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2,527 Views 6 Replies Last post: Sep 12, 2016 6:13 AM by lazlo RSS
Level 0 196 posts since
Mar 7, 2010
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Sep 10, 2016 5:09 AM

Listing Your Book In Waterstones

Have any of you managed to get your book listed in your local Waterstones store? Some of you may have even arranged with the manager to do a book signing.

 

As I am contemplating approaching the manager of my local Waterstones with a view to getting my book in the store, I was just wondering what experiences you have had in this method of offline marketing.

 

You see, I want to be sure that it would be a good idea to do this before I venture to approach Waterstones.

 

Thanks.

Level 4 2,667 posts since
Jul 2, 2011
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1. Sep 10, 2016 8:11 AM in response to: Merseywriter
Re: Listing Your Book In Waterstones

Hi MW,

 

Waterstones, as any other bookstore, will only carry books if they are returnable.  CS doesn't offer that so you'd have to offer to act as the distributer and take returns yourself.  This is risky as you could potentially lose a lot of money and be stuck with a bunch of books if they don't all sell in 30 days.  Also, when books are displayed they tend to get a little beat up, so you won't be able to sell them as new.  You should only offer to take returns if you are certain they will all (or mostly all) sell quickly.

 

They will probbaly also require a steep discount off retail price, which I'm sure they will tell you.

 

Stacy

Level 5 3,976 posts since
Feb 1, 2011
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2. Sep 10, 2016 1:32 PM in response to: Oreohelix
Re: Listing Your Book In Waterstones

Stacy, you said:

Waterstones, as any other bookstore, will only carry books if they are returnable.

I believe that this is not necessarily true.  They list most of my IS books and none of them are returnable.  Maybe you meant to actually get the book into the store they must be returnable?  Anyway, most of my books show as being available on Waterstones website, although they say "can be ordered from our supplier".

 

Dan'l

Level 4 2,667 posts since
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3. Sep 10, 2016 3:05 PM in response to: danwiz
Re: Listing Your Book In Waterstones

Right, the OP said "local" so I took that to mean a brick and morter store.

 

To clarify, my comments only refer to a physical shelf in an actual bookstore.

Level 5 15,701 posts since
May 4, 2008
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4. Sep 10, 2016 6:30 PM in response to: Merseywriter
Re: Listing Your Book In Waterstones

I do a lot of consignment with local stores. They will generally hang on to the books indefinitely or contact you to collect them when they want the shelf space back. Most stores will take 30-40% -- the chain stores are on the higher end whereas indies may be open to a lower discount.

 

You need to be able to demonstrate that you will drive traffic into their stores -- show them your marketing plan, copies of articles in the local media, mention any upcoming radio interviews, etc.

 

 

Michelle

-------------

Odyssey Books -- editing, cover design and book formatting services to help you on your publishing journey.

Level 5 3,976 posts since
Feb 1, 2011
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5. Sep 10, 2016 7:08 PM in response to: Oreohelix
Re: Listing Your Book In Waterstones

Well, actually the OP said "listed" so I suppose we could interpret that either way, eh?!  If I go into a local Waterstone's store, I assume that they have a computer that I can type in an ISBN, author name, book title, etc. and do a search.  The book should pop up with a note that "this title can be special ordered" or something similar.  I would say that qualifies as "listed".  I guess people should be more clear with their questions?!  Do they mean a physical copy on a shelf in their local Waterstone's or do they mean "listed" as on a computer?  I don't know.

 

I completely get you though.  I understand that your comment only referred to a physical shelf in a b & m store.

 

Dan'l

Level 0 15 posts since
Feb 3, 2010
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6. Sep 12, 2016 6:13 AM in response to: Merseywriter
Re: Listing Your Book In Waterstones

Hey Merseywriter

 

I managed to get my book December Radio placed in a Waterstones shop, but  ONLY because it is sold through a trad publisher. Even then I had to go through a lot of hoops, because the publisher is In USA and Waterstones takes books through Nielsen distribution and they hadn't heard of my US publisher. Neilsen takes their books from Ingram, which is the main US distributor and I suspect my publisher uses Ingram Spark (its like POD but has the option for print runs of 50 or more) to distribute to Ingram. I do know that there are about 50 copies held at Milton Keynes by Lightning Source (which is another Ingram subsidiary).

 

All that took me a **** of a lot of digging and phone calls to find out. Next I had to contact Nielsen and ask them what they needed from my publisher. This was all arranged and about 10 weeks later, my book appeared in the Ingram UK catalogue, so a Waterstones shop manager could actually list it. But to get it in a shop I had to go to Watertones HQ and submit emails asking them if they would kindly include my book in their catalogue. They did and a long time later I was able to call my local Waterstones manager and persuade her to stock it! 1 copy!!!

 

A lot of work for little gain.

 

A few points to note:

1. You will probably only convince a store manager to stock the book if you are local and can prove it.

2. It IS possible to submit an independently published book for inclusion in Waterstones catalogue, and I assume from there you could probably persuade a friendly store manager to stock it. Some will, some won't, as I found out. Contact details for this approach are on the Waterstones website

 

Barnes & Noble, (Waterstones equivalent in USA) is much easier. I just called about 30 stores and persuaded 20 of them to stock my book. ANd they took about 5 copies each.

 

Since trying this, I now publish my own back catalogue using Ingram Spark and they are now automatically listed on Waterstones website. Can't get them in stores though! Haven't tried, but I think it would be hard.

 

Hope this is al useful to somebody. Now if only I could find out how you track sales in Barnes & Noble stores!! There simply doesn't seem to be a way, other than to wait 2 months for publisher royalties.

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