First Bookstore that Sells Only Self-Published Books Opens in Florida

April 22, 2015

Gulf Coast Bookstore

Seeking a platform to showcase the work of self-published authors while building a literary community, independent authors Patti Brassard Jefferson and Timothy Jacobs have founded a bookstore in Fort Myers, Florida that only sells self-published books, according to Publishers Weekly. The grand opening of Gulf Coast Bookstore occurred on April 10.

“It’s just hard to compete with Stephen King or Dan Brown in a mega-bookstore that has tens of thousands of books for sale,” Jacobs said.

Gulf Coast Bookstore operates quite differently from a traditional bookstore. Self-published authors rent shelf space for three months for $60, plus a $15 set-up fee, but in return, receive 100% of every sale, rather than 40% from a bookstore that sells their books on consignment.

Moreover, Jefferson and Jacobs don’t curate their authors; their only criterion is that authors be local. They also cap the number of titles in any given genre at six, and these genres include children’s books, education, fantasy, local history, and memoir, among others.

In the interest of increasing the degree of interfacing between authors and the public, Gulf Coast allows authors to use the space to sign books or leave materials—bookmarks, business cards, or brochures—about their works. They also have plans to host educational panels and workshops on self-publishing in the future.

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