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Bookselling - The Business of Selling Books to the Consumer

From independent "bricks and mortar" bookstores and large bookselling chains to Big Box discounters and online and e-book retailers, there are lots of different places from which to buy or download a book. Whether you're an author, or are looking to break into book publishing, or want to become a bookseller yourself, it pays to know a bit about how book retailers operate.
  1. Trade Bookselling (2)

Book Sales Departments
Publishing sales departments can be broken into three general areas: trade sales (including international), special sales and other non-bookstore markets, and subsidiary rights sales. Each has its own markets, its own distinct customer bases.

Retail Booksellers - Types of Bookstores and Other Retail Booksellers

Cooperative Advertising in Book Publishing
Cooperative advertising — or "co-op" — is a term used in trade book publishing to refer to publishers and booksellers "cooperatively" promoting books.

New Author FAQs: Book Sales
Big bookstores, little bookstore, libraries — even Costco and Target. Read about how book sales reps sell books.

Bookseller-Author Relations
Whether you're an indie author or under contract with a traditional publisher, bookstores have the potential to be your partners in sales—IF you follow these DOs and DON'Ts of good author-bookseller relations.

How to Make Booksellers Love You - Part 2
Bookstores have the potential to be your partners in sales—IF you follow the DOs and DON'Ts of good bookseller relations in Part 2 of this article.

A Book by Its Cover — About Book Jackets
In spite of the adage, most readers do indeed judge a book at least in part by its cover. Read about the importance of book jackets to store book buyers.

PW Person of the Year and Other Industry Awards from Publishers Weekly

PW Bookstore of the Year - About the Awards and Winners

Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor is a leading wholesale distributor of books, videos, and music products to libraries and retail booksellers. Here's the history of Baker & Taylor and an overview of the physical and digital book and entertainment distribution services the company provides today.

Barnes & Noble As Book Publisher — The Book Publishing History of B&N
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, “The World’s Largest Bookstore,” also has a long history as a book publisher, and has published its own product since early its history as a chain store. From bargain books to e-books, read about the book publishing side of B&N.

About the American Booksellers Association (ABA)
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) is a not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to the support of independent booksellers nationwide.

BookExpo America - A Book Publishing-Only Conference and Expo
BookExpo America--or, BEA as it is known by book publishing insiders--is a publishing industry-only event that enables publishers and authors to showcase their wares to booksellers and to buyers of foreign and domestic book rights.

BookExpo America (BEA) - Where and When Is BookExpo America Held?
Find the upcoming dates and locations for BookExpo America (BEA), the annual, publishing industry-only event.

BookExpo America - Who Attends Bookseller Expo America (BEA)?
BookExpo America--or, BEA as it is known by book publishing insiders--is an international publishing industry-only event, open to publishers, booksellers, authors, media and more.

2012 BookExpo America
Couldn't make the 2012 BookExpo America? This overview (and some highlights!) of the events that took place at the 2012 BEA... Good info to read to help you plan for next year!

More 2012 BookExpo America

BookCon - Event for Book Fans
BookCon is a consumer convention described in the words of its organizers as a celebration of books, "the event where storytelling and pop culture collide."

2014 SIBA Awards - "Long Ballot" of Nominees

2014 SIBA Book Awards
About the 2014 SIBA Book Awards, including nominees and winners.

2013 Regional Independent Bookseller Fall Trade Shows
A round-up of the 2013 Regional Independent Bookseller Fall Trade Shows and some of their highlight events and authors, along with links for more information about the individual shows

2014 Regional Independent Bookseller Fall Trade Shows
Dates of the 2014 regional independent bookseller fall trade shows and overview of the events.

Regional Independent Bookseller Associations Promote Regional Bookselling
Regional independent bookseller associations support their member bookstores, regional authors, and regional books with a variety of sales, marketing and educational programs.

California Bookstore Day
California Bookstore Day (CBD) occurs on May 3 and is a festive day-long celebration of independent bookstores.

The Frankfurt Book Fair — The World's Biggest Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is acknowledged to be the world's largest book fair, attracting a global audience of book publishing industry professionals and a total of more than a quarter of a million visitors each October. Read about the Frankfurt Book Fair's illustrious 500-year-old history and its current day iteration, a cutting-edge annual book...

