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Bricks-and-Mortar Bookstore Distribution: A New Model – Dartfrog Books

Bricks-and-Mortar Bookstore Distribution: A New Model – Dartfrog Books

headshot of Marina Aris

Marina Aris provides an introduction to bookstore distributor DartFrog

Marina Aris, director of Bookstore Relations at DartFrog, describes an interesting new means for indie authors to get their self-published books into brick-and-mortar bookstores, which also provides a new no-risk income stream to support indie booksellers. “It's win-win,” says Marina. And yes, there is a significant cost for authors involved, but these and other details are outlined clearly in her post for you to assess whether it's a scheme that might be right for you and your books. DartFrog is an ALLi Partner Member.


Imagine your book is available for bookstore distribution and is prominently placed in a specially branded section. And imagine that instead of just one bookstore carrying your book, there are twenty or more stores across the US carrying your book, at exactly the same time, and displaying it in exactly the same way: on the shelf, and forward-facing instead of spine out, so that readers won’t miss it.

The company making this bookstore placement model possible is DartFrog Books.
DartFrog banner

 About DartFrog Books

Simply put, DartFrog is the win-win distribution solution for indie authors and independent booksellers.

If bookstores don’t know about your book they won’t order it.

DartFrog has introduced a distribution and marketing model that ensures booksellers not only know about your book, but are willing to carry it.

Why DartFrog?

bookshelf full of Dartfrog books

  • Only the best in self-publishing can become part of DartFrog’s catalog. These books have well-designed book covers, are well written, and are professionally edited.
  • If a book does not pass an evaluation, authors receive a detailed report so they know exactly what needs to be fixed.
  • With the Direct To Shelf (DTS) program booksellers agree to carry a certain number of DartFrog titles per quarter. For three months, books are placed in a specially branded section the way large retail chains market bestsellers, face-forward instead of spine-out.
  • Authors receive free marketing support. They are included in continuous print and digital bookstore marketing campaigns and added to a digital marketplace for vetted self-published titles.
  • Authors receive, at no additional cost, a Book2Look biblet which helps them more effectively market their books online.
  • No more walking into bookstores hoping they’ll say yes – and you can distribute beyond your local bookshop. DartFrog’s network spans the US and in time will be global.

What Does It Cost?

The cost for book placement in twenty stores is $475 and includes:

  • an evaluation report
  • Book2Look biblet
  • inclusion in DartFrog’s online marketplace
  • continuous direct marketing campaigns to bookstores
  • participation in DTS (DTS runs quarterly. After books pass an evaluation they are added to the next available quarterly shipment.)

Tabletop display of DartFrog books

Associated Publishing Service

For authors who have not yet published their books but have a completed and professionally edited manuscript, DartFrog offers a hybrid publishing solution. For $5,500 your manuscript will be professionally produced and distributed to ALL stores participating in DTS\ not just twenty. In this case, there is no cost for manuscript evaluations.

Why Booksellers Are Saying Yes To DartFrog

One of DartFrog’s missions is to ensure independent booksellers continue to thrive. An effective way to accomplish this is to financially reward stores that are willing to take a chance on self-published books.

Stores participating in DTS receive $175 per quarter. They also get to keep proceeds from the first DTS copy sold for each title. Additional copies ordered from Ingram lead to continued royalties for authors.

Many stores do not have consignment programs and are inundated and overwhelmed by the increasing demand for distribution. For those booksellers, DartFrog is the solution they’ve been waiting for. They no longer have to turn authors away and are paid for each author they refer.

Booksellers want to offer self-published books, but only if they’re sure those books are well produced. Introducing emerging writers to their local reading communities is something booksellers want to do and DartFrog makes it easy to say yes.

You can learn more about DartFrog on their website: www.DartFrogBooks.com


OVER TO YOU If you have discovered other innovative methods of working with independent bricks-and-mortar bookstores, we'd love to hear about them!

#Indieauthors - have you heard about the opportunities @dartfrogbooks offers to help you get your #selfpublished books into bricks-and-mortar #bookstores? Marina Aris of Dartfrog describes what she calls a win-win deal. Click To Tweet

From the ALLi Author Advice Center Archive

Author: Marina Aris

Marina Aris is the Director of Bookstore Relations for DartFrog Books. She works closely with booksellers across the U.S. to distribute the best in self-publishing. Marina is also an indie author, the founder of the Brooklyn Writers Project and the Brooklyn Writers Press. Since 2016 she has hosted an annual Indie Author Day in North Brooklyn and enjoys encouraging and supporting indie authors as they learn the business side of bringing a book to market. Marina is also the co-host of Life Lines The Books Podcast and a Board member of Pen Parentis, an organization supporting parent writers. She is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and the Authors Guild.


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