bookstore and collect your payment.
  3. Terms. Let the indie bookstore set the terms on how much percentage they will take on sales. If you walk in and give them 50% off, which you may think is a good offer since mainstream bookstores require 55% off, you may be missing out on additional income. Let them set the terms. I’ve heard many stories of authors who received an offer of only 30% discount, keeping 20% more than they planned. Whatever you negotiate, don’t go above 50% off. Any indie bookstore that asks for more than that may end up being a situation of you paying them to stock your book.

Independent bookstores are a great place for local self-published authors to stock their books. Contact your local indie stores today and start getting some local publicity for your book!

See how you can easily indie publish your book, save thousands of dollars, and get listed with Ingram Book Group with our exclusive program, Instant Self-Publishing NinjaThe Book Ninja Academy inside  today!


Photo Credit: Flickr, Christine und Hagen Graf

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy Laidig is the founder of The Book Ninja. She has authored over 40 books, started over 50 publishing companies, trained over 10,000 authors worldwide, has her black belt in karate, and eats way too much chocolate. She currently changes lives through her students… one published message at a time, manages her two retail stores Toy Box Gifts & Wonder® and Nerdvana Outpost in the heart of her newfound hometown, Chambersburg, PA, is in the start-up phase of at least three new businesses at any given time, and generally causes anyone reading this bio to be out of breath. On her “off” time (what’s that?) she brainstorms business ideas with her awesome husband, the great Public Domain Expert himself, Tony Laidig, and hangs out with her two ragdoll kitties. She’s even been known to sleep... occasionally.

One Comment

  • Nancy says:

    When we published Jason’s book, I got it in a few indie stores. I’m always thinking of the legal aspects like with any consignment so when we talked with the first store and the owner said they didn’t have a consignment contract, I made one up myself to cover not only payments but also lost, stolen, or damaged books. Definitely don’t go in without some kind of agreement. 🙂

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