Selling books on consignment: tips for authors

Most major bookstores do take self-published and small press titles on consignment – but don’t be surprised if they only take one copy. Shelf space is a valuable commodity, and your book has to prove its worth like any other title.

    • Do your research before approaching a store about placing your books on consignment.
    • Study the store’s website to find out who handles consignment and introduce yourself and your book(s) via email.
    • Fill out the paperwork required and make sure you understand the terms, such as how long the store will keep titles on consignment; what happens to unsold books, and how often the bookstore sends payments.
    • Most bookstores take 40% of the retail price (which is about the same percentage as they get when selling a book from the Big Five). This means the author receives 60% of the retail price.
    • Some stores charge a fee for consigning books to cover their administrative costs.

At Third Place Books, the person to contact about consignment is Kalani Kapahua.

Thanks to Sam Kaas of Third Place Books for his input on this list of tips.

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