Book distribution is the biggest hurdle any independent or self-published author faces. There are several reasons for that and none of which are a reflection on you, your book or the process you followed to become published.
The biggest reason why it is difficult to set up book distribution is that the majority of companies that have sales reps on the ground promoting and visiting bookshops and libraries are operating under a very turbulent market.
The industry of book selling is ever-changing and with a huge growth trend occurring in self and independent publishing, the traditional process just isn’t structured to take on every book. Why? Money. Book selling is a business. It has to generate sales and profit all based around consumer demand and interest and with creative projects such as book publishing, publishers and distributors sometimes take the risk of releasing and promoting something the general book store market just don’t warm too. Again this is not a reflection on you, your book or the process you followed to become published as the book store market is actually incredibly small compared to your online reach.
Another factor to consider is that many of the traditional publishers either have their own distribution warehouse or have exclusive arrangements with distributors that shut out independent authors and publishers. That is what is best for business – their business. Why would they stock and distribute an independently published book that could potentially take away sales of their published work? Well, they wouldn’t.
Also consider this – the average discount expected by a distributor is in the ball park of 65-75% of the retail price. Economically, that is very tough for the independent author. Put that alongside the fact that all books sold into book stores through traditional publishers and distributors are all sold on a consignment basis, it appears the actual chance of any measurable success is going to be a huge uphill climb. However, it is not all bad.
You have published your book – it reads well, it’s professionally edited, designed and presents beautifully. You have had great feedback and you are convinced more than ever that you have a great read. Your website is live and gorgeous; you have implemented your video marketing and being mentored through the promotion and book marketing process. You have all the promotional tools you need. You have even launched your book and through general contacts and early social media blasts sold a considerable amount of your print run. Fantastic you are on the way to achieving that second goal that we outlined on the SIX STEPS and BOOK MARKETING page. Everything that you have worked on in preparing your staged marketing campaign is in place…except…you want your book to be sitting on a bookshelf in book stores and libraries.
InHouse Publishing now offers book distribution to the library and book store network in Australia and New Zealand. At the beginning of 2015 we began to build strong relationships with those in charge or ordering and supplying books to this sector. We took the pitch with a hope for a hit, as we all do with book marketing, and we hit a home run. Within the first quarter we had paid thousands of dollars out in author royalties and along with the organic sales through the InHouse Bookstore we are looking at royalty payments to our author basis in excess of $15,000 within the first year of operation. What makes this even better is that all sales made are FIRM SALES, not sale or return or on consignment.
So how does this work? Below we have outlined the requirements and process for an independent author to successfully be included in our book distribution network and promoted through this channel. Keep in mind that as mentioned above it is taking the pitches and swinging to get runs. Not every time will we get a hit and sometimes we will get home runs. There are never any guarantees with book marketing and this is no different. The key is consistency, active promotion from the authors, dedicated time and relationship building from our InHouse marketing team and belief in our books.
Your title is listed in the quarterly catalogue submitted to our distribution network along with being listed on the InHouse Bookstore
We will offer a 40% discount from your retail price and also collect 15% commission for any sale WE make. This does not apply to sales you make independently – the profit from those are 100% all yours.
You will be available to utilise our drop shipping arrangement where we fulfil orders received by you on your behalf. We invoice quarterly for postage and 10% of retail price.
Royalties are paid within 30 days from the end of each quarter. Eg. First quarter of the year is Jan-March. Payment will be sent before end of April.
What now? Contact us to discuss our book distribution process further so you have every opportunity for your book to succeed.