Saturday, June 9, 2018

Can I Sell My CreateSpace Books at Local Stores in Our Town

Question from the How to Publish Your Book Facebook Group:

Enjoyed your live session just now. I think someone has asked this before but...if I publish through Create Space, can I sell my books at local stores in our small town?

Answer: Most stores won't order books from Createspace because they can't be returned, but there is nothing stopping you from doing it and selling them to the stores yourself. I agree with getting your own ISBN, but in reality if you are the sales person and you are managing your own little book distribution business then it doesn't really matter. If you have your own ISBN and your books start selling you could then reprint them on IngramSpark and go bigger. Something you can't do with CreateSpace.

Remember the books you see in stores are actually all there on consignment. Meaning they can all be returned if they don't sell. You can manage it that way or you could price your books so that you could give a big discount with the thought that the stores buys them outright and you don't have to deal with returns. Make it a one way trip. That is what I have done when I have sold books to a store or festival. Also come up with a bulk package. Maybe 10 books at 60% off and free shipping. The store then makes a nice profit and you don't have to get them back. Just work with the price. Go for it

Essential Chords for Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo
List price on Amazon $14.95
My cost for buying the book directly from CreateSpace is $5.05
My royalty from CreateSpace is $3.92
The rest are Createspace's costs

I could sell this book to a store or event at 50% off the list price of $14.95.

$14.95 x 50% off to the store = $7.47.........$7.47-$5.05 costs = $2.42 profit for me

Or I could raise the price to $19.95 and sell at 50% or 60% off.

$19.95 x 50% off to the store = $9.97.........$9.97-$5.05 costs = $4.92 profit for me
$19.95 x 60% off to the store = $7.98.........$7.98-$5.05 costs = $2.93 profit for me

There are lots of ways to configure this. Free shipping, minimum orders, include a display box such as from What you want to do is figure out a large enough order size and the correct pricing to make it worth while. Stores love free shipping or, come up with a number that covers most of it. If you don't have to run around and pick up books or small checks and make a decent profit this could be a nice little business.

$19.95 x 20 copies = $399.00 x 50% off + $199.5 - $101.00 cost ($5.05 x 20) = $98.50 profit.

Also think about your community, is it a vacation area, is it historical, does it have interesting things. Could you make a book around what is there and sell it in local stores. Ask your local retailers if they would sell your books. Or what kind of books would they like to sell in their stores. Basically create custom books for your community. I know of someone who created a fun summer children's book and sold it around the lake in their area. Every summer they would print 3,000 copies and just sell them in local stores. They could manage it, they lived there and deliver the books and pick up the checks. Could you do something like that. Do you have a store, go to festivals, sell at a farmers market. All opportunities to create a book or series of books and sell them.

Resource, for display boxes,

Connection and Learning
Bruce Jones is the author and creator of over 40 self-published books.

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