How do I get my self-published book into bookstores?

Traditional book retail stores often look for four things when deciding to order a book or stock a book on their shelves:

1. Availability with a wholesaler like Ingram.
2. A 50-55% trade discount, which means more money for the retail store. The highest trade discount you can set through most effective publishers is 55%, industry standard.
3. A retail returns policy. A few on-demand publishers offer an optional retail returns program. The retail returns option is generally only effective when each of these other criteria are met.
4. Finally, customer demand. Bookstores also require consumer demand for your book. Creating demand, or “buzz,” is up to your promotional efforts – it’s never to early to start planning. In addition to researching your upfront publishing costs, be sure to look also into these two critical things: (1) your book pricing structure and (2) the marketing support available with your publisher.

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