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