Self-publishing Dos and Don'ts

Marketing Your Self-Published Book to
Your Local Bookstore

Dos & Don'ts

by Bear Pond Books and The Galaxy Bookshop



  • Research pricing expectations for your market prior to publication.Approach stores that carry books on your topic and skip those that don’t.

  • Emphasize the local angle in all your marketing whether it be the author or the topic.

  • Let local media outlets know about your book via press releases, review copies and other promotional materials.

  • Contact local book groups, libraries and other community organizations who may be interested in reading your book.

  • Use social media to promote your book to your network.

  • Let people know where your book is available in all your marketing and on your website;  Provide a link to your local independent bookstore if they are carrying it.

  • Support your local bookstore by shopping at independent bookstores. If you already have a relationship with the booksellers, they will be more receptive to your sales pitch.

  • Accept an offer to carry your book on consignment. This is common practice and not a reflection on your book.


  • Send your local bookstore to for information on your book. We don't reply to emails that do this.

  • Expect an independent bookstore to carry an Amazon-published title - we don't.

  • Tell your friends to buy the book on Amazon if your local retailer is carrying it.Expect the bookstore to do the marketing for you. Your job is only beginning when you get the book on the shelf.

  • Expect your book to receive extra display space which includes displaying posters or other promotional items.

  • Wait until the last minute to ask for an author event. Sometimes bookstore events are scheduled 3-6 months ahead of time.

  • Take a bookstore’s refusal to carry your book or host an event personally. Buyers take many factors into consideration when deciding whether or not to carry books, whether the book is self-published or from a traditional publisher. Resources are limited for author events and most small bookstores can’t accommodate all the requests they get.