We are frequently contacted by independent publishers and their authors about carrying individual titles. Though we are enthusiastic supporters of the independent press, over the years we have realized that have some minimum standards of quality for the books that we stock. Although these standards are not rigid, they are a good basic guideline to determine if your book will be a good fit with our store.
- The title and author of the book should appear clearly on the cover of the book and, assuming that it is wide enough, on the spine.
- The price should be printed in one or more of the usual locations on the volume or dust jacket.
- The copy should be adequately proofread (although it doesn’t have to be perfect) and must be grammatically correct.
- The volume should be either folded and stapled (if the work is very short), perfect bound, or case bound (i.e. a hardcover) and professionally printed (i.e. not photocopied).
- Finally, the work should be either fiction or non-fiction incorporating strong elements of the horrific, fantastic, supernatural, mysterious or science fictional.
- Payment terms for the title will need to be a minimum 30% discount and payment by invoice on a minimum of net 30 day terms (although we really prefer the industry standard 40% discount). (In other words, if the book sells for $10.00 we will need to be able to purchase it from the publisher or distributor for not more than $7.00 and we will pay for the book no sooner than 30 days after the book is shipped to us.)
Before determining if a title will fit with our inventory, we will need to see a copy of the finished book. If you would like to send us a copy please include contact, pricing and distribution information and mail it to - Borderlands Books, Attn. Jude Feldman, 866 Valencia St, San Francisco, 94110. Copies sent for review are not returnable. It is especially helpful to let us know if the title is distributed by Ingram Books (our main supplier) or any other distributor.
Having Borderlands host your event
Borderlands has a very active author appearance and special events program that includes both the traditional author signings and readings as well as a number of other types of events. We have hosted release parties for magazines, anniversary parties for publishers, ghost story readings, interactive open studios with fine artists and performance of original musical works.
Typically we like to have events on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, although Thursday evenings are a serviceable second choice. To have adequate lead time for publicity we prefer to have six weeks’ notice before an event and more time doesn’t hurt. The practical minimum to allow us to promote the event is one month. When promoting events we use a number of methods, but the primary ones are: listings in our email newsletter, postings and handouts in our store, and promotion across all our social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Discord, our blog and website). Attendance ranges from lows of three to five people to highs of fifty or more. We do not charge for events and we do not require book purchases at signings. Attendees are welcome to bring their own books to be signed, but of course we appreciate it if they purchase something at the event.
Below are a few guidelines and suggestions for a successful reading. Some of them may not be important for best-selling and well-established authors but most are pertinent for all events.
- Please arrive ten to fifteen minutes early if possible.
- Remember that events are a cooperative effort, especially for authors who are just starting out. We will do our best to bring in a good crowd but you should also work to get people to come. Let all your friends, fans, and other social contacts know about the event and urge them to attend.
- If you are going to be reading your work, pick a section that is reasonably short (i.e. fifteen minutes or less). Be ready to put it in context of the larger work before you start reading. Practice reading the section aloud to a friend and get your delivery down pat. When you start reading remember to project your voice so the people at the back of the room can hear.
- Let us know in advance of any special needs you might have. Also, let us know if you would prefer to read from a chair, a stool, or standing.
- Finally, remember that turnout for events is subject to all kinds of factors beyond our or your control. Bad weather, good weather, football games, and so on can have remarkable effects. In all our years in this business the one common quality of all “successful” events has not been the turnout, it’s been how much fun was had by the attendees.
If you would be interested in having us host an event for your work, please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss the possibility, or have your publisher contact us. Jude Feldman is our event and publicity person and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, please understand that as much as we would like to, we cannot host events for every book and/or situation. We are limited by both time and staffing constraints and may not be able to accommodate you.