Barnes and Noble Supplier


Barnes and Noble Supplier How to Become a Barnes and Noble Supplier

How to Become a Barnes and Noble Supplier

Barnes and Noble remains one of the largest bookstore chains despite numerous mergers and bankruptcies since the 1990s in America’s bookstore industry. Furthermore, it operates large retail stores as well as college bookstores under their subsidiary division.

B&N suppliers rely on SPS Commerce to manage EDI compliance for more accurate orders and faster shipments. Let us be your EDI department – take advantage of retail industry’s largest network!

How to Become a Barnes & Noble Supplier

Since the 1990s, Barnes & Noble has emerged as the United States’s largest national bookseller following several mergers and bankruptcies within the American bookstore industry. Operating a chain of large retail outlets known for their cafes featuring Starbucks coffee as well as Nook e-readers and tablets; Barnes & Noble stores sell books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, graphic novels, gifts, games, toys, music, etc all under one roof.

Barnes and Noble is well known for accepting EDI documents from suppliers, using GS1 and BISG guidelines to identify items and shipping. Barnes and Noble expects their vendors to become compliant within six months after starting business relationships; for those needing extra help getting up-to-speed, the company offers a complimentary test system.

When submitting your book for consideration, it is necessary to include both a pitch packet and marketing package. Your marketing package should convey why your book would appeal to Barnes and Noble customers as well as include ISBN numbers and retailers where your book has already been sold.

SPS Commerce’s EDI solution offers an ideal way for Barnes & Noble and other retailers to connect and comply with EDI requirements, providing fast set up times with 24×7 support to get up and running quickly.

Preparing to Submit

Barnes and Noble is hiring for several positions. To apply, visit its online career portal and select an available job title that interests you. After filling out a simple application form, applicants are then invited to upload their resume and provide details about their experience; references and cover letters are optionally requested as part of this application process.

Barnes and Noble takes great care in selecting books for distribution with them; for authors or self-publishers wishing to sign a distribution contract with them, this includes reviewing its platform, audience size and reach, editorial content as well as business model/track record for nonfiction books as well as pricing comparison with retail sales of Barnes & Noble stores.

This book seller is also committed to supporting literacy and education by contributing funds, books and materials to schools from grades pre-K through 12 as well as nonprofit literacy and art organizations within its service communities. Through book fairs it enables these groups to provide children with reading materials while expanding their exposure to various subjects.

Barnes and Noble has taken steps to streamline its logistic supply chain by standardizing item and shipping identification requirements, with suppliers meeting GS1 and BISG labeling standards as part of these efforts. Bar Code Graphics works closely with Barnes and Noble to ensure compliance.

Barnes and Noble makes this process simpler for its suppliers by providing them with a list of approved companies who provide GS1 labels. In addition, an Excel-based order form has been established so vendors can select their desired format.

Fortune 1000 company Barnes & Noble operates globally with operations in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Australia France & Japan. Their primary business involves selling, distributing and marketing books magazines digital media & educational products as well as offering services such as delivery in-store events & community outreach to their employees – offering comprehensive benefits packages & providing diverse workforces to work for.

Getting Started

Barnes & Noble is a nationwide bookshop chain in the United States offering books, magazines, newspapers, coffee, gifts, games, toys, DVDs and Nook e-readers and tablets. Additionally, it operates the Barnes & Noble Education chain which features 1,495 physical and virtual bookstores for college campuses – also publicly traded on New York Stock Exchange under symbol BKS.

Barnes & Noble requires publishers and self-published authors wishing to have their books accepted on its shelves to meet certain criteria. First, paperback formats must meet certain standards: spine must contain bar code; back cover must include story summary in present tense; title must appear prominently displayed on front cover. Furthermore, books must be printed on high quality paper with hard covers in trade size of either 5.5×8.5 or 6×9;

Barnes and Noble stores need books sold through a distributor because if any don’t sell they must return them at great cost if not sold within their stores.

Barnes & Noble requires that books available digitally so they can be downloaded onto Nook e-readers and into their iPhone/iPad apps, ensuring maximum reach for their books. Most successful independent authors offer their works both as paperback books as well as electronic versions.

An author or publisher should introduce themselves and introduce themselves to the manager of a Barnes and Noble store by visiting one of their local branches and approaching their Customer Service kiosk. From here, staff at this service kiosk can direct you towards meeting with the manager of that specific branch. Bring business cards and bookmarks as well as large foam-backed posters displaying book covers if available – some authors even wear costumes of their characters or employ other forms of “stage props” that might catch people’s eyes!


Barnes & Noble is a top U.S. bookseller and provider of content, digital media, and educational products. Operating over 640 retail outlets including bookstores, Nook digital book stores and – plus managing Barnes & Noble College Bookstores as the nation’s leading manager of campus textbook stores – Barnes & Noble stands out among competitors by being both large and innovative in its operations.

Barnes & Noble suppliers must meet certain criteria in order to be considered suppliers by the company, no matter the product type. This includes having machine-readable codes adhering to GS1 and BISG-standard machine readable codes (Barcode Labels) on all products, as well as meeting specific product specifications that include being trade paperback format, being readable by a barcode reader and including back over text that clearly identifies title/author of book.

Another key requirement should be having the book available through major distributors at a substantial discount of 55% or greater off its retail price, because retailers like Barnes & Noble rely heavily on suppliers that are capable of offering such substantial savings.

Cover letters must also be submitted to companies detailing why their inventory should include this book, detailing past successes of the author and size of platform as well as potential media coverage they can expect for it. Ideally they include ISBN numbers as well as links to author websites.

If the book meets all these requirements, it will be submitted to a review committee who will make a determination as to whether or not it can be sold in stores. Once accepted by the committee, it will then be forwarded onto our vendor relations team, who will handle processing the paperwork required before finally being added onto store shelves!

Step-by-step training on how to sell to retail chains!

We explain exactly how to do that and how to get started today. I’ve taught over 100,000 of companies over the years across the globe on how to get your products to the stores. And so we’re here to support you. Or please subscribe to our Youtube channel and or be on the lookout for additional training that we create.

We are here to expedite the process of generating revenue with your physical products and that’s what we’re all about.  Take a look at our advanced training, live events, certification programs and so much more.

In this training, I will discuss some of the things to think about when approaching a retailer to sell your products and become a vendor. Hope it helps! 🙂

Karen Waksman,
Retail MBA

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