Bookstore Economics 101

When you self-publish getting your books into bookstores can be a problem. What I learned just yesterday is why bookstores won’t order self-published books from Ingram or Baker & Taylor, the two major distributors.

First, my book, which was set up by Create Space, is only available thru Ingram. I don’t know what it takes to get into Baker & Taylor. Perhaps I’ll contact them to find out. But the problem with Ingram is that they only offer bookstores a 25% discount on self-published books, which means bookstores aren’t going to order them unless the author is very well-known. They need 40%.

I don’t have a problem with a 60/40 split, but driving around the country leaving 6 copies here and 4 copies there is not feasible, and of course not all stores will take your books. If you are local or the book has a local tie-in, you may get a favorable response. If you promise to publicize the fact that your book is available at that store, that will help also.

Like most people I like to support independent bookstores. They are fighting a losing battle against Amazon in particular; many have closed in recent years and others are struggling. That’s why I’ll support them when I can.

If you have additional information to add, please chime in.

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