[try to picture me jumping up and down and screaming... and no, that's not what I'm actually doing, but it's often what I feel like doing]
This has been a process. In some ways it seems like it has taken forever, and in other ways it has all come together like lightning. The reason I haven't been posting about it has been because I've been afraid it wouldn't actually happen, so I reserved the right to wait until we had a green light from everyone involved and an actual date.
So, how did it all come together?
My dad, acting as my agent, has been contacting libraries all summer trying to get them to carry my book. We've been somewhat successful at this venture, though not quite as successful as we had hoped.
Then, at the beginning of August, my dad mentioned the idea of doing a book signing and whether or not I would be willing to do that. I told him I would love to do a book signing, but that I did not have the first clue about how to set one up, and that the mere idea of being in charge of setting one up terrified me.
A few weeks later, he contacted their local Barnes and Noble and began asking questions. The major hurdle to getting into Barnes and Noble is that I have done my printing through CreateSpace (which is owned by Amazon) which does not support a Standard Trade Discount or Returnability.
What does that mean?
Standard Trade Discount: a discounted price (usually 40-55% of the MSRP) that bookstores can purchase books for from the printer, so that they can sell the book at MSRP and still make a profit.
Returnability: the ability of the bookstore to send back any unpurchased books that they cannot sell. They have assured us that they never buy books with the intent to return them, but they will not purchase books they cannot return, this protects B&N from being stuck in a situation with product they cannot sell.
Because the Community Relations Manager at the B&N in Geneva was very excited about the idea of us doing a book signing there, she referred my Dad to the Manager of the Small Press Department for Barnes and Noble. She recommended that we print our book with Lightning Source, a printing company with which B&N already has a relationship and supports the Discount and Returns questions.
So, the past weeks have been filled with looking at their policies and getting answers to our concerned questions. When all our questions had been answered to our satisfaction (for example: LSI's contract is non-exclusive, as is CreateSpace's - making it perfectly legal for us to use both as printers for the same book), we went ahead and uploaded our files to their site, received a proof copy (which is lovely) and submitted a hard copy to the B&N CRM and got the go-ahead, along with date-time, on our book-signing!
Exciting things are happening, not the least of which is that the dream of seeing my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble is about to come true!