downside of self publishing

In marketing The Clutter Book, I’ve run up against numerous buyers who won’t consider it for sale in their stores. They aren’t rejecting the book because they think it’s poorly written or because it won’t appeal to their clients; the sole reason for not stocking it is because it’s self published.

Yes, it’s very easy to self publish a book today and there are lots of self-published books that just aren’t very good; however, discounting a whole category of books doesn’t make sense to me. Here is the response I got from a major discount chain:

 “We are unable to carry independent or self-published books due to legal reasons. No other major retail chains or distributing partners are able to carry them either, for the same reasons. If you have paid any money out-of-pocket to publish the book, it is considered self-published.”

Really? Legal reasons?

I got a lovely response from a major warehouse store that said they don’t sell self-published books, they only buy from wholesale distributors Baker & Taylor, Ingram, American West and Benjamin News.

With all the blogs dedicated to marketing independent books, there appears to be a market. Are bookstores neglecting their customers who look for these books?

Have you found an inherent prejudice against self-published books? What have you done, as a writer, to overcome the objection? As a reader, have you requested books that bookstores don’t carry?

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