General Info

Consignments

 

As a service to our local self-published authors and certain small presses, Left Bank Books offers a consignment sales program.

Left Bank defines as “self-published” any author who has paid (or otherwise arranged) to have their work printed, either personally or through a professional self-publishing service such as Createspace, Xlibris, Lulu or Infinity Publishing. Authors who start their own publishing companies to publish their own writing are also considered self-published.

If you are a self-published author who would like to propose an event at Left Bank Books, please note that event proposals will not be considered until your book has been accepted for consignment sale through the process below. Authors whose books have been accepted for consignment may email requests to info@left-bank.com; please note that we cannot consider events on short notice and your request should be made at least 6-8 weeks in advance of your proposed date(s).

In order to begin the review process, please read the following procedures and guidelines carefully:


GUIDELINES:

Left Bank will only consider books that meet the following professional standards:

-The book must be professionally bound and finished. Books that are spiral bound, stapled or contain loose pages will not be considered. The title must appear on the spine if possible and artwork should not be visibly pixelated.

-If the book is available in multiple formats, we prefer that you submit the paperback edition for review. 

-The book must be professionally edited with no obvious errors.

-An ISBN must be assigned to the book and printed on the back cover. For more information about how to purchase an ISBN, see the US ISBN agency.

-The book must be priced comparably to other titles of its size and genre.   

-The book may not contain any racist, sexist, homophobic, or overtly dogmatic content.  

-We highly discourage authors from referring readers to competitor bookstores and online retailers on the acknowledgment page, or anywhere else within the bound pages of the book. 

We encourage all consignment authors to visit  our store to get a sense of the character of the bookstore and the type of books we do and do not carry. 

PROCEDURES: 

1. Books that do not meet the guidelines above will not be considered.

2. In order to provide fair and thoughtful consideration to all consignment authors, Left Bank charges a non-refundable reviewing fee of $25. Fees are payable in person, online here or via check by mail. If you prefer to submit your book by mail rather than in person, please include proof of online payment or a check made out to Left Bank Books in the same package as the book.

3. All consignment authors must drop off or mail a (paperback, if available) review copy of their book(s) to:

 

Left Bank Books
Attn: Consignment Buyer
399 N. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO  63108 

 

4.  All books sent by mail must be accompanied by a completed consignment review form. Books submitted without this form will not be considered. Please note that we will only review physical books (no-ebooks). We will not contact your publisher to obtain a copy of your book; you must submit it yourself. 

5. The consignment reviewer will contact you with a decision regarding your book within 4-6 weeks. If your book is not accepted for consignment sale, it is your responsibility to pick it up at our store or pay to have your book(s) shipped back to you via a service such as stamps.com within four weeks of notification. All consignment books, including the review copy, are submitted at the author’s own risk and Left Bank is not responsible for any charges, loss or damages incurred in the shipping process. We will not mail books back to you COD. If you fail to make arrangements for your book(s)’ return within four weeks, they will be donated to a charitable organization.

6. If your book is accepted for consignment sale, we will contact you by email to confirm our consignment terms. Authors must agree to the following terms: 

  •  
    • Authors must list Left Bank as a retail location prominently on their website and marketing materials; the more you encourage your readers to come into our store, the more your book will sell here!
    • The initial consignment period is three months. If your book sells at least one copy during that period, Left Bank Books may choose to extend that period for additional three month periods until all copies have sold. Once all copies have sold, Left Bank will contact you regarding restock and issue you a check for 60% of the retail cost of each book.
    • If your books fails to sell during its first or any subsequent consignment period--or if Left Bank wishes to return your books for any other reason--Left Bank will contact you to issue you a check for any sold copies and return your unsold books. Authors are responsible for all return shipping costs and Left Bank is not responsible for any loss or damages incurred in the returns process. If you fail to make arrangements for pick-up or return of your books in four weeks, they will be donated. Reviewing fee is not refundable if books fail to sell.


For any additional questions, contact info@left-bank.com.

 

Used Books

Bringing in your gently used books: *UPDATED 8/02/2014*

 

We typically purchase gently used books on the spot from the 15th to the end of the month most months (excepting September and December). Books brought into the store when the buyer is not present will be assessed the following business day at the earliest. We offer store credit only for your used books. This store credit is valid for five years. We recommend taking books intended for donation to the charity of your choice. 

 

A few more things to know about our policies: 

  • We do no make house calls. 
  • We have a five (5) box/bag maximum.
    • Do not bring your books in trash bags or giant boxes.
    • Boxes/bags must be relatively portable. 
  • Please allow 15-30 minutes for our book buyers to go through your books.
  • Moldy, smelly, or water damaged books will be tossed in the dumpster and cannot be donated. 

