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Author Resource Round Table > Book Signing HELP! - Createspace

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message 1: by Jenelle (new)

Jenelle Not sure where to put this topic, if I'm in the wrong spot, please move me wherever would be better.

I am trying to set up a book-signing at my local Barnes and Noble. I am self-published through Createspace. The people at B&N are being very helpful and are completely willing/enthusiastic about the idea. However, they said they cannot do the book signing if the books are non-returable, and they won't let me just "buy back" any leftover books.

I called Createspace and they won't allow B&N to return the books if they purchase a quantity and there are any left over.

This is my first potential book-signing and I'm stuck. Obviously I want to have the signing, and I want it to be a pleasant event for the staff at the B&N, and profitable for the store as well as for myself.

My question is: is there anyone out there who has published through Createspace and managed to do a book signing at a Barnes and Noble who has encountered and OVERCOME this problem, and how did you manage it?!?!? :)

Thanks in advance for the help!


message 2: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) The only way you can mitigate this issue is to buy the books yourself. Seriously. You will still need to give a cut of sales to the store, because you're using their real estate ... and that cuts down on your margin. However, that's the only option that you have in this situation.


message 3: by Jenelle (new)

Jenelle See, that's what I thought. But Barnes and Noble won't let us use that option. They won't let us bring our own books, and they won't let us buy back any leftover books.


message 4: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Jenelle wrote: "See, that's what I thought. But Barnes and Noble won't let us use that option. They won't let us bring our own books, and they won't let us buy back any leftover books."

Choose a local independent bookstore, then.

With the chains, managers have certain leeway within company policies. Some of them are more hidebound than others. Sounds like you ran across one of them.

IMO, the local independent bookstores are a better bargain where this stuff is concerned: local authors mean more people coming through their doors. Look for a store that specializes in the type of book you have on-hand. If they won't let you have a signing, ask if they'll take a couple of signed copies on consignment. That's a no-risk proposition for them.


message 5: by Don (new)

Don Martinez (DesertCoyote13) | 57 comments Another suggestion: try libraries. Especially smaller public libraries. They tend to love having authors come in, talk about books, and do a signing. Some even have book clubs, which is a sure-fire way to get an audience guaranteed.


message 6: by Jenelle (new)

Jenelle Thanks for the suggestions!


message 7: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Don wrote: "Another suggestion: try libraries. Especially smaller public libraries. They tend to love having authors come in, talk about books, and do a signing. Some even have book clubs, which is a sure-fire..."

This post needs a "like" button!


message 8: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments Print on demand publishers never accept returns, period. For a signing, you'll need to set up a consignment arrangement with the bookstore. It actually works in their better interest. You own the books at your cost, the book seller recovers fifty percent (or whatever you negotiate) of selling price, and after a specified time, you will be paid for the books sold. If they don;t want any left on the shelves, you'll take them back and cancel the arrangement.Results: No risk for the seller, and an event to bring people into their store. It all is on you, of course, but that's the way it goes. B&N will probably never buy quantities of your books, but if more than one is agreeable to an event, you can get some good exposure.


message 9: by E.H. (new)

E.H. Kindred (ehkindred) | 8 comments I will second the suggestion for libraries. They are a haven for indie authors like us, but I think authors tend to forget about them. I work for a regional library system, so I knew even before I published that they welcome author visits. I set up signings at 3-4 branches of the library each time I release a book now. It has gone swimmingly thus far. You get to keep all your profits, the library gets a neat blurb to put in their monthly newsletter about your appearance, and you help bring them more foot-traffic, which translates to better numbers for them, which they can report on grant applications and the like. It's a win-win with libraries, as opposed to retailers, where it usually turns out to be all about the money.

Plus, my sales have been great in libraries. In just one branch, in the span of about two hours, I sold 16 copies of my book, just by engaging the people who walked in the front door.


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Hebler (mhebler) | 24 comments Sharon wrote: "This post needs a "like" button!"

Yes, it does! Great advice.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Sharon wrote: "The only way you can mitigate this issue is to buy the books yourself. Seriously. You will still need to give a cut of sales to the store, because you're using their real estate ... and that cuts..."

Hi, Sharon, I always value your opinion. Can just anyone buy a stack of their own books and go to Barnes and Noble and do a book signing?


message 12: by Jenelle (new)

Jenelle Peggy wrote: Can just anyone buy a stack of their own books and go to Barnes and Noble and do a book signing?

