In the pre-Christmas countdown days, we dropped by our local Barnes & Noble to see the offerings in their regional section. Prominently displayed were four of our titles: just-released James Fork of the White; our previous “river book,” Damming the Osage; perennial favorite, Mystery of the Irish Wilderness; and our early foray into Ozarks tourism, See The Ozarks.
For a small publisher this is a big win! When our distributor closed its doors last spring, we found ourselves in the same situation many others are in – books with an audience but no avenue to get them on the retail shelves. Unlike amazon.com, major retail outlets are reluctant to set up accounts for small individual publishers. Using regional or national distributors, (like Partners, our former distributor) they can set up one account per distributor and order multiple titles from multiple publishers. But this was no longer an option for us.
With the publication of our new book, James Fork of the White, and its potentially large audience in our region, Renee Hunt, Community Business Development Manager, at our local (Springfield, Missouri) B&N helped us contact their main office and we were able to establish Lens & Pen Press as a vendor for Barnes & Noble. The obvious, happy outcome was the sight of four of our titles on the regional shelves during the busy pre-Christmas days.