Online bookstores dedicated to indie and self-published authors are nothing new, but a physical bookstore in Florida has just opened dedicated to books by local self-published authors. Self-published children’s author and book illustrator Patti Brassard Jefferson, along with history author Timothy Jacobs, decided to create a bookstore of their own, Gulf Coast Bookstore, but only selling books by indie authors.
The duo had the idea a few years ago and only decided to act when local store space became available in Florida recently. Publishers Weekly reported on the launch.
Gulf Coast operates very differently from a traditional bookstore chain or independent. Self-published authors rent shelf space for three months for $60, plus a $15 set-up fee, close to what they might spend to exhibit a single title at a day-long book fair. They also handle stocking and restocking. In return, the authors receive 100% of every sale rather than 40% from a bookstore that sells their books on consignment.
Gulf Coast Bookstore invites local indie authors to take out shelf space in the store at a fee, much in the way big publishing houses strike deals with retailers to ‘window’ their biggest promotional titles. Authors can also avail of space on Gulf Coast Bookstore’s website for local signings.
Each writer—currently there are 37 with another 16 authors to be added on May 1—can display 10 copies of a single title or up to 10 titles with one copy each. Authors can also place bookmarks, business cards, or brochures about their work on shelves.
I think this is a terrific idea and holds firm with my belief that authors must work closely with local bookstores before launching a marketing plan that attempts to takes on the world via cyberspace alone.
Long may it continue and prosper!