Since I wrote this question we've done a lot of leg-work now, and I'm learning a lot about the publishing process - as well as the relationships between author/publisher/printer/retailers. It's fascinating, and eye-opening.

According to the people we've been contacting (one of whom is the Small Press Relations Manager for all of Barnes and Nobles) the answer to your question is: no, you cannot just bring a stack of your books to B&N and do a signing. They require that your books be something they can purchase through their Buyer so that they can stock the shelves at their store for your event. In order for this to happen, the books have to be available to B&N at a Standard Trade Discount, and they have to be returnable.


message 13: by Peter (new)

Peter (74765525) | 16 comments I prefer working with independently owned bookstores. They take my books on consignment (60/40 split) and after the signing, keep a handful on their shelves. They'll do some publicity through their channels, but you need to do the same--emails, twitter, blog posts, flyers, etc.

Don't expect to sell a ton of books, but do bring something to give away to people who pass by your signing table. I've created bookmarks for each of my books with my domain name at the bottom. I offer to leave a pile on the check-out desk.

Good luck.


message 14: by Richard (last edited Sep 29, 2012 08:44AM) (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments I concur with Peter. Indie bookstores are the way to go, as the deal is actually very good for them. Much better than the margin they get from a trade distributed title. Events keep their customers coming in. That reminds me to check my own titles at the local Indie -- they may need some more!

I usually prepare a launch package including a 4x6 postcard, a bookmark and a cover letter offering a consignment arrangement as well as a copy of the book. The only risk to the store is losing shelf/table space.


message 15: by Donna (last edited Oct 03, 2012 04:38PM) (new)

Donna Galanti (donnagalanti) | 47 comments Jenelle wrote: "Not sure where to put this topic, if I'm in the wrong spot, please move me wherever would be better.

I am trying to set up a book-signing at my local Barnes and Noble. I am self-published through ..."


I agree with above - indie bookstores are the way to go. I'm with a small press but my book is produced thru Createspace. Easiest for me was to provide the books to the store itself. They get a cut and I keep a few on the shelves there. Plus supporting your local indie bookstore is a great thing! they love their local authors. I would do several in your area, if you have more than one. They tend to be great on promo too. Better coverage? Coordinate a group signing with other authors. Much more expanded exposure and potential sales! Can even do a night of readings with the signing. Folks love to come out for readings. I also know several self pubbed authors who have had numerous signings at indie stores. Good luck!


message 16: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Giovanni Agreed, Indie is the way to go. I don't have many in my area, but the one I do have was very nice to me. They took two of my books to try it out, and the first one sold in one day! I was thrilled, they also decided to work with me on a release signing/reading for my newest novel. They do the books on consignment 60/40, so once I calculate my actual cost in I don't make anything when I sell them there. It still gets my books and my name out there, and well, it's awesome to say--oh, yeah, you can pick my book up at Book Store down the street!
I got lucky, and the book store is in a very touristy area of CT!
Best of luck!


message 17: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) This bit of breaking news may also explain the B&N's refusal a bit more: http://authoritypublishing.com/book-p...

All the more reason to go with indie booksellers or the library.


message 18: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Giovanni Interesting article. I agree that KDP select shouldn't call for exclusive rights, but to be honest with you I don't sell even 10% of the books I sell on Amazon on BN. I'm not sure if this has to do with the amount of people that have the nook vs. the kindle, or marketing on Amazon vs. BN. So, it honestly wouldn't hurt me to do KDP select. BN also takes a larger cut of royalties as well.


message 19: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 198 comments That was a scary article, but my books are still there. Whew! B&N never contacted me to say they were thinking of pulling my titles. Ingram distributes them.

KDP is just ridiculous. I will always put my books out on Amazon's Kindle Direct site, but I'll never choose to agree to an exclusive. Smashwords is always my first stop. I can put out a book in every eformat, free, and release it to everyone, including Kindle owners. Once I';m sur ethe book vets out well, I'll put it out through Amazon Direct and CreateSpace in Print.


message 20: by Randy (last edited Oct 23, 2012 03:21PM) (new)

Randy Attwood (randyatwood) | 96 comments B&N is so unhelpful. I was hoping I could simply put a promo brochure in some location near their Nook sales making buyers and potential buyers aware a local author was available for their Nook. But no. Even wrote a snail-mail letter to national marketing offices in NYC and never even got the courtesy of a reply. Why not have a place where local authors can promote their Nook ebooks? Should be a win-win!


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