Patty Jansen at the Beyond Infinity blog has written an informative but rather disturbing post about self-publishing: shattering the illusion – self-published book and bookstores.
This isn’t really encouraging:
So why on earth would a run-of-the-mill bookshop stock a book from an unknown self-published writer, who can only offer 30% off RRP, and whose stock is ‘firm sale’ (in other words: non-returnable), who cannot be paid through regular digitised channels, whose stock carries a lot of extra administrative work?
No reason, really.
It’s not that it can’t be done, but it appears that the option of self-publishing should only be on the table as a very last resort, unless you’re content with mainly online and word-of-mouth sales. Or plan to spend virtually all your time trying to encourage bookstores to sell a few of your books.