Tips For Dealing With Book Distributors

Book distributors play an important role in the success of your book. Without their efforts you will be unable to get your books into bookstores quickly or into markets that are outside of your reach. Based on first-hand experience, here are just a few quick tips for dealing with book distributors:

1. Keep them motivated

Distributors have hundreds of books coming through every month, which makes it very difficult to maintain excitement about every single title. One way to fix this problem is to offer prizes to the sales representative. You can approach your distributors and for example offer a free DVD player to whoever sells the most amounts of books in stores.

So all of a sudden the reps have an incentive to sell your book. The distributor's happy. Why?  Because they're not putting up the prize, you are!  But now they've got an invested interest into pushing your book forward ahead of maybe 10 or 20 titles that they're also putting forward at the same time.  

2. ...and the bookshops

You can also offer prizes to bookstores. So now the sales rep is saying if the stores order ten copies of this book, then they go into a draw to win a brand new plasma television. And if you're clever you can get these prizes donated by sponsors.


Bookmarks aren't necessarily the best form of book promotion, because most publishers are doing it now. However, while they might not be a great incentive to buy your book, they can still put the bookmarks on the counter so that it's visible to all customers.

4. In-store posters

Posters are another thing you can do to promote your book. If you also include the shop's logo on your poster, then they're more likely to display the poster in their window or around shopping centres.

5. Maintain contact

Contact your distributor on a weekly or fortnightly basis. So every two weeks you send out an email that goes to the distributor who passes it on to all the reps saying this is what's new, this is what's happening, and this is what's fresh. This could include upcoming publicity events or speaking engagement dates, or media attention recently received.

Maintaining a positive relationship with your distributor is very important. By keeping them motivated and offering them promotional tools and up-dated information can help them perform their job better and perhaps make it easier for them.


Dale Beaumont is the author of this article. He is an internationally renowned book publishing expert, the author of 16 best-selling books and the creator of the Get Published Secrets Program.  

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