A frequently asked question by clients is “How are some self-published authors able to get their book into Costco? Making sure your book gets on the shelves of Costco and other specialty stores is actually not that difficult – if you know what to look out for, and what you can use to your advantage. Here I give you some pro insight for invading the stores that matter.
There are a particular set of criteria that needs to be met to get national distribution in Costco, and most of these are very clear and easily found online. Stock moves quickly here, so everything needs to be up-to-date, including literature. Movie tie-ins are one obvious example and book versions of current movies are always getting big visibility.
With that being said, books that are not proven bestsellers still get tested on a local level, if any of the stores have an identifiable audience that might be interested in them, and if they sell well, they can get restocked and possibly elevated to national level.
This is where you can get your claws into Costco’s distribution. Pitch your book to a local Costco manager! You can actually circumvent the book buyer in their headquarters who is already buried deep under tons of applications for distribution.
While pitching your book, ask for putting out a very small number of copies and accept even the most limited time window. If you remember that goods need to move quickly in this place, you won’t be disappointed if they take only 5 copies. After you know the exact time period when your book is on sale, throw everything into your local marketing efforts, telling everyone that your book made it into Costco. If your first copies are sold quickly, you can expect to get an offer for a greater distribution time and quantity!