Recently I was able to attend the annual San Diego Public Library Annual Local Author Event. It was good to talk to other authors, see our latest book displayed, (In my case it was: Mary, Chosen of God. Of the many events planned, I found one session enlightening. From the perspective of one who has gone the self-published route in the past, it was interesting to hear the perspective of a local bookseller in regard to this issue.
Why are they reluctant to carry a self-published book?
1. Consignments are awkward. It someone wants a book and the supply is gone, the bookseller has to contact you individually to bring more in. If you are out of town or on vacation, your reader will lose interest.
2. They have to keep separate accounting which is time consuming.
3. If there is damage to one of your books, the bookseller is on the hook to replace it.
4. Do not tell them the book is for sale on Amazon.com. even if it is! Booksellers are in the business to sell books and Amazon is competition.
5. Spend the money to have an attractive cover done. Not blatant, it needs to fit in with the other books.
One Company he recommended having your book published through is INGRAM SPARK for the following reasons:
1. They are an independent but well-known book distributor most booksellers get their books through.
2. Books are returnable.
3. They send one check a month to Ingram, eliminating a separate check to you.
4. While royalties are lower it is still reasonable cost for the book.
To see if the bookseller is interested in carrying your book, send an e-mail with a cover of the book, a brief summary, the first page of the book and perhaps the blurb from the back cover of the book. This tells him a great deal. Appeal, your writing abilities, and your professionalism! Self-publishing is a difficult road. Marketing is expensive and time consuming. If you are determined, maybe these few points will help.