on 05-25-2012 10:39 AM
The first thing to determine is what format your book will be available in - paper, ebook, or both - and which publishing mechanism you are going to use - a traditional publisher or independent/self-published route. You will also need an ISBN (www.isbn.org) so the book can be properly catalogued - that sometimes comes along in the process of publishing, but it's good to know about ahead of time.
The traditional publishing route will have your agent, editor, etc. and those insiders will know best how to get your book into stores.
For the self-published or independently published route you'll need to do more legwork - those books are often available only on a print-on-demand or paid-order basis. The stores do not usually stock these books on their shelves but the books are available for customers to order as pre-paid items. Sometimes, though, a store may decide to model a book in this category based on demand - for that you need to work with your local Barnes and Noble bookstores. The Community Relations Manager (CRM) or CRM Rep is the manager you'll need to work with. Call ahead for an appointment with him or her and be sure to bring a copy of your book (or advance copy, if you have one), your business cards, and any other pertinent information to the meeting (if you have an agent, etc., they'll have advice for you, too, if you are meeting with bookstore reps).
If you only plan on publishing electronicaly, check out a service like PubIt. There are a number of authors here on the boards and there is a Q&A/Help forum for PubIt, too (scroll down to the bottom, just before you get to the link for the Blogs).
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.