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.


What you will need

Below, you will find everything you need to prepare.



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.




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 code)
  • 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

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.


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:

  • TBS The Book Service
  • Littlehampton Book Services
  • Grantham
  • Marston
  • Turnaround
  • Booksource (Scottish supplier and specialist)
  • and more...

As well as the two major wholesalers:

  • Gardners
  • Bertrams

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 >



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

If you are an author and are unsure on how to proceed, please contact either your publisher or our Independent Publisher Coordinator ( who can advise you on appropriate suppliers.


Submitting your book for consideration

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

At this point, you can send us your book for consideration in our stores. We give due consideration to everything sent to us and we will aim to respond within 60 days.



  • Bibliographic information (ISBN, Author, Title)
  • A copy of the book
  • A stamped addressed envelope (if you would like your book returned to you)
  • Your email address
  • A covering letter introducing yourself/the author

The more information you provide, the more accurately we can make a decision on a title. Please try to include as much of the following as possible:

  • A synopsis of the book
  • Who will it appeal to?
  • Any geographical regions this book could sell well in (i.e., Waterstones has bookshops in Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
  • What marketing/PR work are you doing to promote your book?
  • Sales data of any previous publications
  • A jacket Image

Please keep information to only one page and send this, along with a copy of the book, to:

Independent Publisher Submissions, Waterstones Booksellers Ltd, 203-206 Piccadilly W1J 9HD.



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.

If you have received no response within the 60-day timeframe, or you have a question that is not answered here, please email We aim to respond to all emails within 14 days.