10-16-2011 11:36 - edited 10-16-2011 11:38
Hello! I think I already know the answer to this question, but just in case, I want to make sure now so I don't end up beating myself up later.
Under Lulu's global distribution, it lists "Offline bookstores can order copies" as one of it's features. I also see that it has Ingram in there somewhere too, which is who I'm guessing would be doing most of the book production.
If I wanted to get my books into Barnes & Noble stores, I already know I'd have to go through the whole application process (this right here: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_authors/how_t
Any and all help is very much appreciated!
Ingram is one of two primary Wholesaler/Distributors in the United States. If you opt for the Global Distribution package your book will be listed in the Ingram catalog - so various retailers can order - however, it will be listed in such a way that it brick and morter stores will not that it is a POD product and that it is non-returned (Two major roadbloaks to getting a book picked up by brick and morter stores).
Baker and Taylor is other primary Wholesaler/Distributor in the US and they are one used primarily by libraries.
Ingram doesn't have anything to do with book production (other than they own LSI - another POD printer).
". . . it will be listed in such a way that it brick and morter stores will not (what?) that it is a. . . "
I think that from the context of everything else, what you're saying is that brick and mortar stores won't order it? Since it's a POD service & non-returnable?
So then, if I'd like to get picked up by a brick and mortar store, what do you suggest I do? Get a different wholesaler?
Thank you very much for the response!
It is very, very difficult for a POD book to be picked up by any Brick and Morter store - most independent and small press publishers don't even target bookstores.
Most chain stores like Barnes & Noble will not buy books that are listed as non-returnable. If you are going through Lulu or even C/S your books are automatically listed as non-returnable. The only way to get around the non-returnable is to go directly to a company like LSI and use them as your Printer/Distributor as you can set your own discount rate and even set it so you accept retrurns.
Ingram is the company that most retailers use when they purchase books - Baker and Taylor primarily targets the library industry. Not sure who else you would use as a wholesaler.
Places like Barnes & Noble will consider POD books if you go through their small press division - but remember odds are against you. Definitely talk to the CRM at your local B&N to see if you can get a signing - if there is interest as a local author then you might be able to get them to place a small order.
I see. Then let's say that I don't opt for Global Distribution but get Ingram as a wholesaler, (though as I understand I'd have to get a book distributor first?). Is the chance of being picked up better? I know it's difficult to get into a brick and mortar store regardless, but I'm hoping to at least try.
As a small press / self published author - if you want to really work toward getting into brick & mortar, I would recommend that you you go to LSI as your printer/distributor instead of Lulu - you will need to set at the price so that you can give a 55% discount on the price to Ingram and then be prepared to take returns - which can get costly.
Because they can actually end up losing money - most small / independent publishers will not accept returns.
If you want to stay with Lulu - make sure you are using an ISBN you purchased directly from Bowker. DO NOT OPT for any distribution by Lulu. Yes you wil have to find a distributor - you will have to order a print run based on their requirements to handle the book, pay for warehousing of the copies and then ship to them.
Once all of that is done you will still have to go through Barnes & Noble's Small Press Department to have the book evaluated.
Yep, I already have my own ISBN, so at least I have that.
I'm going to have to think this over and weight my options to see if the brick and mortar is really worth it, or if I should give it a go online. I'll be giving it quite a bit of thought, but in the meantime, thank you so, so much for all of your help.