IndieReader In-Store

What is IndieReader In-Store?

IndieReader In-Store (IRIS) is IR’s marketing and distribution service. Not just another listing, IRIS works with Edelweiss, an online interactive database used by a majority of independent bookstores (plus B&N), combining the selling power of brick-and-mortar bookstores with the vast community of self-published authors.

IRIS provides an easy, cost-effective, and efficient way for booksellers to peruse, stock and sell self-published books and for indie authors to get onto the shelves of indie bookstores. Books distributed by IRIS (via Ingram Wholesale) will carry the trusted IndieReader imprint, differentiating them from the millions of other indie books on the market.

What is Edelweiss and how will it help me get my indie book into stores?

Edelweiss is an online, interactive, cross-publisher catalog service that supplements or replaces traditional hard-copy publisher catalogs. It also acts as an interactive research tool for librarians, bloggers, and reviewers, creating a one-stop source, thus simplifying the ordering process.

Edelweiss is also a social media networking site that allows buyers to share book information and favorites AND to request Digital Review Copies (DRCs) from authors (a la NetGalley).

Part of Edelweiss’s appeal is its ability to present comprehensive and up-to-date information about each title in the catalog—including bestsellers, award winners, reviews, and information like where the author is based—especially important for indie titles. The more booksellers know about your book, the more likely they’ll be to want to carry it in their store.

So how will that work with IndieReader?

Edelweiss has agreed to let IndieReader, via IndieReader In-Store (IRIS), include your books in their catalog. Titles are posted with any editorial reviews—along with the book’s genre and author’s proximity to their stores—so that bookstores can decide which books they want to stock.


How much does it cost to get my book in front of all those booksellers + librarians for possible sale?

The cost of listing via IndieReader In-Store is $299* per year.  The renewal fee is $35.

* Assuming that your title is available via Ingram Wholesale or equivalent major distributor at 40-55% discount and marked returnable. If your book is not currently with such a distributor, or not returnable, or not at 40-55% discount, we can help you get it there.

Why can’t indie authors get their books into the Edelweiss catalog on their own?

Edelweiss is set up for publishing companies with multiple titles and their annual fees for inclusion are priced accordingly. Simply put, IRIS is the most cost effective way for indie authors and smaller publishing companies to get their titles into the Edelweiss catalog.

Let’s say my title is available via the Edelweiss database. Don’t booksellers still need to want to carry them?

Most definitely. But the creation of IRIS was precipitated by the co-owner of an independent bookstore who wanted to know how IR could make it easier to carry indies and find local authors. We have since spoken to other indie booksellers across the country who are feeling the same way (backed up by articles in the Christian Science Monitor and Publisher’s Weekly that note increasing interest from indie bookstores in self-published titles).

Titles are posted with their Editorial Reviews—along with the book’s genre and other pertinent details—so that bookstores can make informed decisions about which books they want to stock.

The truth is some indie authors now have hundreds of thousands of readers. Indie bookstores are always on the lookout for new revenue sources and something that will differentiate them from the big-box stores, most of which still don’t carry indie titles.

Are only new titles listed?

Nope. All titles that are available via Ingram Wholesale, or other major distributors, will be able to be listed.

Who will pay me for my book sales?

It depends. If your book is already available at standard terms, your royalties will come to you in the same way as before. If you reissue your book through IngramSpark, or another publisher which allows you to set your terms, the royalties will be paid through that entity.

Does IRIS guarantee that bookstores will buy my book?

No, we do not. But we do guarantee an increased level of visibility via its listing under the IndieReader brand.

Whose ISBN would we use?

As long as you own your ISBN number, you can use the one you currently have. If your book was published as a CreateSpace imprint—or if you selected CS’s extended distribution—you will need to purchase a new one as the ones supplied by CS are not valid outside of Amazon. If, however, you purchased a universal ISBN through CreateSpace, you may use that number.

If you do not own an ISBN, you can purchase one at a discount directly from Bowker for $125/per (you can find more information about ISBNs here ).

What about terms/trade discounts?

For bookstores to stock and sell an Indie book they must have standard terms: the book must be returnable and have a 40-55% discount.

Most Indie books are POD books and the cost of printing on demand puts considerable pressure on the retail price. See Can you give me some Print Cost and Discount examples. This usually comes as a shock to authors used to selling through CreateSpace or Lulu, for example, where the discount is only 25%. You may have to adjust your expectations of income when you put a POD book out in bookstores at standard terms.

How can I set my book to Standard Terms?

Reissue your book with IngramSpark or another publisher which will allow you to set your book’s terms (CreateSpace does not).

You can create an account at IngramSpark, which will let you manage the book and receive the royalties directly. You have the choice of using a new ISBN or keeping the same one (See above).

Can you give me some Print Cost and Discount examples?

Here are three examples for a paperback, retailing at $12.95, with different page counts: For a 208 page book, the Print Cost to the distribution chain is $3.60. (When the author orders the book it costs $4.02.) The Wholesale Price is $5.83 (the price Ingram pays to buy it from the printer: Retail Price times 45%.)

The author gets $2.23 revenue/per book (Wholesale Price minus the Print Cost). For this example, you would have to sell 179 copies of your book to make back your $399 fee to be in the IRIS program (keep in mind that your title will be getting seen by over 37,000 book industry professionals, including retailers, reviewers, librarians, and publishers).

For a 280 page book, the Wholesale Price is $5.83, the Print Cost to the distribution chain is $4.54. (Author’s cost is $5.10.) The author can expect $1.29 per book sold. This is slightly over 10% royalty.

For a 480 page book, the Wholesale Price is $5.83, the Print Cost to the distribution chain is $7.14. (Author’s cost is $8.10.) The author can expect minus $1.31 per book sold.  Yes, you would lose money per sale.  A 480 page POD paperback with standard terms has to sell for at least $20.39 to earn 10% in royalties. This usually comes as a shock to authors used to selling through CreateSpace or Lulu, for example, where the discount is only 25%.

You may have to adjust your retail price when you put a POD book out in bookstores at standard terms.

What exactly is involved in the return process with the bookseller? Who pays for what?

The bookstore buys your books from Ingram and then Ingram buys them from the POD printer. Using the first example in Can you give me some Print Cost and Discount examples? above, Ingram buys the book from the printer for $5.83, and the printer keeps $3.60 as the print cost, and the royalty is $2.23.

If Ingram returns the book to the printer, YOU pay back the $5.83. If the book is destroyed, that’s the end of it. If you prefer the book be returned to you, there is an extra $2.00 charged on top of the $5.83, and you get to keep the book.

We suggest that authors put their royalties into an escrow account until after the 90 day return period.

My book is published via CreateSpace and I’m not sure they accept returns or offer the correct discount. Can I still set it up in the IRIS program?

At this time CreateSpace does not accept returns, which most booksellers require. They also don’t offer the option to allow authors to set their terms to the industry standard discount (40-55%).

What if my book is in CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution?

Having your book enrolled in CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution is not a detriment to enrolling your book in IRIS, as CSED is no longer exclusive.  The larger issue is that CS doesn’t allow you, the author, to set the terms under which a brick and mortar bookseller can order your book.

To do that you’ll need to re-publish your book with a company like Ingram Spark (the printer that IRIS uses), which can transfer most titles over from CreateSpace, as long as you, the author, owns the ISBN. 



How long do titles remain in the Edelweiss catalog? Is it a permanent listing?

A listing in the IRIS/Edelweiss catalog is for a 12 month period. There is a $35 renewal fee per title for each succeeding year it remains in the catalog.


Is Edelweiss US distribution only?

No. It is used by booksellers worldwide.