Information for Self-Published Authors
From the idea to the printed book.
You have the story, you have the passion. You’ve written your book. You’ve taken it to a printer and have had it printed and bound. Now what?
We can help you get your book into the hands of your readers. We have an active consignment program that stocks hundreds of books — fiction, poetry, memoirs, biography, picture books, children’s books — by Canadian authors. Many self-published titles adorn our weekly and annual bestseller lists. Books in our stores are listed for sale on our website, and of course we ship website orders anywhere.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Once you have received your book from the printer, contact the book Consignment Manager at your nearest McNally Robinson bookstore to discuss your book and to set up an appointment. Email is the most reliable method of communication.
In Winnipeg, our Consignment Manager is Karen Hall, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Saskatoon, our Consignment Manager is Sascha da Silva, and he can be reached at email@example.com.
THINGS TO KNOW
• Books must be professionally printed.
• You must determine your retail price. You will want to ensure this price is reasonable for both you and the consumer. If you're not sure how to price your book, we can help.
• You will be signing a contract with us that provides a standard industry split of 60/40. That is, we will pay you 60% of the retail price for each book sold. Remember that you are assuming all the costs associated with the publication of your book. If you intend to recoup those costs, you need to set a retail price that will allow you to do this.
Our contracts with self-published authors stipulate a consignment arrangement in which you consign copies of your book(s) to us for sale and we pay you for the copies we sell.
We pay for books sold three times a year.
Once we accept your book, we commit to an initial placement of six months. After that, we will review the status of your book with you and discuss how we should proceed. We do reserve the right to take any book off our shelves for whatever reason once the initial six month placement has expired.
We will also need an electronic image and description of your book to post on our website.
We confess a Manitoba & Saskatchewan bias.
We generally limit our consignment contracts to authors from or with strong ties to Manitoba or Saskatchewan. However, if your book has general Canadian appeal it may still be considered for consignment.
What is an ISBN?
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit number that is unique to an individual book.
Do you need an ISBN?
You do not need an ISBN to have your book on our shelves. However, without an ISBN we cannot for technical reasons post your book on our website. If you want to acquire an ISBN, the printer/self-publishing service you choose may be able to help you. You can also access the Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS) online. This is currently a free service but it does require you to register.
We do not offer editorial advice on works in progress. Nor do we exercise editorial judgement on your finished book. However, we will not stock titles that we deem to be hateful or libelous.
Promoting your book
Promoting your book can be as simple as telling your friends it is available at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Arranging media requires a little more work, but is not as daunting a task as it may seem. The internet, which offers the possibility of web sites, blogging and Facebook, can also be a way to let people know about your book. Remember, in the same way you are your own publisher, you are also your own publicist. See our Marketing Your Book page for more information.
Launching your book
Once we have accepted your book for sale, we can help you promote it. The most effective way is to arrange a book launch. This is essentially a celebration of your book for your friends, family, relatives and interested parties. We will send out invitations based on a guest list supplied by you. A launch will also give your book a dedicated in-store display prior to your event. For more information or to arrange an event, please visit this page.