What You Need To Look For In A Distributor
· Are they reputable and well-established?
· Offers fair terms for sales, warehousing, and shipping costs.
· Has a decent track record for selling similar books in your genre.
· Will represent one-book authors and not just small publishers of several titles.
When you work with a distributor, follow their timeline of when they plan to launch the sale of your book. They may need several months to get your book in their system and to allow time for their sales reps to pre-sell it. Many distributors have various fee-based marketing programs, where they will charge you for any number of services, including telemarketing stores, mailing galleys to stores, advertising, or scheduling book signings. They will do other things for free, such as include you in their catalog, create a sales sheet for their sales reps, or list you in various databases and online commerce sites, such as www.amazon.com
If you are published by a traditional publisher, your success will depend, in part, on how big the publisher is and how active they will be in marketing your book. University presses and small publishers have very limited budgets to promote, so don’t assume they will do much for you. Mid-size and larger publishers may do some basic things for you, such as sending out a few dozen advance copies to select reviewers. If you are lucky and your title is seen as one the publisher wants to support they may assign an in-house publicist to work on your book for six to eight weeks -- along with a zillion other titles.
The bigger publishers simply have too many books and too little staff to promote every title. Even when they do get involved, time and budget are key factors. The truth is, most publishers rely on authors to promote and market their books. A publisher provides many advantages – prestige, editing, cover-design, book layout, a sales force, foreign rights sales, etc. – but publicity and marketing is not always part of the deal. You may wonder why they’d publish something that they don’t fully support in their marketing efforts and the answer is: You.
They only agreed to publish you because they thought the book was good and on a topic that sells. They know that with decent distribution, the book will sell at least a few thousand copies. Depending on their costs, their break-even point may only be that they have to sell a few thousand copies. Second, they know you will promote and market it, that you won’t let your baby die on the shelf. Third, you may have committed to buy a certain number of copies to give out to family, friends, clients, or to resell at seminars and through your site, or because you had a connection to an organization that agreed to buy a bunch of copies.
Further, the publisher can earn extra income by selling various rights to the book – foreign, audio, paperback (if it was published as a hardcover), digital, etc. So if publishers do no worse than break even on a few titles but make at least a few thousand dollars on hundreds of titles published each season, and then have a few mega-selling, breakthrough best-sellers, they will be in the black without doing much by way of marketing and promoting the vast majority of their titles.
Still, traditional publishers can be helpful in giving you ideas or resources for selling your book. They want you to succeed. You can help them by informing them of upcoming events, publicity efforts, and public appearances so they can then inform their sales force and key book buyers.
Some popular book distributors include:
· Baker & Taylor
· BCH Fulfillment and Distribution
· Book Baby
· Book Masters
· Cardinal Publishers Group
· Consortium Books Sales & Distribution
· Greenleaf Book Group
· Independent Publishers Group
· Ingram Content Group
· Ingram Spark
· Midpoint Trade Books
· National Book Network
· New Leaf Distributing
· Publishers Group West
· Readerlink Distribution Services
· SCB Distributors
· Simon & Schuster
· Small Press Distribution
There are also specialty distributors including:
· AK Press
· Anchor Distributors
· American West Books
· Bella Distribution
· DeVorss & Company
· New Shelves Books
· Sunbelt Publications
· Tan Books
“Nobody ever died of laughter.”
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
“People who read only the classics are sure to remain up-to-date.”
--Gilbert J. Presterson
“Behind every great fortune there is a crime.”
--Honore de Balzac
“Few maxims are true in every respect.”
-- Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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