Note: this listing is included in order to offer coverage of a core market sector in the USA. Mostly the retailers described here will not deal directly with overseas publishers, but will wish to buy those publishers’ titles from US distributors. There have been exceptions when a chain bookseller, notably Barnes and Noble, will buy either remainders, or a bespoke ‘own-brand’ edition of a title from a dealer or publisher overseas; but for consistent market access it is necessary to be represented in the US market by a distributor.  

Barnes & Noble 
Barnes and Noble is the largest book retailer in the USA with 611 stores in 493 cities across 50 states. Its online bookstore sells physical books and Nook ebooks (but doesn’t sell downloadable audio). 

Books-a-Million is now the second largest book retailer in the USA with 260 retail stores in 32 states. Its website operates as an online retailer for print and ebooks (but not downloadable audio books). The company also owns American Wholesale Book Company and NetCentral (an internet development and services company).

Hudson News
The Hudson Group is one of the largest travel retailers in North America with over 1,000 stores in 89 locations (37 states), most commonly in airports, commuter terminals, hotels, and landmark/tourist destinations. 

Japanese-owned Kinokuniya has 15 stores across the USA as well as sales offices in New York and San Francisco providing services to businesses and academic institutions.

Books Inc, and Compass Books
10 stores across the San Francisco bay area.  

Deseret Book
45 stores (also does publishing and distribution) of faith-based books, music, DVDs, religious art and home décor. 

Bargain/Low Price Chain Booksellers

Half Price Books 
120 stores in 18 states offering new and used books. 


Online Retailers

Most book retailers (including the bricks-and-mortar chains listed above) now have an online ecommerce function. The following are dedicated ecommerce retailers for print, ebook and e-audiobooks. 

Headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia, founded in 1996 as a network for connecting individual buyers with sellers, in particular of rare and second-hand books. The product range now includes art, photographs, maps, manuscripts, magazines, and other collectibles. The company was acquired by amazon in 2008, also has an office in Munich, and operates five further sites in Europe.
BetterWorldBooks: (included for information: this company sells second-hand text books and books from library clearance: it donates funds from revenue generated to literacy programmes and libraries)  (conglomerate of independent booksellers enabling a proportion of revenue generated online to go to the conglomerate or to a nominated independent; has an associate company in UK with the same model)
Hummingbird: (B2B ebook distributor/wholesaler)
Legible:  (HQ in Canada – ebooks)
Rakuten Kobo: (HQ in Canada, ebooks and audiobooks)
Scribd: (ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, podcasts, sheet music and documents):  

Mass Market Outlets

BJ’s Wholesale Club
A leading warehouse club operator on the East Coast of the USA 222 clubs and 152 gas stations and 6 million members. 

Costco Wholesale Corporation
A global company with 571 locations in 46 US states and Puerto Rico. 

Sam’s Club (a division of Walmart)
A warehouse club operator with 600 locations across the US and Puerto Rico. 

1,926 stores across the US (more than 150 are small-format) 

Walmart US has 4,742 retail units across the US and more store openings planned 

Independent Bookstores

American Booksellers Association
Represents 1,700 member companies (a loss of 80 members in 2021 due to store closures) 

Indie Bookstore Finder (an initiative of the American Booksellers Association)
A store locator tool for members of the ABA 

Independent College Bookstore Association
Has 217 members with an aggregate revenue of $1.6bn and an average of $7.5m per store. College bookstores represent a significant bookselling sector in the USA 

E-Audio Bookstores