Home » Tales about the Author » Self-Publishing: Working with Bookstores

Self-Publishing: Working with Bookstores

Books in the Douglasville, Georgia Borders store.

Every author wants to see their book in a bookstore.  The pinnacle is to have your books available at major chains all over the country.  There are a few things you, as a self published author will have to consider before you print your books if you want them to be picked up by bookstores.

  • You’ll need to purchase an ISBN from Bowker that identifies your book.
  • You’ll need a bar code with the price of your book on the back for easy scanning
  • If you’d like to be in the library as well, you’ll need to register with the Library of Congress and get an LCCN.
  • Your book must have a spine wide enough to hold the title of your book and your last name.
  • You’ll need to need to have your title listed with a major book distributor.

That’s a lot to do just to get your book where people can purchase it. But it’s necessary if you are going to compete with a traditional publisher. The internet levels the playing field a little. You can list your titles online easily through Amazon.com and other online bookstores.

I met an author said, she called bookstores in cities where she knew people and asked for her title. She would then send her friends and family to the store to ask for the title. Eventually, they would call her to purchase the book because so many people were coming in looking for it.

My motto is always be creative. If you can foster a relationship with a local bookstore then by all means do so. Take advantage of local author days and other programs designed for local self-published authors.

If you have an agent, you may also ask them to shop your self-published book to traditional publishers. They may be interested in doing a second printing or possibly buying your next book.

Until Next Time,

Nicole D.P. McLaughlin


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