Prospective & Self-Published Authors

Congratulations! You wrote a book!   

We can't imagine the dedication and commitment it takes to sit down and actually write an entire book! We applaud your accomplishment- well done! Now its time to get the book out into the world. While we wish we could carry each and every book, our stores are very small, our inventory tightly curated and in addition to all the traditionally published titles we desire to carry, we also a lot of requests to stock books that have been self-published or printed via smaller houses. We've been doing this for twenty years, and have a pretty good idea of what is and is not going to move in our stores. In order to save time and avoid misunderstanding, please read the following policies carefully.  NOTE: we do NOT do business with Amazon. If you have published your book via any of their publishing platforms, and we choose to carry it, we will insist on purchasing the book directly from you following the consignment policy below. In addition, if your book is published with a small press that we do not currently have terms with, we will also need to purchase the book directly from you.

It is important to consider the following before placing a book for sale in a bookstore:  A book sells best when it conforms to customer and industry expectations for finished books.

  • Books should be professionally published, have a bound and printed spine, display a bar code with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), and have a suggested retail price printed on its exterior.
  • It should be priced comparably to others books of its type. Books of greatest interest to us with the highest chance of success at our stores have a strong focus on the Outer Banks- either in topic, setting, history or plot.

Unfortunately, no bookstore can carry every published title, regardless of the publisher, and many factors influence our decisions. The most important is whether your book will sell at our stores and to our customers. If after reading this, you would like us to consider your book, please leave or mail a non-returnable review copy along with your contact information at either store. Please understand we get many, many review requests and allow us one month for examination. If you do not hear from us, please assume we have declined to stock your book. Our busy season begins in April and runs through October. Please plan accordingly and try to reach out to us before April 15 or after October 1. Once the season begins, we simply do not have time to evaluate every request.

IF we think that your book is a good fit for our store, our terms are as such: We will display your book where we think it fits best. 

We will take a small quantity of your book on consignment. That means when your books sell, we will pay you for them. It is your responsibility to provide us with a purchase order showing how many books you initially supply us with. You must check with us on a monthly basis to see how many books have sold then provide an invoice to us for those sales from which we can then pay you. We will buy the books from you at the standard book industry discount of 40%. This means we will pay you 60% of the retail price of the book when sold.

If your book has been self-published or published through a small press we do not currently deal with, we must be able to buy the books directly from you. WE DO NOT PURCHASE BOOKS FROM AMAZON. Additionally, shipping is at the author’s expense. You may ship printed materials via the USPS using the very inexpensive and reasonable ‘Media Mail’ rate.

We expect books on our shelves to have a consistent ‘turn’ rate. If your book does not turn (i.e. sell) an adequate number of copies within 3 months, we reserve the right to discontinue carrying the title. The author will then have thirty days to pick up unsold copies, after which they will be donated to the Dare Literacy Council.

If the author maintains a website, we expect Duck’s Cottage  and Downtown Books to be listed prominently as a retailer for said title. We also expect to be mentioned in any social media posts about your book as often as Amazon is. 

We understand that as an author, you are eager to meet the public and promote your book. We get lots of requests from authors to hold book signings at our stores. After two decades, we have developed a pretty good idea of what books will be successful at an in-store event and even those books sell an average of a dozen copies over a two or three hour period. There is a lot of publicity work that goes into every event that we hold. Please understand that we cannot offer an event to every book that we carry. 

Failure on the author’s part to comply with the above stipulations will terminate any agreement and the books will become the property of Duck’s Cottage or Downtown Books .