Where Can I Sell My Book?

Your new book is going to print. You’ve been working on a marketing campaign, but have you looked into where you will sell your book? If you’re a self-published author, some choices are going to make more financial sense than others.

In person/Direct: Direct sales to your buyers are better financially as you don’t have to pay commission to retailers.

Sell copies at your book launch party then at any book signings in the months after that.

Don’t forget the myriad of festivals celebrating books/reading and the arts.

Sell your book when you have speaking engagements at conferences, on college campuses, etc.

If you have a business, sell copies of your book to clients, or build it into a package of services.


Online: Online selling means potentially unlimited reach. Pay attention to rules about pricing/shipping and commission fees. Your publishing support provider may offer online selling services in which they process and fill online orders for you and pay you royalties.

Amazon® is a great and well-recognized option, but remember that just having the book listed on Amazon® isn’t enough—you still need to do marketing so people know about your book.

Have a website for your book where buyers can place an order.

Convert your book to an eBook and have it sold through a variety of online retailers.


Stores: Every author wants their book in bookstores, but this is often the least financially feasible option for self-published authors.

Independent bookstores are more receptive to self-published books than chain retailers. Their terms will vary: some buy books outright, others work on consignment.

Large chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble® buy their books through major book distributors. You have to first set your title up with a distributor, then hope bookstores to order the title. Between the cost of printing, shipping, returns, fees, and the discount off the list price they get, you could end up having to pay them to carry your book. This is generally not a good option financially for self-publishers.

Try other retailers—gift shops, specialty shops…anything that could relate to the subject of your book. Get creative and don’t give up just because one store turns you down!