How To Get Your Book Stocked in Waterstones
In this video I will teach you the fastest and most efficient way for any UK-based author or self-publisher to get their book stocked and on sale in Waterstones High Street stores.
Follow the advice within the video and also use the following notes as a guide:
STEP 1 – Get yourself and your book registered as a publisher with Nielsen
Your book must be registered with Nielsen Book Data in order to be eligible for sale in Watertones book stores. If it is not, Waterstones will not entertain your or your book.
You can register as a publisher with Nielse, and also get your ISBN’s at the same time, by following the link in STEP 2:
STEP 2 – Purchase an ISBN for your book(s)
An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number which is a 13-digit unique number for your book(s). Basically, the ISBN and the bar code will go on the rear cover of the book, usually in the bottom right hand corner.
You can get registered as a publisher with Nielsen, and get your ISBN’s at the same time, by going to the following website:
You need to buy a minimum of 10 ISBN’s from Nielsen as they will not sell them as individual items. The current prices for you to buy ISBN’s can be found in the following table:
Once you have purchased your ISBN numbers make sure you only allocate one per book. Never use an ISBN more than once.
You will also need to create a BAR CODE for your book. As I said in the video, there are companies out there who will charge you for this service, but there really is no need. SImply download the free bar code generator tool at the following page:
Once you have created your bar code using your allocated 13 digit ISBN you will need to attached it to the rear cover of your book. You can get your book cover designer to do this for you.
STEP 3 – Apply for an account with Gardners books in Eastbourne
In order to get your book stocked with Waterstones stores you will need to have a UK-based distributor. The best one to use, in my opinion, is Gardners books. I have always found them to be very helpful and efficient. In addition to meeting their criteria for being registered with Nielsen and also having your own ISBN, you will need to also have a UK source for your books and also have them pre-printed, ready for sending off to Gardners.
For stock titles, you must have a UK sales and marketing activity, with stock available from a UK location. As I mentioned in my video, I started out from my back-bedroom and sent Gardners the books myself using my preferred courier, www.parcelmonkey.co.uk.
If your title/s do meet the above criteria you now need to send a sample copy direct to Gardners for review, together with a catalogue (for multiple titles, if applicable), to the following address, ensuring that they are clearly labelled as SAMPLES.
Please note: Gardners cannot return samples or acknowledge receipt.
FAO Buyers New Publishers, Buying Office, Gardners Books, 1 Whittle Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6QH.
As I state in the training video, make sure you send any back-up information that will help you to sell the books to Gardners. For example, when I sent away my books I included details of previous sales to date.
What happens next?
You, the publisher, will be contacted if Gardners decide to stock the books.
Where it is agreed to stock books, Gardners will then discuss commercial terms with the publisher.
Almost without exception, books from new publisher relationships will be taken into stock on a consignment basis (i.e. we hold stock and pay monthly on sales achieved).
Other commercial terms (e.g. discount levels) will also be agreed. My advice is to offer them 60% discount as this will allow them to sell the books more effectively to Waterstones.
STEP 4 – COMPLETE THE WATERSTONES TRADE APPLICATION FORM
To do this please contact the Independent Publisher Coordinator by email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a Waterstones Trade Application form.
If you click the link below it will download the form for you in PDF format. If the link is not working please contact me to let me know.
Finally, you will need to promote your book direct to Waterstones yourself. Do not automatically assume that Gardners will promote your book to Waterstones. It is up to you as a publisher to promote it. My advice is to create Advanced Trade Information sheets for your book(s) and then send them off to your chosen Waterstones stores along with an accompanying copy of your book.
You can learn more about how I can help you further get your book(s) into Waterstones by watching my training videos and guide HERE.