3 Ways to Discover Indie Bookstores

Whether planning a book tour or book launch, locating indie bookstores is critical. Before packing your travel bag, map out the best bookstores based on your book genre, readership, and location. Here are 3 ways to determine which indie bookstore is appropriate for you.

#1: New Pages Guide to Bookstores in the U.S. and Canada is by far the most comprehensive listing of bookstores. NewPages.com offers valuable resources for indie authors and publishers wanting current information about literary guides, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.

#2: Fellow authors and publishers are another resource for bookstores in your area. Ask not only for the bookstore name, but also for: past book signing experiences; special consignment requirements; previous sales; top-selling books; and for a manager or store owner’s contact information. PJ Boox and Bookmark It are two of my favorite local stores.

#3: When traveling be mindful to ask for directions to the nearest bookstore. Tourist destinations, historical landmarks, and gift shops often carry a selection of books. Ask not only for a contact name but their top-selling books, genre, and reason. Lula’s by the Sea, SunDog Books, and Downtown Books & Purl are examples of bookstores located in tourist locations.

When the relationship starts, ask if you can contact the store with you new products, events, or newsletter. Cultivating relationships with locally-owned and national indie bookstores boosts both authors’ and bookstores’ success.

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Become a Barnes & Noble Author

While attending the FAPA Annual Conference Library and Bookstore Panel, Angie Roix, Community Business Development Manager (CBDM) for Barnes & Noble Bookseller, provided authors a valuable list of requirements to succeed within B&N bookstores.

  1.  Books must have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number).

2.  Books must have a Bar Code. The bar code helps stores efficiently mange books. Remember bar codes must have the book’s US retail price embedded and printed on the book.

3.  Binding Matters:  Perfect and hard bound books offer longer self life and better sales due to printed names on the spine, especially since most products are placed on shelves spine out.

4.  Place books with a wholesaler to simplify billing—one invoice to one location. This allows B&N to purchase larger orders and puts the book on auto replenish.

5.  Price books competitively with other titles similar in content and format.

6.  Tell Barnes & Noble what makes your book unique by sending:  publicity/promotional plans, reviews, and articles written about the book.

This list should increase your ability in selling books through the Barnes & Noble Bookselling system both in-store and online. For more information about listing titles on Barnes&Noble.com, scroll to the Services and click on Publisher and Author Guidelines.