Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vanity bookselling? Now writers can pay to have books in a store

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.
"Most people will come in at one of the higher fee amounts. That surprised us," said Arsen Kashkashian, head buyer, who added that writers have generally been enthusiastic about the opportunity, telling him, "I want the marketing, I want the exposure. I worked so hard on this project, and you guys are the only ones who could help me with it." (info from shelf-awareness.com)

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.


1 comment:

  1. This is sad. But it is how the indie booksellers are trying to keep their door open. It's desperation.