Independent Publishers

Waterstones is committed to providing a unique and diverse range of high-quality books to its customers. We are keen to support independent publishing, and recognise the rich contribution that independent publishers, who have a long and prestigious heritage in the UK, make to the world of books and literature. Finding and championing publishers that are small, new, or hard to find on the high street is a big part of what we do.

We welcome submissions from publishers large or small, old or new, provided they are of the high quality expected and deserved by our customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my book not listed for sale on your website or your shop stock system?

All the information on the stock management system and is fed from Nielsen BookData. Therefore, we cannot consider any titles that do not have at least a basic record on Nielsen. Your publisher, or you as publisher, will need to do this and this can take up to six weeks to complete. Contact details can be found below.

Your Publisher, or you as publisher, will then have to set up a supply chain with a distributor or wholesaler. As soon as this has been done, your titles will be available to order through any Waterstones store and online at You will then be able to submit your titles onto us for consideration via a webform.

Why is my book listed for sale on your website? I have not sent you any information.

Your publisher, or you as publisher, have listed the book on Nielsen BookData, which means that the title information feeds automatically through to our website.

Why is my book showing as unavailable on your website?

The most likely reason why the book is showing as unavailable is that the publisher has no formal trading relationship with Waterstones. Please read through the information provided on the independent publisher webpage for information on how to set up a formal trading relationship with Waterstones via a distributor or wholesaler.

How can I get a Gardners Trading Application Form?

The Gardners Trading Application For is available to download from this link: Download and print the Waterstones/Gardners trading application form >

Gardners will notify us of your successful application and your books will be available for our customers to order from our shops and on But due to the high number of applications we are unable to send individual email confirmation of the notification.

How can I get my book stocked in your shops?

Once you have followed all the advice on our independent publisher webpage you can submit your titles for consideration via our webform.

Please note, due to a large number of submissions we are unable to respond individually. We do get sent a very large number of submissions and we can only take a small proportion of what we are sent. However, if you have set up a trading account, the book(s) will be available for our customers to order through and through any of our bookshops.

What You Will Need to submit a book to Waterstones

Below, you will find everything you need to prepare.

Physical Books

Before submitting any titles to our central buying team for consideration, your book must have the following:

  • An ISBN
  • Title information on Nielsen BookData
  • A Waterstones-recognised distributor

Only once the above criteria have been met can you then submit your title for consideration.

Obtaining an ISBN

We can only carry books that have both an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and a Bookland European Article Number (EAN) barcode.

If your book does not already have an ISBN, please obtain one from the UK International Standard Book Numbering Agency. They will provide some information about EAN barcodes, and details of where to obtain them, when you register with them for ISBNs.

Details For the UK ISBN Agency

Postal address: UK ISBN Agency, Nielsen BookData, 3rd Floor, Midas House, 62 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6LQ

Providing Title Information From Nielsen BookData

Nielsen BookData provides all the book information for our systems so you will need to ensure the details you have with Nielsen are up to date.

Providing a Basic Record to Nielsen

Firstly, we cannot consider any titles that do not have a basic record.

A basic record contains:

  • ISBN
  • Author
  • Title
  • Subject classification (including BIC and Thema codes)
  • Publisher and Imprint
  • UK availability
  • UK price
  • Format
  • Territorial rights (where the book can be sold)
  • UK publication date
  • UK distributor

Uploading a Jacket Image

We also strongly recommend that you upload a jacket image to Nielsen, as this will help Waterstones buyers, booksellers, and customers.

Please do not send jacket images to - they must come through Nielsen BookData.

Contacting Nielsen Bookdata

Once you have all the above information to hand, you should then contact Nielsen BookData to set up a record.

Email: Nielsen BookData Publisher Help Desk at [email protected]

New records and updates can be supplied via Nielsen Title Editor. To register for this free service please visit -

Please be aware that it can take up to six weeks for Nielsen BookData to editorially process new record submissions on their database if you are using their free listing service.

Adding a synopsis

This must be done via Nielsen BookData – please contact them at: [email protected] to enquire about their enhanced data service

Finding a Waterstones Recognised Distributor

Waterstones will only stock books with distributors that we have a trading relationship with.

Waterstones buys from all of the major book distributors in the UK:

  • Penguin Random House UK
  • Hachette Distribution
  • Macmillan Distribution
  • HarperCollins Distribution
  • Turnaround
  • Marston
  • Booksource (Scottish supplier and specialist)
  • and more...

As well as the major wholesaler, Gardners Books.

Gardners is the easiest route into Waterstones.

A PDF file including details on how to supply Waterstones via Gardners, can be downloaded here:

Download and print the Waterstones/Gardners trading application form >

Gardners will notify us of your successful application and your books will be available for our customers to order from our shops and on But due to the high number of applications we are unable to send individual email confirmation of the notification.

Information For Authors

Only publishers, not authors, can set up to supply Waterstones through a distributor.

If you are an author and are unsure of how to proceed, please contact your publisher.

If you are an author looking to get published, you may find the information on this webpage of use.

Submitting Your Book For Consideration

Once you have completed the above steps, your book will be listed for sale on

If you wish to submit your book for consideration for stock then please complete our submission form.

Please note that we will review and consider every submission but due to the very large number of submissions we receive we are unable to respond with a decision.

Please don’t send us review copies unless specifically requested by us and note that we are unable to send review copies back.

Contacting Our Bookshops

All initial buying decisions are made by our central buying team.

Therefore, please do not directly approach our shops about purchasing your books unless you have been instructed to do so by the central buying team.

Protection Against Scams

We at Waterstones are aware of a number of scams exploiting our good name. Generally, these involve an order for a significant number of books, as well as requests for payment for items, such as insurance.

We are working hard to track down these scammers. However, the following tips will help protect you and aid us in tackling this online menace:

Fake Internet Domains and Websites

  • Please make sure the website is legitimate. We do not have multiple website addresses: will always be the correct domain.
  • Scammers will try to make their communications look like they’ve come from Waterstones. Keep an eye out for website and email addresses that add .uk, .store or other elements to the address above. These are not us.
  • Email addresses from members of staff at Waterstones will end in

False Urgency

  • Be vigilant of urgent, time-limited requests for books. Do not let the urgency of an offer make you act hastily and without checking the website address first.

Personal Information and Payment

  • We will never ask for your personal information or financial details via email.
  • We will never ask you for payment for insurance, placement in shops or any other activity.

If you have any queries about the legitimacy of an email you’ve received, please contact [email protected].

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