Why Indies Don't Carry or Promote Your Self-Published Book
Why Independent Bookstores Don't Carry or Promote Your Self-Published Book
There are Several Book Worlds
You've published you book and you're proud of it.
You want everyone in the world to have access to it, you want to have a book launch, schedule readings and signings, and talk with people about your book. We understand your excitement and we'd love to help. Unfortunately, there are certain things we have to consider in order to stay in business. Below are some of the reasons it's difficult for us to stock or promote self-published books.
The reason indy bookstores don't usually accept self-published books, or books published through Amazon, Createspace or KDP, is because Amazon does not offer reasonable discounts for sales and their books are not returnable. Indy bookstores operate on paper-thin margins and discounts on books can makes us or break us. Often, you can buy a self-published book on Amazon cheaper than they will sell it to us. Why is this the case? Because Amazon wants you to sell your book only on Amazon. They don't care whether you are able to get your book into local brick-and-mortar shops.
Authors, readers, and bookstores form a community made up of people who love books. Amazon is one kind of community: It's online, impersonal, algorithm-driven, but many people enjoy it, and an occasional few find ways to make it work for them. Indy bookstores are part of a different kind of community, and the two rarely overlap. Indy bookstores are locally based, provide personal service and hand-selling of books, host author events and book launches, bring book events to their city, and allow for personal interactions between authors and readers.
Indy bookstores pay taxes. Amazon doesn't.
Amazon can sell books at lower prices because
1) They get better deals from publishers by buying in bulk on the order of thousand of books;
2) Because they are 'printing' books themselves and have already charged the author for the service, and
3) They can afford to take a loss on certain books.
If you would like to schedule an event at our store that you are expecting your friends and family to attend, and your website or promotional materials drives everyone to Amazon, your family and friends have already bought the book on online. The event will not benefit the store.
If you would like to schedule an event at our store and would like us to promote your book when all of your marketing mentions Amazon, you are asking us to support our competitor.
Here's what Amazon doesn't provide:
1) A physical space for your book launch or event,
2) Staff who hand-sell books,
3) Local marketing through website, social media, and physical location,
4) Taxes to benefit your community and state, and
5) A vibrant connection to local book events, authors, book clubs, festivals, and other community events.
Supporting local businesses helps your community thrive. If you would like our support to get your book out there, we need your support in sending people to local indy bookstores for your book.