Book Distributors Can Help Get Your Book Into Bookstores

One of the best ways to sell your book is through bookstores. How do you get your book onto a bookshelf? If your book is published via a major publishing company the publisher will do it for you. They will undertake the process on you behalf and will pay you a 10% royalty on the sales made in bookshops.

However, if you self-publish your own book you can either door-knock yourself (although not always a popular approach with bookstore owners) or you can find an independent book distributor.

What are they?

Independent book distributors are specialist companies that only deal with the distribution stage of the book production process. Whereas, major publishers will often assume both the production and distribution role of the process, book distributors only concentrate on working with a finished product and getting that book into bookshops.

Who do they work with?

Book distributors will often work with smaller publishing companies that don't have a distribution department and who prefer to outsource the task. They will also work with overseas publishing companies who wish to distribute their books to a new market in another country. Book distributors will also work with many self publishers, however, only if they believe the book will be successful and worth their time and effort selling to bookstores.

How is the revenue divided up?

As an author you are entitled to 10%; the publisher usually receives about 25%; and depending on the market you are in, the distributor may receive 15-20% and the bookshop will receive 45-50%. Therefore if your book is published through a major publisher you will usually receive about 10% as the author. However, as a self publisher you are also entitled to the publishers cut as well, which means you will usually earn about 35% from which you must also subtract your expenses.

There is often a common misconception that just because you published your own book, bookstores will be willing to take it. This is not always the case. Considering the large number of self publishers throughout the world it is impossible for bookstore buyers to consider all books that are placed before them. Consequently, bookstores will sometimes only deal with book distributors.

However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Distributors can do an outstanding job reaching markets all over the world that are physically impossible for you to sell to. By obtaining the services of a book distributor you can then begin concentrating on other things - like your second book!


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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