After a few hiccups, I finally got my children’s book in local stores here in St. Louis. They are in the system at major retailers for order if any of you want to purchase from a bookstore elsewhere, but we haven’t gotten enough press to be on shelves everywhere. That’s fine with me it’s my first book.
So for any of you writers out there who are in the process of self publishing or working with a small publisher (like myself) you have more options than you think. Once available in print, many independent book sellers are willing to work with you.
I prefer to call first, the person who does ordering or works consignment may not be available when you go in and then you’ve wasted some time. The bookstores that I have been able to place my book with generally want to start with consignment.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with consignment, it is a program where you as the author drop off a small amount of books (usually from 1-5) and receive your share of the payment once they sell. A lot of stores have a 60/40 baseline. It puts more of the pressure on you as the artist, but keeps them in business. Most local bookstores that have survived the digital age have done so because they take less risks. Who can blame them?
As demand increases the options for direct ordering open. Some larger retailers will order your book from the publisher or distributor without consignment but don’t expect it unless you have a good rapport with them. Once that takes off you as the writer are spending less of your funds to get noticed and can focus on more prestigious options like submitting for awards and reviews that will help market your material.
Direct to kindle is a great option and I don’t mean to gloss over it. But people who love to read still enjoy the feel of turning a page. I have come to find that you’ll peak on amazon quickly, but in stores sales will be steady. It all depends on your genre and writing as well, but having more options for readers to enjoy is always a plus.