Professional booksellers talk about consignment, events, terms and other aspects of working with independent publishers.
A store manager, restock buyer, and event coordinator at Books Inc., a leading independent bookseller in Berkeley, California, discuss ways they evaluate books from independent publishers and things publishers can do to make it easier to hold events at and get books into their store.
This is a very meaty interview with lots of practical advice. Highlights of this podcast include:
- how books are evaluated when submitted
- the ins and outs of consignment: fees, support for nonlocal authors, term
- the importance of returnability and discounts offered
- what makes a successful event? (hint: authors need to help with attendance!)
- store outreach via Instagram, newsletter, Facebook: do authors need to help offset costs? (answer: not always, it depends)
- the book buyer is “curating a gallery of books”
- priming the pump: offering a marketing plan, reviews, publicity, showing you are putting effort into developing an audience
- booksellers look for diversity in subject matter, so indie books are especially welcome!
- Ingram Spark: a reliable and dependable match for an indie publisher looking for a POD solution that offers distribution (hint: booksellers do NOT like to order from Amazon!)
- authors need to learn the biz: bookselling costs money too; educate yourself about what’s expected and about professional standards of book publishing
- is the quality of indie publishing improving over the years?
Ingram Spark is at https://www.ingramspark.com/.
The IBPA industry standards checklist is at https://www.ibpa-online.org/page/standardschecklist.
Schyler Baker is the manager of Books Inc in Berkeley. He holds a BA in English from California State University Sacramento. He started bookselling in 2005 and has hosted hundreds of author events over the years.
Sara Vander Zwaag is the restock buyer at Books Inc. Berkeley. She received her MFA in poetry from Saint Mary’s College of California. She loves animals, especially her black cat Timo; space; poetry; vegan treats; hiking; swimming; and, of course, reading!
Annie Keig is the Event Coordinator for Books Inc Berkeley in Northern California. She received her BA in Environmental Studies and Creative writing at Saint Mary’s College of California. A long time reader and aspiring writer, she strives to bring readers closer to the books and authors they love with her work at Books Inc.
Peter Goodman (host) is publisher of Stone Bridge Press in Berkeley, California. He began his publishing career in Tokyo, Japan, in 1976. A longtime member of IBPA, he has served on the IBPA board and as IBPA board chair.