Jason's Books & Coffee welcomes works from small presses, independent literary journals, and self-published authors.
In general, we sell new books and magazines from:
- Small presses or lit journals that are reasonably well established — e.g., as evidenced by membership in the Community of Literary Magazines and Small Presses, the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Midwest Independent Publisher's Association, or by having released several titles to market by different authors (including anthologies).
- Self-published authors who've created works with sublime literary merit and which enjoy a reasonably broad market appeal.
- Fusion: A fiction book that blends genres in a non-standard way. For example, history and romance are genres, and historical romance is a standard sub-genre. But a novel about a gay vampire romance set in Steampunk ancient Egypt defies standard genre classification, hence it's considered a fusion novel.
- Great Lakes Region: Any U.S. state bordering the Great Lakes — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York — or the Canadian province of Ontario.
- Literary Merit: A book evidences literary merit if it presents with a clean and well-designed cover, a standard trim size and binding, consistent internal organization and typography, few grammatical or typographic errors, and broad conformance to commercial storytelling conventions.
- Market Appeal: A book that is reasonably expected to be of interest to a general retail market. Books that are hyper-niche (e.g., a biography of an obscure family member or the history of a tiny church community) are unlikely to enjoy broad market appeal.
- West Michigan: Loosely, Kent County, Michigan, and its immediate neighboring counties of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Ottawa.
Small Presses and Lit Journals (with Distributor)
We're keen to highlight great works from very small presses that otherwise find it difficult to get traction in any bricks-and-mortar sales venue. We are especially interested in tiny presses from the Great Lakes region, or in specific titles from small presses from elsewhere featuring authors from our core West Michigan retail market.
Let us know which works you think might catch our fancy and we'll place a standard distribution order if we're suitably charmed. As of late April, we've partnered with Ingram Content Group as our primary wholesale supplier. Clue us in by sending the relevant marketing information to our hello@ email address or by USPS. The stuff in the "How It Works" section, below, does not apply to you.
Small Presses and Lit Journals (without Distributor)
Some very small presses or lit journals sometimes do not sell through a distributor. That's not a problem! We can work with you in two different ways.
First, we can purchase the books from you, directly, at the standard wholesale discount of 55 percent off list price. For example, a book priced at $21.95 would be sold to us for $9.88. We would not return them, and since we purchased them, there wouldn't be any quarterly statements. Just a one-and-done transaction. This discount, by the way, puts non-distributor titles on the exact same playing field as distributed titles — you're getting the same rate as any other small press. (Sad, isn't it?)
Second, we can accept titles by consignment. See the "How It Works" part, below, for more information. This approach gives you a more favorable rate, but only on (a) books actually sold, and (b) the quarter after a sale is realized.
Self-Published Authors and Single-Author Presses
We welcome books, including story and poetry collections, from self-published authors and authors who self-publish through a publishing company they own. If you've been published through a publishing company that does not actively distribute (e.g., a vanity press), we are unlikely to carry the title given that there are potential contract limitations in your relationship to that publisher that may preclude us from carrying the book.
Self-published titles must demonstrate literary merit and market appeal to our satisfaction. We therefore will need to inspect a copy of the book before we will agree to shelve it. We typically only work with self-published authors in the West Michigan market, although a really great book will find a home here even if it's from, say, Lansing or Kalamazoo or Cadillac.
We do welcome well-done fusion titles, but we will group all fusion in the same "fusion" category rather than place it elsewhere. This approach helps us promote interesting but hard-to-classify works in a consistent, coherent manner.
How It Works
Ready to get started?
Send us an email to our hello@ address introducing yourself and your book(s) or lit journal. We want to know:
- Who are you? How long have you been doing this? Offer a brief summary of each title you want us to shelf – name, page count, trim size, genre, author name(s), brief synopsis. Links are welcome. No need to over-think it; this message is just the beginning of the conversation, not the end of it.
- Does the book or journal present a unique identifier like an ISBN barcode or a UPC on the front or back cover? If it does, and if the barcode or UPC displays or embeds pricing information, we will use that barcode for our point-of-sale system. Books or journals that do not offer a barcode with a unique identifier and pricing information will "get stickered" with one of our SKU numbers. This sticker may or may not come off cleanly if we ship the books back to you for any reason. #TheMoreYouKnow
- We ask for photos of the cover (front/back/spine) and of several random interior pages, including the copyright page, for self-published works.
For partners with whom we work directly, instead of through a distributor, we offer the following terms:
- You must ship five to 10 copies of each title, at your expense.
- We send quarterly statements and pay with those statements regardless of the amount due. No withholds! Transactions are electronic only (ACH transfers).
- We sell the books or literary journals at the normal list price at a 75/25 split (we keep 25% to offset handling, labeling, and shipping).
- When you're done with us, we'll ship back unsold copies at our expense. No fuss, no muss.
- For literary journals, we will either return back issues or set them aside for a "literary mystery box" subscription program planned for early 2024, at the publisher's preference. Mystery-box titles earn 60% of list, with 20% remaining with the bookstore for S&H and 20% channeling as a donation to the Lakeshore Literary Foundation's general fund.
- No convoluted contracts or exclusivity requirements.