Joe Baldizzone wrote:
Something just possessed me to see if my book is available in B&N. Lo and behold, a store near me has one currently in stock.
I had nothing to do with that.
How does that happen? And how can I make it happen more?
Did you publish your paperback thru CreateSpace? If so, that is how.
My paperback is available in Barnes & Noble because I chose Extended Distribution in CreateSpace. Woot! Not that anyone has purchased it from there or would know to look for it there since I haven't advertised it there, but it's there in case. :P
Joe Baldizzone wrote:
I understand that it goes to B&N through expanded distribution and can be ordered through them online - but I'm talking about the book being physically on the shelves. In one of their stores.
I typed in my zip code to check availability for pickup, and one of the stores near me has it in stock.
If hey have it in one of their stores, I'm thinking that might be helpful in getting it on the shelves of other stores - and hey, who wouldn't want that :)?
But I don't know how or why it got there in the first place.
edit: Just checked my book listing again, and then books of a few friends. Mine gives the option, "want it today? check store availability." The others didn't have that link.
Store owners and/or managers order them at distributor price for their stores.
If one of your books is physically on the shelves of a B&N store, I think the most likely explanation is that somewhere along the line a customer has ordered a copy and the store has ordered two copies, or perhaps the customer didn't come into the store to collect the book, and it has then been put out onto the shelves.
I do get royalties from time to time from B&N, which are less than royalties from Createspace, but whatever. It's only a couple of $$. I'm just happy my book is getting out there.
How do people go about getting distributed in stores like B&N? I was told before I published my book not to even think about it, that it was highly unlikely, so I didn't. This has me wondering though. Is it like being a door to door salesman? Is it networking and doing our best to befriend someone who can make that happen? Is it impossible if not a trade published book, or before selling a certain amount of copies? Is there any criteria, or is it just the decision of a store manager or corporate person somewhere making these decisions?
Looking for some insight... and direction should I continue with my writing.
Is it like being a door to door salesman? Is it networking and doing our best to befriend someone who can make that happen? Is it impossible if not a trade published book, or before selling a certain amount of copies?
Yes, that's exactly what it's like.
In the very early days of self-publishing, I got up autograph parties at a Borders and a Barnes & Noble. The local Barnes & Noble had a regular schedule of autograph parties, and it took months of waiting to get on the list. Borders of course is now gone, a victim of Amazon's success, and B&N I suspect is getting a lot harder to get into. Where there used to be a few thousand self-pubbers, willing to put up several hundred dollars at Exlibris or iUniverse, now there are millions of us.
The standard wholesale discount is 55 percent, which is achievable on IngramSpark but not on CreateSpace (and of course not on KDP Print). As a favor to a customer, I think most independent bookstores would order a CS book, perhaps with a surcharge to defray shipping cost. B&N is less likely. What I usually did was supply the books myself. At the end of the afternoon we counted them up and the manager get me the money out of the cash register, less 40 percent for the store.
(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)
A sale through B&N would have showed on your Createspace dashboard as "Expanded distribution" though, not via B&N. And t may have happened some time ago, depending on the scenario.
Getting stocked at a brick and mortar store is a happy accident unless they know about your book, which would be anything from word of mouth to participating in advertising through the ABA, and it still won't happen unless you price high enough for everyone to make some money at it. Going through Ingram rather than Createspace gives you some different pricing options.
Joe, I got B&N to not only stock a few of my books but to get Andrew Greeley to buy me coffee and a doughnut at its Tucson store. It happened after I got on the phone with one of their managers and raised hell because they seemed reluctant to stock any copies of the first book I self-published. Andrew was very nice and they stocked three copies of the book, if I recall correctly.
Not bad, eh? Okay, here's the rest of the story. This was way back when Amazon was just getting started. Young Mr. Greeley, a PR guy, was not THE Andrew Greeley, he was a grandson or something. I don't recall. And he and B&N became especially cordial towards me when I showed them a copy of the flier my wife and one of her friends put on cars parked in the lot at the local Borders store, now long gone. The flier blasted Borders for stocking an especially stupid book by a nationally known writer while refusing to stock any books by local authors.
B&N then gladly took my book and displayed it on its table marked "Local Authors" instead with other similar books, which I regarded as a slight. So the next few times I was in the store I moved it to where the hell I thought it should be. After that experience, it was maybe 10 years before I tried self-publication again, this time with a pretty powerful Amazon.
I would have been tickled to be in with other local authors. That was special advertising he didn't have to do, but did because you brought it up. It was a great way to distinguish his store from the competition. Anyway, that's how I'd take that--not as an insult but a compliment.