Make Independent Bookstores Beg to Carry Your Book


Well, almost. Indiebound’s Advance Access program allows you to include your title in a listing of new book galleys, reading copies or finished books for bookstores to review and consider for inclusion in their bookstore.

This is an invaluable tool for any author who plans to be their own distributor!

1,000’s of bookstores will receive the email with your title and you can expect 25-50 of them to email you directly to request a copy. From there, your book will sell itself.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, this is not free. As a self-publisher who is making your book widely available (i.e. listing in Bowker, Ingram, and other major outlets), you can list your book for $150 per title. If you are already a member of IBPA your fee is only $75.


There is nothing wrong with becoming your own distributor…as long as you have an idea of what you’re getting into. You should keep the following in mind before adding this as part of your marketing strategy:

  1. Bookstores will  sell your book in their stores…BUT they often expect to have the right to return the books if they don’t sell. This will affect your accounting practices so keep this in mind.
  2. Bookstores will pay you for any books that they sell…BUT their idea of a reasonable amount of time will include 90-180 day terms after the sales are complete.
  3. Bookstores will want to make profit by selling your book and may request a 35%-60% discount on the retail price of your book. Something else to keep in mind when planning your book sales strategy.

Do you think the $150 investment is worth the opportunity to have your book carried in independent bookstores or do you think it’s better to stay focused on marketing to larger chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble?


By Edward Betts (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Danielle Fetherson

Danielle helps aspiring authors become published authors. She believes that everyone has at least one book on the inside of them that can make a positive impact on someone else's life. If you have been thinking about writing a book, learn how to start your book today with the free resources at