The London Book Fair
The London Book Fair is an international trade show with a focus on book rights and content sales, and is one of the key international business expos for books.

Amazon.com Online Retailer — On the Forefront of Bookselling and Publishing
Online retail giant was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as a brilliant idea — make millions of books browse-able and easily available to consumers. Since then, even as Amazon.com has expanded its product line way beyond books, the company has been on the forefront of bookselling and book publishing technologies and developments.

Amazon.com's Bookselling and Book Publishing Milestones
Today retail giant Amazon.com offers millions of different products. But the company founded by Jeff Bezos began with books. Look at the milestones in Amazon.com's history as it relates to all things book.

Major U. S. Bricks-and-Mortar Booksellers
Bricks-and-mortar bookstores had been the main centers of commerce for the publishing industry and community hubs for book-buying public for centuries. As consumers shift away from print books, bricks-and-mortar bookstores remain important links in the book sales and book promotion chains.

Len Riggio, Founder of Barnes & Noble
Leonard Riggio is the founder of the Barnes & Noble, Inc. Riggio’s roots in bookselling date back to his job as a bookstore clerk in college, just before he opened his first bookstore in 1965. Read about his history with books and how he's been on the forefront of bookselling innovation — and revolution — ever since.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers — "The World's Largest Bookstore"
Discounting, proprietary book publishing, superstore development, e-tailing — since its seeds in the first bookstore opened by Len Riggio, Barnes & Noble has stayed on the cutting edge of bookselling innovations. Read the profile of Barnes & Noble, "The World's Largest Bookstore."

The History of the Borders Group: About the Borders Group National Chain of...
The Borders Group, Inc is a publicly held bookstore chain that operates Borders superstores and Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment stores, including Waldenbooks, Borders Express and Borders airport stores. After three distinct bookstore chains were acquired, then spun off, by Kmart, the Borders Group grew to be the second-largest...

Books-A-Million Bookseller Chain - BAM! is the Second Largest U.S. Book Retailer
Bookstore chain Books-A-Million was founded in 1917 as a street corner newsstand in Florence, Alabama. Since then BAM, as it's frequently referred to in the trade, has grown to become a premier book retailing chain, one of the largest book retailers in the nation.

Google's eBookstore - Books from a "Cloud"
The Google ebookstore partners with bricks and mortar bookstores to give those booksellers the ability to offer their customers an ebook-buying option with broad choices.

Square Books Independent Booksellers - Oxford, MS
A Publishers Weekly Bookstore of the Year, this hub of Southern literary culture, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi is a must-visit for bibliophiles, authors, and lovers of the Southern history and literature.

Bienville Books - Mobile, AL
With a mix of titles and a robust selection of vintage and collectible titles, quirky Bienville Books is a main tourist destination in Mobile, Alabama and elicits kudos from locals, university students and visitors, alike.

Independent Bookselling - Basic Resources and Information
For those who are considering opening an indie bookstore or for anyone (authors, new publishing pros) curious about what makes the independents tick (and thrive), here's some information about and resources for independent bookstores.

Opening A Bookstore
For many booklovers, opening a bookstore seems to be their dream career. Independent booksellers enjoy being a community hub, and take pride in the fact they're encouraging reading in both adults and children. Of course, the realities of starting a bookstore are complicated. If you’re considering buying or starting a bookstore, read some basics...

Bookstore Basics: Marketing and Merchandising
Read about the common techniques booksellers use to merchandise their titles in-store.


Independent Bookstore Round UP
About Book Publishing has a number of in-depth profiles of independent booksellers. Here's a round up, with links to more info.

R. J. Julia Independent Booksellers
As one of the largest independent booksellers in the Northeast — and one of the most admired in the country — R. J. Julia is a community hub, a place where the staff is passionate about reading and about placing the right book in the hands of a reader.

Island Bound Bookstore
Bookstores in beach towns and ski areas and other season-dependent vacation hotspots face unique bookselling challenges. Read about Island Bound Bookstore, an award-winning independent bookseller on Block Island, Rhode Island, and some insights into running a store that is subject to the ebb and flow of seasonal traffic.

