For unknown indie authors like myself, getting your book into Costco might seem impossible, but let me share my own experience, and motivate you to try this yourself.
As I tell my indie author friends, everything starts with building
- a relationship
What do I mean?
Well, if you shop at your local Costco, ask to speak to the manager. Introduce yourself, and say that you’re a local author and would like to know how to do a book signing at his/her store.
One Saturday while shopping, I noticed an author selling his books. I asked him how he got into Costco and he mentioned his publisher arranged everything for him. He had a traditional publisher, and wasn’t an indie publisher like myself.
I lucked out when Jeff, the manager, walked up to the author, and I took the opportunity to remind him that I also wanted to do a book signing. Fortunately, Jeff loves to read and support authors. I asked him for his e-mail, and he told me I had to call the headquarters in Issaquah, WA, and follow their instructions.
I called them and listened to their instructions about where to send my book, together with my press kit and it specifically said, that they do not want books published by Author House, X-Libris, I-Universe, or CreateSpace as the publisher. You can use CreateSpace for printing, but not as your publisher on record.
Fortunately, I have my own publishing company, “Gutsy Publications” which allows me to offer Costco the same discount bookstores expect from publishers. I offered them a 55% discount.
After waiting several weeks, I heard back from Costco’s, California based wholesaler, which supplies print books on local and regional topics to Costco warehouses nationwide.
I followed their guidelines, and my son helped me with PhotoShop to design two 20″x30″ posters, which Costco printed. I had to pay for them though.
Jeff was kind enough to allow me to place the posters at the front of Costco for a week before my signing, to alert shoppers.
I did all the local advertising and social media to get people to show up, and ended up selling 32 books in total.
On the day of my Costco book signing, several writer friends arrived to support me and some wanted to know how I did it.
I wish you all the best, and FYI, if you need help, please e-mail me your specific question and write (Free Question Consultation) in the Subject line and e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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