Books we DO NOT accept: 

  • Westerns
  • Computer Books
  • Textbooks
  • Travel Guides
  • Volume Sets (Encyclopedias, Time Life, etc.)
  • Romance (Harlequin, Brava, Regency, etc.)
  • Magazines
  • Audio Books
  • Non-books: CDs, DVDs, VHS, Casettes...
  • Water-damaged
  • Moldy, smelly (smoky), or soiled books

We cannot provide adequate compensation for Rare or Antique Books, so please consider other options:

Dunaway Books (South of Grand & Arsenal) 314-771-7150

Hammonds Books & Antiques (Cherokee St. & Selena) 314-776-4737

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get my book signed if I don't attend the reading?  
Yes.  If you are unable to attend a reading, but would still like a signed copy of the book, you can call us at 314-367-6731 and order over the phone, or order online at www.left-bank.com.
Are you hiring?  

Our staffing needs vary, and we're always happy to look at a resume.  Print copies of resumes may be dropped off at either store, but we do request (read: insist) that all interested applicants review the information and reply to the prompts at our Become a Bookseller page.

Do You Purchase Used Books?  

Short Answer: Why, yes we do! Click here for guidelines!

Long Answer:  We take as many used books as we can.  Sometimes our back room overfills so we have to take the occasional break, so be sure to call (314-367-6731) before you drop them off. 

Our used book buyer, Erin Goss will take a look at your books and contact you to let you know what we can or cannot take.

 

Before You Pack Up Your Books:

  • We are a general bookstore, so we can't appraise antiques and other treasures.

  • We generally offer 10% of the cover price in store credit for each book.

  • We do not take westerns, textbooks, romance novels or encyclopedias

About Us

 

Who We Are  

Kris and Jay

Founded in 1969, Left Bank Books is the oldest and largest independently-owned bookstore in St. Louis, and offers a full-line of new and used books and services.

We’re located at Euclid and McPherson in the historic Central West End neighborhood, situated among magnificent turn-of-the-century residences and some of the best restaurants and finest art galleries in the area. We’re steps away from public transportation and enjoy greeting customers from all parts of the city and its surrounding area.

Our mission is to spark public conversation by curating an intelligent, relevant, culturally diverse selection of books and hosting a world class author event series.  Our focus on politics, contemporary arts and literature, high-quality children’s books, African American studies, LGBTQA and Gender Studies titles is a source of great pride.

Co-Owners, Kris Kleindienst and Jarek Steele, have made this store their life’s work.  Together they have expanded the business to include a robust events schedule, corporate sales program, not for profit literacy foundation (Left Bank Books Foundation) and online resource.

Kris came to the store in 1974 as the first paid employee.  An alumn of Washington University, she has advocated for social justice, literacy and local businesses for her entire career.  Her book This Is What Lesbian Looks Like, was published in 1999. She is the principal book buyer and manages event coordination and many other aspects of the store operations.

Jarek was hired in 2002 as the website manager and bookseller. He developed and expanded his job into other areas of store operations including bookkeeping, graphic design and program development. He is active in transgender advocacy and other social justice causes. He manages the finances, web design and supervises the management of store operations.

Left Bank Books workers are a fiercely committed group. Many of us are writers, performers, and artists and personally appreciate the importance of a store like Left Bank, not only to the cultural health of a community, but to the health of its creative people, too! Many of us are involved in other community organizations as volunteers and activists. Issues like peace, racial justice, civil rights, urban sustainability, education, animal rights, and support for the arts are some of the areas in which Left Bankers are involved.

Left Bank Books strives to be a good neighbor and, like many locally-owned businesses, gives back to its community. Besides reinvesting three times more of our revenue locally than non-local chain stores reinvest, we also give a lot of organic support to grass roots and non-profit organizations through donations of gift certificates, percent of sales, book fairs and even free event programming.

Because we believe in community conversation and understand the importance of making space available for authors and their readers to interact, we produce well over 200 author events a year. Often, we partner with other organizations whose interests are addressed by a particular author’s work. These collaborations have added to a growing literary scene in the St. Louis area, with multiple author events taking place somewhere in the area many nights of the week.

We are proud to play a part in keeping literature in its rightful place in the local arts scene.

 

For the store owners and workers alike, working at Left Bank Books has been more like preserving a community trust than running a business. And while we know that being business-like is extremely important, we also know that earning and keeping that community trust is both our most fervent desire and greatest reward.

 

Famous Bookstore Cat(s)

No independent bookstore would be complete without a cat. Left Bank's first feline staff member was the legendary Captain Nemo, who was rescued from drowning (hence the name) and nursed back to health by the store owners. Nemo lived with us for fifteen years. He was grouchy, particular, and loved by all. After Nemo's passing, we were joined by a new and equally literary cat. Our customers named her Jamaica after noted author Jamaica Kincaid. Author and cat have met. Jamaica (the cat) passed away April 2005.

We were adopted by a very vocal and insistent kitty a few months after Jamaica's death.  Spike enjoys long naps on the Special Orders desk, dancing for cat treats and shoplifting mouse-sized, furry covered children's books for his own pleasure.