New York City Bookstores - Manhattan Bookstores
For hard-core booklovers, there's nothing like browsing in a bookstore.For book-loving visitors and New York City natives alike, here's a select list of Manhattan bookstores.

Booking Author Appearances — Square Books Insights
Wonder how to get booked for an author appearance? According to Lyn Roberts, General Manager of Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, timing is everything. Here, she shares some of the strategic thinking that goes into booking authors for signings.

The Mysterious Bookshop: Award-winning NYC Mystery Bookstore
For over 30 years, the Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and its proprietor, Otto Penzler, have been venerated and award-winning mystery book institutions.

Booking Authors for Thacker Mountain Radio — Producer Insights
Are you an author wondering how to get booked on radio? Of course, it varies from program to program. For Thacker Mountain Radio producer Lyn Roberts, much depends on how you can perform. Here, she shares what she looks for in authors for the popular live show broadcast out of Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi.

Getting Your Book Into a Local Bookstore

Turnrow Book Co. Independent Booksellers - Greenwood, MS
Turnrow Book Co is an independent bookseller located in Greenwood in the Mississippi Delta, between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. Serving an area known as the birthplace of the Blues, the home of the Viking Range Company and location for the filming of The Help, Turnrow is an important part of the cultural landscape.

Octavia Books - Independent Bookseller in New Orleans, LA
Octavia Books is an independent bookstore, located at in uptown New Orleans. Book publishing professionals consider Octavia a must-stop on a Southern literary tour or a booklovers tour of New Orleans. Read more about Octavia Books.

Books & Books - South Florida
Independent bookseller Books & Books serves Southern Florida and other communities.

Bookseller Insights - Selling Books, Publishing Books
Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books, one of the leading independent bookstores discusses all aspects of his business.

City Lights Bookstore: "Alternative Culture's Literary Landmark"
City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco is a landmark independent bookstore with a rich literary history. Its close connection and identification with the Beat poets has left "a legacy of anti-authoritarian politics and insurgent thinking" that influences the title selection as well as--no doubt--City Lights customers.

Green Apple Books - San Francisco's "Labryinthine" Bookstore
About Green Apple Books, independent bookseller in San Francisco and 2014 Publishers Weekly PW Bookstore of the Year.

Otto Penzler: Man of Mystery
Otto Penzler's name is practically synonymous with the mystery genre of books. Proprietor of Manhattan's Mysterious Bookshop, he is also a mystery writer, a mystery editor and a mystery publisher. Read about his mysterious career.

Book Festival Programming — How Authors Are Chosen for Book Fairs
Book festivals and book fairs can be great way for authors to promote their books — but how are they chosen? Read the behind-the-scenes programming strategy for the Miami Book Fair International from Author Liaison Paola Fernandez-Rana and learn about how authors and books are chosen to be featured at the prestigious — and beloved — community...

The New York Times Best Seller List
Having a book on The New York Times Best Seller List is the one of the ultimate achievements of a book writer. To have your book make an appearance — or, better yet, a stay — on "the list" conveys to the world the popularity — and, therefore, the economic power — of your work. And it can help book sales! Here's what you should know about New...

9 Tips For Author Readings and Book Signings
Book readings and signings are critical events that help drive readers into stores or to book fairs. Read these tips on how to make author events successful.

Publishers as Booksellers and Vice Versa
Historically, trade publishers published books and booksellers sold them. But in this age of electronic publishing, the roles of publishers, booksellers--and even agents--have become more fluid.

Department of Justice E-Book Pricing Suit
About the e-book selling price fixing suit filed by the Department of Justice against Apple and five of largest U.S. book publishers, alleging antitrust violations for conspiring to raise the retail price of e-books. Read about the suit, the settlements, the decision and the book publishing industry reaction.

NOOK Press
NOOK Press is an ebook self-publishing platform from the Barnes & Noble NOOK Media subsidiary, and represents one of the book retail giant's strategic forays into the self-publishing and digital arenas

eBook Sellers — Where to Sell Your eBooks Online
eBook sellers are the channels that bring ebooks to the reader. Read about the major ebook sellers and some speciality ebook retailers.

Kobo Writing Life - Ebook Self-Publishing Platform
If you are self-publishing an ebook, there are a number of reasons why you might consider selling your work through Kobo Writing Life. Read more about Kobo ebook seller.

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