Should I sell my books in a bookstore?

Have you considered selling your new book to a bookstore? Think twice. Learning the basics about the publishing business should be a must for every independent author, so don’t let the lack of knowledge lead you into a business model that might be inconvenient, and most important, unprofitable for you.

I ran the numbers and selling at most bookstores will make you lose money. Getting your book into a physical bookstore can be a challenge and, compared to online retailers, implies a much bigger investment of time and human resources, which often results in a very small profit margin for both authors and publishing companies.

All bookstores that operate on consignment lost us money last year. If a bookstore only does consignment I would advice you to sell elsewhere.

The next thing to consider is how much royalty the store takes. Many independent bookstores take 50% royalty which can lead many books to be unprofitable (especially color photo books with expensive printing). We aim to give bookstores 30% of the total sales. We also allow some bookstores to sell at a slight markup on rare occasion.

How many books is the store buying? Only selling one or two copies is a lot of labor for low profit.

The last thing to consider is if the target audience of the bookstore aligns with the niche of your book.

What do you think about this subject? Let me know in the comments.