Indie Authors, want to sell books inside established retail chains? There are lots of opportunities! (part 1)

The internet really is a clickhole!

With having a new release coming out soon (a project that aims to help indie authors learn how to maximize their sales efforts and sell more books at live events) I stumbled onto a resource that authors might find interesting. There are a number of programs out there which will allow authors to set up a table and connect with readers, usually in order to sell books. Search my blog archives for programs within Barnes and Nobles and on how to do book signings. Plus, there are ways to set this up with Costco and other big box stores as well, although the process is very involved, enough that most authors simply don’t attempt to do it.

The program I just learned about takes care of all that for you, and provides tons of opportunity—click through to get details and see where it’s offered.

I’m writing a couple part series on the topic (selling within other retail environments) since one of my main thrusts as an author-mentor is helping writers find ways to connect with shoppers who may be readers and connect them to a book and reader base… while I’ve covered the idea of selling in Barnes and Nobles stores before and write about it within the pages of The Indie Author’s Bible as well as in this blog, selling inside that particular chain might not be everybody’s cup of tea—plus, a person shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket.

In doing research I kind of stumbled onto a program called Authors in Grocery Stores. Participating in the program allows authors to set up a book signing table in participating grocery store chains and greet/sell to shoppers there that day.

I reached out to Raymond Vincent Depew who runs the program. He was an indie author who participated in the program, saw the value in it, and eventually took it over when his predecessor retired. The grocery store tie-in was especially interesting to me because of a personal connection. One wouldn’t think that grocery stores are a great place to meet readers, I mean, all of our author-ads research says to limit the playing field and go super narrow in targeting, but I can recall purchasing a number of encyclopedias as a child with my mother on weekly shopping trips when she would buy me a new volume each week (which brought back all the feels in Stranger Things season 4, of course.) I actually used that memory as the basis for one of my main characters strongest childhood memories in The Shadowless which is a critical plot point.

Authors in Grocery Stores has been around for 20 years and operates in TX, MI, IN, KY, OH, CO, and LA. Those participating can set their own schedule, meaning they can pick any day of the week, so authors doing weekend events can pick up mid-week sales this way by setting up a date 2 weeks in advance and then notify the program which will make all the necessary arrangements (though weekends are still the most optimal days). Authors bring books which pass through the store’s registers, report sales, and the then the program cuts checks back to them for the their share of the proceeds; they keep 62% of the sales.

There are some membership fees to participate. Those funds pay in to a group insurance policy which covers the participants and offsets their obligation to otherwise carry private business/event insurance (something that I often have to get for events I do, and that costs about $200 per month to secure a short term policy, per site I am selling at.) The fees are a $75 annual membership plus a 1-time charge of $25 per ISBN. Participants also have access to some professional discounts, much like those gained with ALLi membership.

They vend in Krogers, King Soopers, and City Market grocery stores in the above states. (Colorado’sCity Market is a new market for them with 154 stores coming on board very recently.)

The program updates the list of states and regions on where can vend at their website:

https://authorsingrocerystores.com/

and also an their FB
https://www.facebook.com/National-Authors-in-Grocery-Stores-Program-A-Snapbookllc-Company-107575368746492

Meanwhile, also check out my new book and other resources and tools for selling books and publishing at my website: https://www.authorchristopherdschmitz.com/authorservices

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