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How to Get Your Book in Barnes & Noble Stores

Posted by Kristen House on March 15, 2019 at 12:45 PM


What's the best way to spend a lazy afternoon? Browsing the shelves at a major bookstore like Barnes & Noble, a lot of readers would say. If you're a self-publishing author, the concept of getting your book on the bookshelves at any nationwide bookseller is a MAJOR win in your career. Securing a spot for your books on local bookstore shelves is a key move to get more sales and more readers.

The majority of my clients are self-publishing authors, which means that seeing their books on the shelves at major national booksellers like Barnes & Noble isn't always a guaranteed thing. Thankfully, the process doesn't seem to be that hard!

Hey Kristen,

I hope you're having a lovely evening! I just wanted to share some news with you regarding Storm . . .


I got this quick email from my client Gurpeet K. Sidhu (author of the self-published thriller Storm) one chilly January evening. Great news! The Kristen Corrects-edited Storm is now available at select Barnes & Noble stores across the nation. What's better, Gurpreet opened up to me about her process of applying for representation at Barnes & Noble stores. And now, dear readers, I'm passing that information to you!


It's true that Barnes & Noble online can fulfill pretty much any book order, especially if your book is in ebook format. But getting your paperback book on the shelves at local or national stores is a thousand times better (amiright?!). Let's break down the process of getting your book in Barnes & Noble stores in three easy steps.




1. Make sure your book meets Barnes & Noble's criteria.

Your book must have an ISBN, a bar code, and be available through a wholesaler like IngramSpark or Lightning Source. See more of Barnes & Noble's book submissions criteria here. You'll have to write a marketing proposal of how you, as the author, will be promoting the book.


2. Fill out the Publisher/Author Application for Book Placement Consideration.

Make sure you follow the instructions, and mail the completed application to the address on page 1. You'll have to mail a copy of your book along with the application. See the Publisher/Author Application here.


Then, you wait. According to Gurpreet, "You email them all the material they want AND mail in the paperwork along with a copy of the finished book. It takes them 3-4 months to decide whether or not they accept or reject your application." Trust me, the wait will be worth it!




3. If you're approved—do the happy dance!

If you have a good book product and your book meets all of Barnes & Noble's criteria, you'll be approved—success! Congratulations on this HUGE step in your author career.


Gurpreet's book Storm is available on the shelves at Barnes & Noble stores in her region—there are several copies at Barnes & Noble stores in San Jose, Redwood City, and Dublin.


Now THAT is what I call a self-publishing success story!




Want to learn more about how to build your author brand

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Book editor Kristen Hamilton is the owner and sole employee of

Kristen Corrects, Inc., where she provides manuscript editing

services for traditionally and self-publishing authors. Several

authors whose books she has edited have won awards and have

topped Amazon's best sellers lists.


Reading is Kristen's passion, so when the workday is over, she

can usually be found curled up with a good book alongside her

four cats. She loves watching cat videos and scary movies,

eating pizza, teaching herself French, and traveling, and she is

likely planning her next vacation. She lives outside of Boise, ID.


Categories: self-publishing, marketing

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