Selling to college bookstores

Hello,

 

Has anyone tried selling to college bookstores? I know Barnes and Noble runs many of them; are there other well-known operators?

 

What is the typical markup these stores charge? Any tips on negotiating a low mark-up? 

 

Usually these stores would insist on liberal return policies, which doesn't really work with self-published books (usually zero return policy, since they are print-on-demand). Any idea how much flexibility the stores have on this?

 

Any other tips on selling to college bookstores?

 

Thanks,

 

Sid

Comments

  • I have never actually sold a book to a college bookstore, but I think your best "in" would be to have professors add your book to their textbook list. Then the bookstores will order the books to fulfill the classroom needs. We work with college and univeristy bookstores around the world, so no problems there with billing and shipping issues.

     

    If you succeed, please return to the forums and let us know how you acheived your goal.

     

     

  • I had a friend that is teaching a Kung fu self defense class at the local college. He was going to make it required to get my book for the class which have around 50 sales each class. But for some reason never did. But that is a way to start.


  • Glenn_Lulu wrote:

    I have never actually sold a book to a college bookstore, but I think your best "in" would be to have professors add your book to their textbook list. Then the bookstores will order the books to fulfill the classroom needs. We work with college and univeristy bookstores around the world, so no problems there with billing and shipping issues.

     

    If you succeed, please return to the forums and let us know how you acheived your goal.

     

     


    Thanks.

     

    How does the bookstore manage to price it the same as you do and maintain a markup? Does your discount to the bookstore cover that? The student always has the choice to buy it off Lulu.com...

     

    How do returns work? Are bookstores open to ordering books that they cannot return?


  • Glenn_Lulu wrote:

    I have never actually sold a book to a college bookstore, but I think your best "in" would be to have professors add your book to their textbook list. Then the bookstores will order the books to fulfill the classroom needs. We work with college and univeristy bookstores around the world, so no problems there with billing and shipping issues.

     

    If you succeed, please return to the forums and let us know how you acheived your goal.

     

     


    Thanks Glenn.

     

    How does the bookstore manage to price it the same as you do and maintain a markup? Does your discount to the bookstore cover that? The student always has the choice to buy it off Lulu.com...

     

    How do returns work? Are bookstores open to ordering books that they cannot return?

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    The first thing to get to grips with is that it is not Lulu
    selling the books but you. You write, publish and sell the
    books. Lulu is simply the medium through which you do this.

    There is no sell-or-return in print on demand publishing.
    If someone orders a copy of a book it is because they want it.
    If they order 100 copies and only sell 2 that hits them right
    where it hurts most. Neither is there deep discounting.

    This is part or the reason why self published authors
    selling print books will sell two dozen copies, if they are
    lucky. Not only does the customer have to pay a higher price
    than he would in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore but he has
    to pay to have the book delivered to him too.

    C'est la vie.

    The only way to make print on demand print publishing work
    is to identify a market then order the books yourself at
    the reduced author rate and add your mark up and sell the
    books. Of course you carry the financial risk and you have to deal
    with the cash flow issues which may arise.


  • danielblue wrote:

    The first thing to get to grips with is that it is not Lulu
    selling the books but you. You write, publish and sell the
    books. Lulu is simply the medium through which you do this.

    There is no sell-or-return in print on demand publishing.
    If someone orders a copy of a book it is because they want it.
    If they order 100 copies and only sell 2 that hits them right
    where it hurts most. Neither is there deep discounting.

    This is part or the reason why self published authors
    selling print books will sell two dozen copies, if they are
    lucky. Not only does the customer have to pay a higher price
    than he would in a bricks-and-mortar bookstore but he has
    to pay to have the book delivered to him too.

    C'est la vie.

    The only way to make print on demand print publishing work
    is to identify a market then order the books yourself at
    the reduced author rate and add your mark up and sell the
    books. Of course you carry the financial risk and you have to deal
    with the cash flow issues which may arise.


    Clear, thanks! 

  • As far as pricing goes, the bookstore can add any markup they choose to the book. And, yes, if your book is set to general access, students will be able to order it online if they want.

     

    Another option would be to have a "wholesale" priced version of the book that you offer the bookstore that has a smaller author markup. This would make it more affordable for the bookstore. You can set that project to Direct Access which would prevent students from buying it at the reduced, wholesale price.


  • Glenn_Lulu wrote:

    As far as pricing goes, the bookstore can add any markup they choose to the book. And, yes, if your book is set to general access, students will be able to order it online if they want.

     

    Another option would be to have a "wholesale" priced version of the book that you offer the bookstore that has a smaller author markup. This would make it more affordable for the bookstore. You can set that project to Direct Access which would prevent students from buying it at the reduced, wholesale price.


    Thanks Glenn. 

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