Borders is the best indie bookseller that isn't indie. They have a policy of supporting local authors, whether published traditionally through a large or small press, or self-published. This means if you, the author, live near a Borders, you can call and ask to speak to the buyer. Give her a brief pitch and summary of your book, asking if she would mind carrying your title in the local section.
The answer will be "Bring it in so I can take a look." Take 5 copies and you'll most likely have a cash sale. Your local Borders will also be happy to schedule a signing. If you do well at the signing, selling 20 books or more, your title will automatically be logged into the Borders.com website and can then be ordered from any Borders brick and mortar store in the country.
I guarantee that, if you're with a small press, or without distribution, you won't get this kind of treatment from Barnes & Noble. And if you're self-published, your local Barnes & Noble won't even talk to you. But as soon as your book is listed with Amazon, then suddenly it shows up on B&N.com, linked from the Amazon site. That still doesn't mean it can be ordered in person from a B & N bookstore. It can't. They'll tell you to go home and get it online from B & N.com, which is another word for Amazon.com.
Where I live in the Salt Lake Valley, there are two indie bookstores and one chain indie. The chain indie will take books carried by a distributor. The indies will take them only on consignment. My publisher will not do consignment, therefore these two bookstores do not stock any of the books published by WiDo. Even though WiDo Publishing is out of Salt Lake City and has titles by authors who live here. I don't call that supportive, do you?
It seems to me that the indie bookseller should be supportive of the indie publisher. Right? Farm Girl is stocked in independent bookstores across the Great Plains states. Yet you can't order it from indiebound.org. It's not listed and doesn't show up in the search bar. If you don't live near one of the stores that carry Farm Girl, you'll have to order it from Amazon. Or from this website.
I am all for supporting the local independent bookstores. But why should I when they don't support me as a local author? My books have been well-reviewed, and Farm Girl does well at every store that carries it. (I'm pretty sure Uncut Diamonds will sell out in Ireland but that's neither here nor there.)
What reason do these local stores have for not doing business with my publishing company and stocking my books on a non-consignment basis? No rational reason that I can see, especially considering that it's stocked by a variety of other indies throughout the country. Just not here. Where I live. Where my children play. Where my husband and I sleep.(Godfather 2 throwback there lol.)
So when I want to buy a book, I drive past Barnes & Noble, I drive past Deseret Book (the local indie chain that said no to both my books), I drive 20 miles to get to Borders in Murray, Utah and there I spend money on books. When I was at the Orem (or was it Provo?), Utah Borders for a signing, I spent $40. If I'm traveling and I want to buy a book, I will seek out the Borders and give them my business.
I would love to support the independent bookseller but instead I support the supportive bookseller. That is Borders. Wherever you live, if there's a Borders, know this: they will support the local author. It's their nationwide policy. Long live Borders.
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf