Indie Author Requirements for your Book to be Stocked in Bookstores
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, so I’ll have a few new blog posts published this month. This blog post will provide some helpful tips for the things you can do to ensure your book can be stocked in bookstores like Barnes and Noble and other physical bookstores. If you missed Part 1 in this blog series, you can read it here.
1. The most important thing you can do is publish your book through IngramSpark.
If you want your books available for purchase in physical bookstores, this is one of the things you need to do. Publishing through IngramSpark requires a $50 set-up fee, plus additional fees any time you revise the book files. This may seem costly, especially compared to KDP which is 100% free, but it’s worth it if you want to see your books in bookstores.
Most bookstores aren’t fans of Amazon since they’re competitors, and most book sales now occur on Amazon. Therefore, bookstores don’t care if your book is available on Amazon and they will refuse to allow you to stock Amazon KDP printed books in their store.
IngramSpark makes it easy for bookstores to order a single book or books in bulk, depending on how many they want to stock.
2. Your book needs to be available to return.
This is important because the bookstore may agree to purchase, for example, ten copies of your book. If they don’t sell them within a predetermined amount of time (most likely six months to a year), then they may return the unsold books. When this occurs, they return them through IngramSpark. Amazon KDP doesn’t allow returns, so this is only possible with IngramSpark.
3. Your book needs a wholesale discount.
If a bookstore is buying books, they expect to receive a wholesale discount. It’s more cost-effective and it allows the bookstore to earn more money from the book sales. IngramSpark recommends setting the discount at 55%. However, some bookstores will accept 40%; this varies from store to store. Make sure the discount isn’t set so high that your royalties aren’t worth it though.
4. Ensure your book is a quality product.
Bookstores won’t want to stock your book if it looks like the cover was hastily thrown together in Microsoft Paint, if it’s not formatted properly, and even worse, if it’s not professionally edited.
5. Go into the bookstore and provide a free copy.
Making a personal connection at the bookstore where you want your book stocked is a good idea. If you ask to speak to a manager and bring in a free copy of your book, this allows them to look it over and make sure they want to stock it in their store. If they see a professional-looking book with an eye-catching cover and an intriguing blurb, then they will be more likely to agree to stock your book.
I hope this blog post was helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message or comment below.