As lovely as it is to see our books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords etc, every author dreams of seeing their book in bookstores. Up until now, it has been possible – just – but the effort and cost involved has made it impossible for most authors to arrange wide distribution. Amy Edelman, founder of IndieReader, is here to share her amazing new program: IRIS.
Your Book in Bookstores
by Amy Edelman
IndieReader In-Store (IRIS) reviews and catalogs your book as part of a branded collection on Edelweiss, an online catalog service, a social network platform for industry professionals and an interactive research tool for librarians, bloggers and reviewers.
What does this mean to you, the indie author? Simply put, with interest growing from indie bookstores in carrying and supporting indie authors, Edelweiss and IRIS provide the tools to make getting your book into brick and mortar stores a reality.
Recently, indie authors fell foul of widespread title withdrawals. For some, this will be temporary, but if the basket holding all your eggs is removed, an indie author is in dire straits. Bookstore distribution – opening up a whole new audience and sales channel – would doubtless be a game change for indies. That’s where IRIS comes in:
IndieReader In-Store FAQs
Q. What is IndieReader In-Store?
A. IndieReader In-Store (IRIS) is IR’s new indie book marketing and distribution program. Working with Edelweiss, an on-line interactive database used by a majority of independent bookstores (plus B&N), IRIS will combine the selling power of brick and mortar bookstore with the vast community of self-published authors. This new program will provide an easy, cost-effective and efficient way for booksellers to stock and sell branded, self-published books and for indie authors to get onto the shelves of indie bookstores. Books distributed by IRIS will carry the trusted IndieReader brand, differentiating them from the millions of other indie books on the market.
Q. What’s the difference between a “branded” indie book and one that’s not?
A. What’s the difference between a coffee and a vente Frappaccino from Starbucks? Or a tablet and an iPad? The difference is that one is just a “thing” and the other has a specific identity as part of a recognizable brand. Indie books—for better or worse—are out there on their own: no publisher, no reviews, no way for booksellers and buyers to tell them apart. IndieReader solves that problem by creating a resource where booksellers can go to get more info on self-pubbed titles (reviews, ratings, etc) so that, for the first time, they can offer readers a choice of indie books.
Q. What is Edelweiss and how will it help me get my indie book into stores?
A. Edelweiss is an online, interactive, cross-publisher catalog service that supplements or replaces traditional hard-copy publisher catalogs. It also acts as an interactive research tool for librarians, bloggers and reviewers, creating a one-stop source, thus simplifying the ordering process. Edelweiss is also a social media networking site that allows buyers to share book information and favorites AND to request Digital Review Copies (DRCs) from authors (a la NetGalley). Part of Edelweiss’ appeal is its ability to present comprehensive and up-to-date information about each title in the catalog—including bestsellers, award winners, reviews and information like where the author is based—especially important for indie titles. The more the bookseller knows about your book, the more likely they’ll be to want to carry it in their store.
Q. So how will that work with IndieReader? You’re not a publisher.
A. Edelweiss has agreed to let IndieReader, via a new program we’re calling IndieReader In-Store (IRIS), include your books in their catalog. Basically, IR will act as your book’s distributor. Titles are posted with their IR reviews — along with the book’s genre and author’s proximity to their stores —so that bookstores can decide which books they want to stock. IndieReader has also signed up as a Partnership Publisher with the American Book Association (ABA), giving us the opportunity to participate in direct outreach to ABA member store’s decision-makers. When you sign up with IRIS, your book’s title and information will be included on a sell sheet in a Red Box Mailing, which is an in-store marketing action kit, currently sent to 1,100 ABA member stores.
Q. So, how much does it cost to participate?
A. The cost of listing via IndieReader In-Store is $399. There will be an add’l $25 fee per title after the first year as long as your book is in the database.
Q. Why can’t indie authors do this on their own?
A. Edelweiss is set up for publishing companies and even if they did allow individual authors, their annual fee for inclusion would discourage smaller publishing companies, or even authors with multiple titles. And membership to the ABA is not open to authors.