The book selling business is a very competitive business. The intense competition from online giant Amazon.com plus the big bookstore chains such as Barnes and Noble and Borders has put huge pressures on profit margin and made it difficult for independent booksellers to thrive.
But if you have been dreaming of starting a bookstore, I suggest you start by getting a copy of the book FabJob Guide to Become a Bookstore Owner and other books on the topic. These books are comprehensive and will guide you to some critical decision making needed when starting a bookstore
Then make sure you attend the Book Expo America http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/ — this is the PERFECT place to meet publishers big and small, and start setting up accounts with these publishing houses. I’ve attended several of these in recent years, and it is one big event where both big publishers to independent publishers gather. It is a must-attend event for every bookseller.
Also be sure to check out the resources provided by the following organizations:
- American Booksellers Association http://www.bookweb.org/index.html
- Book Industry Study Group http://www.bisg.org/
- Bowker’s Bookwire (for book industry statistics and news) http://www.bookwire.com/
One important aspect of starting a bookstore is developing relationships with book wholesalers and distributors. Determine the major and minor book suppliers that you want to purchase from. Then inquire how you can become a customer, and if you need to go through a credit approval process. They will give you their catalogs from which you can order your inventory. The largest book wholesalers are Ingram Book Group and Baker & Taylor, but if you want to specialize in children’s books, contact the Children’s Book Council .