Colorado's Boulder Book Store is willing to stock and display self-pubbed books if the author/publishers pay for the service. The books are on consignment, and are returned to the author if they do not sell.
The bookseller charges a tiered fee structure:
- $25 simply to stock a book (five copies at a time, replenished as needed by the author for no additional fee)
- $75 to feature a book for at least two weeks in the 'Recommended' section
- $125 to, in addition to everything else, mention the book in the store's e-mail newsletter, feature it on the Local Favorites page of the store’s website for at least 60 days, and enable people to buy it online for the time it’s stocked in the store
- $255 to add an in-store reading and book-signing event.
This move parallels vanity publishing, where authors pay the cost of book production and the publisher make money even if it sells no books. In this new system, the bookseller makes money even if it sells no books.
In both cases, the author is a cash cow.