How to Get Your Book in Bookstores

All authors want to know this burning question: HOW do I get my book into a physical bookstore? Well, it’s complicated.

In this episode of the Pub Date Podcast, Dr. Jen Dorsey and Vanessa Campos break it down into two buckets: chain stores and independent bookstores. What are chain bookstores? Think Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million and any other bookstore that has locations across the US. Buyers at these retailers work at the national level for the most part. But independently published authors can still reach these booksellers by getting to know them, the books they carry, and what is selling. Be sure to check their website, follow submission guidelines, get to know the buyer/bookstore manager.

What are independent bookstores? Or as we affectionately call them indies. These are the local bookstores in your neighborhood owned by an individual. (If you’re not sure if there’s one near you, then check out or to search your area.) For the indies, it’s all about handselling and relationships. So be sure to form a relationship with your local indie BEFORE you have a book. Work with them to create an event around something OTHER THAN a traditional book signing.

Find an indie near you: or check out some of our favorite indies:


Produced by OC Talk Radio at UCI Beall Applied Innovation

Producer: Paul Roberts, founder of OC Talk Radio

Executive Producer: Emily Carpenter-Pulskamp of Little Red Communications


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