If a book is not returnable, has a wholesaler discount of 45% and costs £10.99, does a book store sell this book if a customer comes into a store and wants to order it?

In short: Is a book still available in a book store if a customer requests it, even if the bookstore does not want the book in their stock, because of the conditions above? Do they order a copy if a customer asks for it?

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    I'm not sure I understand the point of this question. Pretty much all self published books can be ordered online. Why would anyone want to order a book through a bookstore today?
    – user16226
    Mar 25, 2017 at 15:27
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    It is a matter of fact that people come to a bookstore and ask if a book is available. If not, bookshops usually ask the customers if they should order it form them to pick it up on another day.
    – del4y
    Mar 25, 2017 at 15:33
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    Not a meaningful question, because the individual bookshop can order it, or not, as they see fit. It is strictly a business decision. Some will do it, some will not. My local bookshop will not. However, in the case of an e-book that is NOT Kindle, they have a method for obtaining a small cut of the commission, if they process the order on their computer. I don't know how they do it, or even if any customer has done it that way. Notice that the e-book does not require any handling or transporation or risk of damage.
    – user23046
    Mar 25, 2017 at 15:40
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    @RobotA Maybe it is not meaningful for you bit it is very meaningful for my marketing concept. But you actually did answer my question - it depends on the bookstore. Thanks!
    – del4y
    Mar 25, 2017 at 21:37
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    @MarkBaker: "Why would anyone want to order a book through a bookstore today?" - supporting the survival of bookstores in the age of online shopping is a reason I sometimes hear. Mar 29, 2017 at 5:06

5 Answers 5


I don't know if this differs in the UK, but in the US a bookseller might order the book as a courtesy to a customer, provided the customer pays in full (since it can't be returned). It would need to be available through a standard distributor; for example, I believe Lightning Source distributes books through Baker & Taylor. (Again, this is the US).

I wouldn't ask a bookseller to order a self-published book from CreateSpace. It could be seen as insensitive to some booksellers' feelings about Amazon.

For more information on ways self-published authors can get books into stores, please post a question! I have some understanding of this.


This depends greatly on the bookstore. Recently there has been a rebirth of small independent booksellers, which were once an almost extinct breed. A bookstore like that might be more inclined to accommodate a local author.

The discount sounds right, but the non-returnable clause might make some people balk. In any case, it's hard to see how this would work as a customer-initiated request, since the bookstore would have no way of knowing where to obtain your book --unless you were directly involved, and in that case, why have the middleman?

Some individual branches of large chains may also work with local authors, based on the manager. However, in general, big box bookstores order exclusively through the major distributors.


Self-published books are made available to all bookstores via Createspace EDC or other distribution channels. Createspace partner Lighting source, Ingram, Barnes and Noble and other to provide a worldwide distribution system. However. discounts are fixed (60% for Createspace) the result is unreasonably high retail prices and virtually no commission for the writer.

Your POD printer will have details of available distribution channels.


I have gone to my local bookstore to order a self-published book. I gave them the ISBN, they ordered it, it arrived a week later, I walked in and completed the transaction. The book is now on my shelf.

So yes, it's possible. Whether your local bookstore will do it is up to the store.


I agree with Jenny, it would be totally insensitive to order a self-published book printed by CreatSpace (Amazon) from an independent bookstore. IngramSpark, another POD printer (part of Lightning Source) who distributes through Ingram Content Group (previously Ingram Book Distributors) will work with independent bookstores. You can set your own discount rate and return policy.

  • Why "insensitive"? Are you trying to express "it wouldn't make sense"? Jun 13, 2017 at 19:36
  • Amazon has taken away the livelihood of many now closed independent bookstores. Amazon undercuts the prices that brick and mortar bookstores need to charge to pay the rent. The focal point of the dispute were tough negotiations between Amazon and the publisher Hachette. HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin Random House all the other publishers felt bullied by Amazon. So stores that sell books from these traditional publishers steer clear of stocking Amazon printed books (CreatSpace).
    – Dayne
    Jun 14, 2017 at 22:49

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