How Do I Get My Book Into Your Shop?

Our number one question from independent writers/publishers in our community is “How do I get my book into your shop?” It’s a loaded question that is both simple and complicated.

Well, first write the very best book you can write and publish it, either through traditional means or self-publish. If your book is through a traditional publisher, please let us know who the publisher is, and how to get in contact with them so we can determine if it is feasible to buy direct from the publisher or through the distributor.

It helps if you send a review copy or Advance Reader Copy that allows us a sneak peek at the book before it is on the market. This helps us to plan ahead and decide if we wish to purchase the book for the shop. Review copies should come with all necessary contact information, distribution information and any reputable reviews to help us determine if the book is a good fit. Review copies and ARCs are non-returnable, so please keep that in mind when you send us a review copy.

If after review, we determine the book is right for our shop, we will purchase copies through the publisher or distributor. If you have self-published, and we want to carry the book, we will purchase copies directly from you or your distributor, if there is one.

We expect a standard wholesale discount of at least 40% from the retail price—that means that if your book is listed to sell at $10.00, we will purchase from you at $6.00. Also, we cannot and will not purchase books published through Amazon or any of its affiliates (more on that below) or any other retailers.

Lastly, if we want to carry the book, we will contact you. If you do not hear from us within two to four weeks, you can assume the book is not right for our shop.

We know this may be tough to accept, but we do not have the space or capacity to carry everything, and due to our small size, we must be very particular about what we do carry. There are some genres we generally don’t stock: smutty romance, self-help books (though we do occasionally carry a few), books promoting religion of any kind, hate-speech or racist books, vanity memoirs.

SUB: A note about the online behemoth

Okay, so let’s talk about Amazon. If your book is published through CreateSpace or any affiliate of Amazon, it’s generally a hard “no” for us.

 Why is that? Amazon is a retailer and direct competitor to bookstores. They are an online shopping store where folks can skip the brick-and-mortar shopping experience and instead browse an online ocean.

Amazon is also its own wholesaler that pushes the market down to keep costs low for the end-buyer while maximizing their profits. They will encourage indie authors to list their books at prices below cost to encourage sales.

They do not provide a wholesale discount to other book sellers, however. We do not buy from Amazon for the same reason that a Safeway does not buy from Fred Meyer’s.

SUB: Other self-publishing options

Other self-publishing options allow bookstores to buy books wholesale, so we encourage you to produce your book through one of these options. Lighting Source, Ingram’s print on demand wing, is one place that makes self-published books accessible to bookstores. There are also local print brokers who can help you make some of the decisions along the way.

Through sources that allow you to wholesale, you will get choices over discounts, return policy, and whether or not you wish to have it listed on Amazon, etc.

SUB: More tips on publishing

While there are many fabulous self-published books on the market, the vast majority tend to have sloppy editing, poor design and page layout, and generally read more like a first-draft manuscript than a completed and polished work.

Whatever path you take to publishing, do not cut corners if you want bookstores to consider your work—hire a reputable editor, hire a professional designer who specializes in book design, send your work to be reviewed, make sure it has a proper ISBN, scannable barcode, and is able to stand shoulder to shoulder with any other book on the shelf.

Once you’ve gone the extra mile for your work to be as good as it can get and have copies to share, we’d love to see it. We will take a look and let you know if we’ve selected it.

Above all, keep writing, keep telling your stories and don’t be afraid of the hard work it takes to get your book into the world and, in turn, into indie bookstores.

Welcome to the Block’s Blog!

Some time in late 2017 before we opened our doors, we wanted to put together a place where ideas and information could come together in both the physical and virtual worlds. We managed to put together the website and various social media pages, and while we appreciate the follows, likes, and support, we wanted to offer something more focused on sharing ideas and stories through writing.

Although delayed, we have finally got our act together enough to dive into the blogosphere and get down to writing. We plan to post regularly on a range of topics from the hyper local of what upcoming events we’ve got in the works, to what new foodie things are on the radar and new books, writers and so forth. We’ve got opinions about a lot of things (there is so much happening in the community, and more broadly, the world), and we wish to use this blog to share those opinions with our community.

As we embark on this new blog, we invite you to chime in, comment, send us your thoughts, and if you have something to say or want to write a blog post on a specific subject, submit it to us via email:, subject line: Blog. While not all submissions will be posted, we will consider them. We ask that the word count be limited to 1,500 words or less. If you have questions, please let us know.

Thank you for being part of our community, for reading, for writing, for sharing and gathering, for creating this beautiful space with us here in Spenard.


Vered, Dawnell, Teeka, and the entire Block Family

For the next post, I wanted to address the most common question we get from writers in our community: How do I get my book in your shop?