New Bookstore Just For Indie Authors!

Discussion in 'Indie Writing, Publishing & Marketing Discussion' started by ShawnLamb, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    Thursday, March 15, Back To The Books - www.backtothebooks.net - a bookstore dedicated to promoting indie authors - opens in Manitou Springs, Colorado just outside Colorado Springs. I'm blessed to be among the 140 indie authors featured in the store, which will be carrying the entire Allon Series. Those of you in the Manitou & Colorado Springs area, stop by to meet authors and enjoy catered food all weekend! Oh, and be sure to pick up copies of Allon Books 1-4 featured in YA section! Here is a link to a write-up in the local business journal. http://csbj.com/2012...pen-in-manitou/
     
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  2. Michael J Scott

    Michael J Scott New Member

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    Sweet! Thanks for posting this, Shawn! I hope it's a huge success. Maybe more stores like this will open up.
     
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  3. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    Indeed, Michael. The bookstore isn't dead, it just needs to be re-born to include indie authors, and not caught up in the old cycle. :)
     
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  4. Anya Yana

    Anya Yana New Member

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    Cool! Wish I was in Colorado!
     
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  5. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    Hoping and praying he does well and others will take the chance, for that is all good indie authors need - a chance.
     
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  6. Anya Yana

    Anya Yana New Member

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    I think he is smart. Especially if he is featuring local authors. He may really be onto something.
    The local authors will be there promoting the heck out of their books!
     
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  7. Heidi

    Heidi New Member

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    This sounds wonderful, Shawn! That's why Micha has been trying to go that direction with Pen Fruit. He just needs to contact more authors like you all to see if they'll let him carry their books. :)
     
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  8. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    Is Pen Fruit a brick-n-mortar bookstore? It would depend upon how the contract is written for consignment and the precentage split.

    The owner of Back To The Books is also an indie author. We connected on LinkedIn.
     
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  9. Michael J Scott

    Michael J Scott New Member

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    Who is Micha and what is Pen Fruit? I'd be interested in speaking to any bookstore owner who'd consider offering my titles.
     
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  10. Heidi

    Heidi New Member

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    Micha is my twenty year old son and Pen Fruit is more of a dream than anything at the moment. You can see his beginnings at http://www.penfruit.com The hardest part, he is finding, is starting a business without going into debt. That's why it is just a website at present too, although he really really wants a brick and mortar store someday. But I know he'd LOVE to find other authors willing to work with him. So far, he's dealt individually with each author. Some sell their books to him at a very slightly reduced price, others offer him a tiny bit above their cost. He buys a few of each book and comes back for more as needed, with the hope that his store will take off and he will get to the point of placing much larger orders of course. (full disclosure - he's only gotten two orders for books so far, though they were both for four and five books at a time) It would really be getting in on the ground level so to speak, but then, it's one more place, even if it's tiny, to spread the word. Anyway - I'm being called to breakfast, but I'll explain more later. - Heidi
     
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  11. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    Unfortunately, starting any business/store takes captial and risk. Sounds like he's trying the mimick the current bookstore model.

    What Back To The Books is doing is taking books on consignment. There is a contract for 6 months where everything is spelled out, so the risk is split between store and author. I bear the cost of shipping orders, but the store owner is taking the risk of selling enough to stay in business. Even Barns & Noble works on consignment with indie authors. In fact, I did a book signing with a local B&N and that was the arrangement. They hosted and I brought my books and did a split that gave them some profit from each sale. Micha should research the terms of consignment contracts for his furture endeavor.
     
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  12. hippiechyck

    hippiechyck New Member

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    Shawn, are you going to be there? i'm about 90 mins from Co Springs :)

    going to peek at their site
     
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  13. hippiechyck

    hippiechyck New Member

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    Micha has my book ;)
     
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  14. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    LOL - 90 mins is closing than me - I live in Nashville. :)
     
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  15. hippiechyck

    hippiechyck New Member

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    i guess i am closer :D
     
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  16. Heidi

    Heidi New Member

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    So, Shawn, what is the benefit to authors to go with consignment over selling to the bookstore owner at a reduced rate? Do you send them a certain number of books and they pay you your cut as they sell? Or do they sell them and have you send them directly to the customer, like a sort of drop shipping arrangement? I can see the benefits for the bookstore owner, especially one like Micha who sees the Biblical warnings against debt and strives to avoid it like the plague, but what about for you?
     
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  17. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    This brick and mortar store arrangement places the books on the shelf for sale directly to the customers at full retail price. The price split in a consignment contract can be 60-40, 75-25 or 80-20, with the majority going to the author. It is also the least amount of outlay for the owner, especially just starting out. With having a Paypal account, the payment is made directly from the store owner to the author. This also can help to establish and long term relationship between owner and author.

    The risk I have is the cost of shipping to the store and for return of the books if they don't sell during the contracted period. However, it is no different than now with my traditionally published book. My publisher subtracts the returns from my royalties so I can be in the negative in any given 6 month period.

    I suppose it can be done either way, but most reduced rates do not make much money for the author. For example, say my book costs $5 to print and the retail price is $14, I'm going to charge at least $8, which isn't much, and I won't accept returns. Below $8 doesn't cut for me as shipping alone will eat most of the $3 profit anyway. However, many bookstore owners will not shell out $8 since it doesn't give much wiggle room for mark downs to $10 at most - leavin only $2 profit margin. Authors not taking returns is often a deal breaker. Through the traditional market, publishers and bookstore owners make the lion's share, some times as much as $6 on a $25 hardcover book, with author only netting $1-$3 - and the publisher will take returns, deducting it from the author's royalties.
     
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  18. prepaydlegalast

    prepaydlegalast New Member

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    Great information!! Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

    ~Albie
    http://sailingwithalbie.blogspot.com
     
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  19. wgjones3

    wgjones3 New Member

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    Kudos for supporting a business that far out of state.
     
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  20. silumenye

    silumenye New Member

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    Wonder if they'd be interested in stocking my book. I live in Australia.
     
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