This is not your typical BW&BC question, but I figured some of you knowledgeable AWers might be willing to chime in with some advice.
A family friend, a golf course architect by trade, set up this press to publish his own book, a history of a well-known golf course that recently hosted the U.S. Open. By all accounts, perhaps due its timeliness, it's been more successful than the typical self-published book. He's written one other children's book that he also self-published.
Recently, a relative of mine, successfully commercially published elsewhere, worked with this publisher to put out a nonfiction book about a different private golf club to coincide with the 100th anniversary of that club; it's a lovely book, but it didn't need to be commercially marketed because the members of this golf club were the only intended customers.
Now this same relative has informed me that the publisher is looking for a third book to publish, because, as he claimed "stores won't carry your books unless you publish someone else's." My relative suggested I be that other writer.
Is this "stores won't carry you unless..." even a thing? As a loyal semi- lurker on these forums, I tried to explain to my relative that this writer-turned-publisher doesn't really have any business taking on other people's manuscripts when he has no experience publishing any publicly-available books other than his own, but I'm afraid I made a hash of it.
Of course, this question is more theoretical than anything because at this point, I'm not seriously considering this. Not only do I not have an appropriate manuscript, I have another book coming out next year with a commercial publisher and I would prefer to continue along that route with future books.
However, I would really like some input from AWers who are informed about this thing, if for no other reason than so I can go back and tell my relative why it's (probably) not a good idea for me (or anyone) to do this.