Monday, November 6, 2017

Getting Your Book(s) into Barnes and Noble's Brick and Mortar Stores

by Linda Thorne

Getting my book into a brick and mortar Barnes and Noble store has been a real challenge. Anyone who has a B&N Nook and wants to order it as a download can go to B&N online. Anyone who wants to buy the trade back version can also purchase it at B&N online and have it mailed. The problem is the market for books online (and a great many other things) is dominated by Amazon.

But book buyers still flock to Barnes and Noble's brick and mortar stores nationwide. In-store buying is where readers can peruse the bookshelves the old fashion way: hold a book in their hands and flip through the pages, read the back cover and run their fingers down the book spine.

When Just Another Termination was first released, libraries and bookstores were my challenge. I made it into Parnassus Books in Nashville - a big one locally. I've had my book in the Southern Bound Book Shop located where my book is set in Biloxi and Ocean Springs, MS since February of 2016. I have a supply at the Words of Wisdom (WOW) bookstore in the Hermitage suburb of Nashville. The manager at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Gulfport, Mississippi a while back agreed to stock my book one at a time. When the single book sold, her plan was to replace it with another and continue one by one, but when she tried ordering the first copy, she ran into a problem. First, it was not considered returnable and also my publisher was not on a recognized list for B&N warehouses. I worked with my publisher to get the needed changes made and submitted to Barnes and Noble's small press department. Rejection. I worked at it a second time this past August and lo and behold, I received an acceptance letter just last week. My book will be stocked in certain B&N stores of their choice. I don't know where these stores are, but I've made it to their warehouse and into some of their bookstores. A big step for me. Now, when I approach a Barnes and Noble store about carrying my book, I should have better luck. Here's the links to all the bookstores I mentioned here:

Parnassus Books - Nashville, TN:
Southern Bound Books - Mississippi Gulf Coast:
Words of Wisdom (WOW) - Hermitage, TN:
Barnes and Noble - Gulfport, MS:

Below is a picture of me and other authors at a Meet and Greet the Authors event at the Cool Springs (suburb of Nashville) Barnes and Noble store over a year ago. I participated in the event and sold some copies of my book through B&N, but still could not get the store to stock any because of those same roadblocks I ran into in trying to get into the Gulfport, Mississippi B&N.

I am hoping the recent Barnes and Noble acceptance letter will open many doors for me. I was ecstatic to receive the letter of acceptance last week after a two-year effort to do so.  


Mollie Blake said...

Well done, Linda. It goes to show you have to keep trying. I am going to take a leaf from your book (!) and give it a go. I am always apprehensive as I am in UK so cannot attend any events, and I'm not sure how popular my genre is. But you get nothing if you don't try. Thanks for this information. Good luck with your sales. x

Jacqueline Goldstein said...

Congratulations, Linda, on reaching your goal, and thanks for the helpful information. Good luck with your books!
Jacqueline Goldstein
Ms. Murphy's Makeover

Morgan Mandel said...

Congratulations! There are still many readers who prefer to hold books with paper pages to turn!

Maggie King said...

Linda, thanks for sharing. It's tough to get into even local stores these days. National/international level is much harder. Good job!

Kaye George said...

I've found it very easy in some places that I've lived. Not here in Knoxville, though. I was able to get my books into B&N stores in Austin, even my self-published books. Depends on the local culture and store manager, I guess.

Carol Mitchell said...

A tribute to perseverance. Congrats!

S.J. Francis said...

So glad for you, Linda! That is quite a feat! Congrats! I till prefer a real book to read in my hands.Cheers! S.J. Francis

Linda Thorne said...

Enjoyed reading all your comments. Several of my fellow-authors at Black Opal Books started getting in to B&N, so I gave it my last-ditch effort and it worked. Yes, it does seem to be a different culture in every state. I love the bookstores I'd already had my book in, but they are not national like B&N. That's the wall I wanted to break and I did, even if just a little break for now.

G.B. Miller said...


You would think with the economic meltdown that B&N is going through, they would make it easier for indies/small presses to place their product in their stores.

Linda Thorne said...

G.B., it seems like they are doing that now at least with my publisher. The other authors who are with Black Opal Books are talking about their successes with B&N. A year or two ago, it didn't seem to be the case.

Linda Thorne said...

The neatest thing just happened to me. In this post, I mentioned that a while back the manager of the Barnes and Noble bookstore, Mollie Burns, in Gulfport, Mississippi had been willing to order one copy of my book (about 1.5 years ago) and, if it sold, she'd replace it with another, and keep selling one by one. So I thought I had it stocked in Gulfport B&N, a great place since my book is set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But then she ran into the problem with B&N policies regarding, my publisher, not being on the B&N warehouse list and the book not returnable. I just got a message from her that she's now stocked the book for sell (one at a time). Life is good!

Liane Spicer said...

Congratulations, Linda! Wow, two years. I had no idea it was that difficult for small publishers to get into the big stores. Perseverance pays!