Here at Parnassus, we believe strongly in supporting the literary landscape of Nashville by stocking and supporting local authors. Whether you’re a debut author with a self-published book or an established veteran working with a major publisher, we would be glad to consider carrying your book on our shelves and hosting an author event with you. Below you’ll find some information about how our inventory and author event consideration processes work, as well as why we do things the way we do. We’ve also included some tips and advice for you based on our experiences over the years.
Please note that the inventory and author event consideration processes are completely separate. The inventory team may decide to carry your book in the store, but the events team may decide not to host you for an author event, or vice-versa. If you would like to be considered for both, please fill out both forms, as they are reviewed by different teams of people according to different criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions About Inventory Consideration Requests
What kinds of books are eligible for inventory consideration?
We are especially interested in books by Nashville/Tennessee authors, or books on Nashville history, travel, and interest. However, we will consider books on any subject, fiction or non-fiction.
What are the basic requirements a book must meet in order to be eligible for inventory consideration?
To be eligible for consideration, your book must be bound, with clear and legible title and author information on the cover and the spine. No books with stapled or spiral binding will be able to be considered. All cover images must be of good quality. Images and text cannot be pixelated and all text must be legible. Your book must also have a valid ISBN and barcode and meet our sales terms: We require at least a 40% discount and free freight; all books must be fully returnable.
How can a book be submitted for inventory consideration?
The inventory consideration process begins by filling out our inventory submission form, which is available online right here. We do not have a paper form. We receive ten to twenty inventory submissions a week, and submitting the form enables our inventory team to carefully consider each submission and give it the time it deserves. Due to the heavy volume of inventory submissions we receive, our buyers are not able to accommodate requests for meetings in-person or over the phone to discuss inventory submission requests. Please do not drop off or mail copies of your book to Parnassus for inventory consideration. Our inventory team does not accept inventory submissions via any channel except the form. Books mailed to or dropped off at Parnassus become the property of Parnassus and will not be returned.
How quickly will the inventory team consider and respond to inventory consideration requests?
You should expect to receive a response from a member of the inventory team after four to six weeks. Our response may be delayed between the holiday shopping season, from mid-November until early January. The decisions made by our inventory team are final.
Tips from the Inventory Team
You might be surprised to learn that some of our bestselling books here at Parnassus aren’t national blockbusters, but books from small independent presses and local, self-published authors. Parnassus customers value the wide range of choices offered at an independent bookstore; they love discovering unique titles and independent reads. Although Parnassus provides shelf space for our local literary community, the best way for readers to find your book is through your own promotional efforts. Here are some suggestions for how you can promote the opportunity for your friends, family, and supports to purchase your book at Parnassus.
- Consider every element of your book, especially if you are self-publishing. Readers really do judge books by their covers, but they also judge it by what’s inside, how it’s bound, and what it costs. Make sure your book has been proofread, has attractive cover art that communicates what the book is about to customers who pick it up, and is priced at or below the cost of other books of its size, format, subject, and genre.
- Tell people who know you to buy your book at Parnassus. Social and local media can be effective ways to get the word out, but we’ve found that word-of-mouth and email promotions often work just as well or better. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Think about the communities you’re a member of and let them know about your book. Alumni organizations? PTAs? Church? Eagles or Rotary? Rec league kickball? It can feel uncomfortable to put yourself out there, but every person you tell about your book could be our next customer.
- Cast a wide net. Contact local media and mailing lists to let them know that your book is available at Parnassus. Consider creating press releases or promotional materials such as bookmarks, buttons, postcards, or stickers. Make sure to let local book clubs, libraries, schools, and colleges/universities know about your book.
- Be considerate of our store. If you have a website or social media presence, don’t let Amazon be the only link available. Parnassus often retweets tweets we’re tagged in, but we cannot retweet anything that mentions or links to Amazon.
- Be considerate of our staff. The inventory team will decide where your book will be shelved and displayed. Please address any questions or concerns about your book, its location in the store, or its sales history to the inventory team and not to individual booksellers. If you plan to promote your book’s availability at Parnassus, please be sure that your friends, family, and supporters actually intend to purchase your book from Parnassus -- not just ask us whether or not we stock it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Author Event Consideration Requests
Tips from the Events Team