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Nowadays, there are a variety of very quick, reliable, and cost-effective ways to self-publish a book online. Sites like Lulu made it very easy to create a sefer for under $20. However, they don't provide an easy stream in the Judaica and Seforim stores around the world (and the USA in particular).

Are there any effective ways to get a self-published sefer into all of the Seforim stores, or at least carried by a few distributors? Looking for any direction or experience.

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  • Try getting a noteworthy approbation?
    – user6591
    Jul 16, 2020 at 0:36
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    Write a Mi Yodeya answer that uses it and links to it.
    – Double AA
    Jul 16, 2020 at 0:37
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    When you say 'self-published' does that mean you have already mass produced copies or you are looking to circulate more copies of a finalised sefer and would want to begin mass producing? If it is the latter, the cost of printing can be quite prohibitive so you might want to send a copy to one of the 'smaller' printing houses who are looking to grow their collection of available seforim - e.g. Adir Press - adirpress.com/index.php/submit-your-manuscript . I believe when a sefer comes from a credible printer coupled with some good haskomos you are more likely to get stores to stock it
    – Dov
    Jul 16, 2020 at 12:51
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    In Jerusalem (and other frum neighborhoods) there are businesses that put out Seforim outside shuls with pushakas to pay. That's how new or old stocks of obscure Seforim get known & sold. Jul 16, 2020 at 13:51
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    I recommend you ask a s'farim store.
    – msh210
    Jul 16, 2020 at 14:39

3 Answers 3

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Go through a distributor like R' Levitz at Im HaSefer or call Machon Aleh Zayis. ZBerman also considers sefarim and distributes.

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I've heard from someone who wrote a nominaly used sefer that it isn't difficult at all to get seforim stores to carry your seforim on consignment basis. If they aren't haskaficly questionable most would agree.

What is difficult is to track whether those seforim were sold or not. The owner of the seforim store isn't going to take the time to keep track and notify you every time one sells. If your seforim are not selling rapidly enough for him to reorder he is going to expect you to show up and see how many of the seforim you gave him are left to know what was sold. He therefore ended up using a publisher who has a continuous relationship with the seforim stores and distributors.

Note:This was over thirty years ago when seforim stores didn't track inventory by computer and there were more small seforim stores than now. Presumably some things have changed since then.

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    I am not sure it would be this straightforward any more. Stores have limited space and are struggling against online sellers. Anything offered in-store would have to have an a priori attractiveness factor. If every guy who walks in off the street is given space for consignment sales, and there is no reason to expect any will sell based on their reputation, the store will go out of business.
    – rosends
    Jul 16, 2020 at 10:46
  • I know @Schmerel's point to still be true today with small and large stores I've interacted with.
    – MDjava
    Sep 5, 2022 at 14:12
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Before publishing if you can get haskamas (approbations) from recognized rabbis then you may not have to self publish. With that you could go to one of the mainstream publishers first to see if they will publish your sefer for you. If they decide against publishing it then self publishing still remains an option with contacting sefarim stores directly. Starting out you could even offer to give the copies on consignment for a period of time. This way if you are a new author they aren't nervous about the up front cash cost to display your work. Best of success.

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  • The main advantage of self publishing is it doesn't cost tens of thousands of dollars. Nothing to do with haskamos or not. Publishers don't necessarily care about haskamos before accepting a sefer. "up front cash cost to display your work" what cost to display your work?
    – robev
    Sep 4, 2022 at 19:59
  • @robev if they agree to publish your book then you wouldn't have that up front cost b/c then they are publishing it. For that to happen then they would need a very good reason to and having haskamos from rabanon is one thing will help with convincing them to do so.
    – Dude
    Sep 4, 2022 at 21:17
  • no publisher today will pay for your book, that's why every book has sponsorships at the front. Unless you're a big name, and even then they need sponsorships. It's called vanity publishing.
    – robev
    Sep 5, 2022 at 5:25
  • vanity publishing is the same as self publishing
    – Dude
    Sep 5, 2022 at 12:51
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    Not at all..the cost of self publishing is negligible the cost of vanity publishing is over $15000 and you're hiring artscroll or feldheim to publish for you. I'm getting the impression you're not familiar with this field.
    – robev
    Sep 5, 2022 at 16:18

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