Monday, December 8, 2008

Independent books store that require authors to pay for book signing events

One of the disturbing trends in my area is large independent book stores charging authors for holding book signing events in their stores. The largest independent book stores in both Denver and Boulder are doing this now. It’s described as a promotional co-op fee and for authors with large publishers who allocate promotional dollars, the publishers will cover this fee. But for those of us with small or medium-sized publishers where the promotional nickel is all ours, we have to step up to paying this fee. At the store in Boulder this fee is $200. This means I would have to sell approximately 100 books to break even. I’ve been to some very well-known author’s events at this store and they sign 50 or so books. This does not bode well as a financially sound opportunity for me. My dilemma is that I want to support independent book stores but they don’t seem to want to support me. I can hold an event at Barnes and Noble or Borders without paying a fee.

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