Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 19, 2010

Creative Thinking: Independent Bookstores and the Self-Published

Rather than sending away self-published authors empty-handed, the Boulder Bookstore now is charging the self-published a fee to connect with the local community and sell their books.

The fee structure ranges from $25 to stock five books (five copies at a time, replenished as needed by the author for no additional fee);and $75 to feature a book in the Recommended section, up to $255 for an in-store reading and book-signing (plus website and newsletter mention). Head buyer Arsen Kashkashian says “most people will come in at one of the higher fee amounts.” The store even has a two-page consignment brochure explaining the program and giving other tips to authors.

The advantages: Independent books stores can use their independency to do something that chain stores cannot do, make a little cash and reinforce a truly local connection between the community and the new authors in the area.

Kashkashian says, new authors have been generally grateful for the opportunity to sell and promote work that might otherwise be seen and appreciated only by their friends/spouses/moms: ‘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.'” That’s worth a lot, and it turns grateful, paying authors into the store’s own viral marketers when they bring in friends and spread the word. They pay you for the privilege of promoting your store!

Liesl Freudenstein, a buyer and consignment coordinator at the Bolder Bookstore says, “Even published authors are availing themselves of the store’s consignment service. She points to a Boulder-area author who’s signed to a local imprint…and yet,  also sells her books on consignment at the store. “She’s out there hustling, “trying to make it happen — rather than relying on the publisher to make it happen.”

I point this out, because there are many independent booksellers around the country. Some are already doing creative things with authors to bring in new business, but even if the ones in your area aren’t, they could be approached with new exciting ideas – your ideas.



  1. Kathy, here is another great indepenndent bookshop enbracing ebooks. Andersons Bookshop
    at Naperville, Illinois.


    • Mary,

      Thanks for sending. I think I am going to start a list of really good independent books sellers and then share them with everyone.



  2. interesting to see this – thanks


    • Dean,

      Thanks for visiting. I quickly looked at your blog and see you are a poet. You should submit a poem over ast David L Harrsion’s blog. Thery are having a lot of fun.



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