How To Help Your Book Distributors Sell More

Convincing a book distributor to sell your book into bookstores is not always an easy task. In fact, it can almost be as difficult as being picked up by a major publisher with book distributors rejecting about 80-90% of the books they receive. However, distributors are more interested in your book if they know that you have plans for future titles.

This is why a series of books can be a great idea. That is, once you get your first book onto bookshelves distributors are likely to pick up your other titles (of course this depends on how well the first book sold). So what do you do to secure your second or third book?

Create dummy covers

A better idea than just calling or emailing your distributor is to also send them a cover of your future titles. They don't have to be perfect, however if you can get them pretty close to the end-product then that's great.

Sales sheet

Send a one-page sales sheet (this can be similar to the copy on the back of your book). You may also want to include a little more information about the author and about media appointments or attention the book has or will be receiving.

ISBN and a RRP

Make sure your book has a barcode and a recommended retail price. This is important so they know what your book will be selling for.


Distributors like to know when the books will be printed and when book buyers can expect to receive them. Provide a time-line of when your books will be printed and stick to those times. If book distributors need them in their warehouse on a certain date then make sure they receive it. Failure to abide by these dates may result in the withdrawal of orders from bookshops.

Book distributors are like big warehouses. They've got sales representatives who work in different territories and their job is to sell books to bookstores. The reason it is important to supply the distributor with the above details is so that their sales reps have information to sell your book with.

Book buyers are more likely to purchase your book if they know what it looks like, what it's about, how much it will cost and when it will be on bookshelves. Understand that you need to help the distributor help you. So once you get you foot into the door, offer the distributors as much information as you can about all your book releases.


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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