2-Step Process to Get Your Book Selling In Store

May 15, 2023 by Shannon Mori

Self-publishing or traditionally publishing a book is an amazing journey and one that involves lots of learning and research. If you want your book to sell whether it be online or in store, you will soon come to learn that you will be marketing yourself and your book a great deal! After coming out of your comfort zone by publishing your book on your own, it is time to come out of your comfort zone again by becoming your book’s promoter and your own personal publicist. Marketing for your first book should begin long before you actually have your completed book in hand, and the details of what that should look like is something I will address more in detail in another blog posting. Once you have your masterpiece completed and available for online retailers, you may be wanting to know how to get your book for sale in store.

This article is to help you specifically get your book on the shelves in book stores. Here is the step-by-step on how I got my first book of the Pawsome Pals book series, The Ear Bend, on the shelves of Barnes and Noble (among other book sellers). This process is easy and I know you will get your books selling in store also!

  1. Create a media kit for your book. The one I created is very simple using my favorite graphic design platform, Canva. What is a media kit? It is a one page long collection of resources the media might want to use for various reasons. Yes, it is used for reaching out to the media if you are promoting yourself, but in this case, it’s purpose is the same in that it generalizes all the most relevant and useful information about your book that you can use to promote yourself to a book store. The book’s info to include on the media kit is:
    • Title of the book
    • Retailers where available (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.)
    • List Price
    • Pages
    • Publication Date
    • Format
    • ISBN
    • Author Name

      Then include sections for the book summary and about the author. Also, include any awards, reviews or recognition your book may have received. Lastly, include your contact information. Once you have a copy of your media kit printed out, it is go time!

    2.  Literal go time! Go to your local Barnes and Noble store. With your media kit and copy of your book in hand, ask for the manager of your local store. Introduce yourself as a local author and give them a copy of your media kit. Ask that manager if they have a local author’s section. If they do, ask for your book to be included as a book they sell as a local author. If they don’t have a dedicated section for local author’s, ask if you can be their first. The books will be sold on consignment. They will provide you with a contract with the arrangements for the consignment, payment, etc. You will most likely need to provide your own copies of the book to the retailer. In my case, I provided 10 copies to start and we scheduled a date and time for this to occur on their book intake day (appointments only). At the end of the contract, you will receive your payment for the books sold and will have the option to continue the agreement and provide more books to be sold or move on.

And there you have it! It really is that easy! You may go into any local or regional bookstores and talk to the owner/manager with this same approach. Your books will be sold on consignment.

Here is one last important piece to keep in mind. As I mentioned, you are your own publicist so it is important to have your marketing plan in place prior to going in and talking with the owner/manager. Once you are established with Barnes and Noble or any other local bookstore, be sure to approach them with your marketing plan also. They will not market your book for you so let them know you are available for events. You can set up author readings or book signings with any of these locations. It is a win/win situation! You will be bringing in customers for the retailer by having your people and followers attend your event and you will gain some new readers and book sales at these events by the customers who are in store!

Good luck, fellow authors! I’d love to hear if anyone else has their own success story of getting their books on the shelf of a book seller or if anyone tries my 2-step process.

Shannon Mori is the author of The Ear Bend, the first of the Pawsome Pals book series. She is the current Author of the Month at The Paper House Publishing. Her passions include animals, writing and supporting fellow indie writers. Her blog, That's A'Mori, shares experiences in being an author, mom, wife and whatever other hat she is wearing that day. Her incredibly supportive husband and her two bright young children, who love reading as much as she does, are her inspiration. After living all over the U.S. with a love for new adventures and travel, Shannon and her family which includes five pets now reside close to the beach in sunny Florida.