“How can I sell my self-published book through a large specialty distributor?”

“How can I sell my self-published book through a large specialty distributor?”
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Angela,

I want (a large, specialty book distributor) to sell my book on their website, as well as to physical retailers. My publisher doesn’t like their terms. Do you have any advice?

Thanks,

P.

 

There are thousands of distributors and specialty retailers across the globe. Like most physical bookstores, they’re feeling the pinch (okay, the deep, guttural stab) of Amazon’s success. In order to survive, they must demand very deep discounts from publishers (and authors), and they want to be able to return books.

If you have self-published your book, you may not be able to afford to work with these firms. Unless you’re buying several hundred to a thousand or more copies of your book, you may not be able to give these firms the 55% to 65% discounts they require.

If they purchase 1,000 copies from you, and then return 900 of them later, you’ll have to find a lot of extra room in your garage and, worse, you’ll have to pay them back for those 900 copies they didn’t sell.

You really need to ask yourself if the risk is worth it. Instead, we recommend marketing your book directly to buyers online. Please see:



Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90…and beyond!



 

 

 

Also, please see:

We do not accept returns. You can read our thoughts on this practice here:
STOP GLUTTONOUS PURCHASING PRACTICES BY BOOKSTORES! Why ALL Books Should be Non-Returnable!!

and:

Another Shocking Reason to NEVER Accept Book Returns!

If you plan to sell copies of your book on a returnable basis, you should be aware that returned books can be dusty and damaged and, thus, unsellable. If the distributor is willing, sell them just a handful on consignment instead. If those sell, and if you get paid for those, then offer them a larger quantity the next time. That protects you from taking such a large financial risk. Remember, since the distributor can return all unsold copies, their only risk is the return shipping fees on the returned books. But, some distributors won’t even cover that.

RELATED:

Distributors – Who Needs Them?

STOP GLUTTONOUS PURCHASING PRACTICES BY BOOKSTORES! Why ALL Books Should be Non-Returnable!!

How to Sell Books on Consignment to Bookstores and Other Retailers

Another Shocking Reason to NEVER Accept Book Returns!

Offering Credit to Bookstores Can Be VERY Risky

Do NOT Sneak Your Self-Published Book Onto Bookstore Shelves!

Marketing to Bookstores – Still a Waste of Time?

Read More Ask The Expert



Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90…and beyond!



3 Responses to "“How can I sell my self-published book through a large specialty distributor?”"

  1. Wendy Jones  September 17, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I have no faith in Brick and Morter (B&N or similar) stores. I could write an essay on an experience I had with these folks and making a book returnable for numerous promises Vs the reality of what happened.

    Before the year 2000, the story was entirely different — after that — it was as if an apocolyps decended upon small press publishers.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  September 21, 2016 at 9:22 am

      Wendy, email me. I want to buy that essay from you. – Angela Hoy, WritersWeekly.com

  2. W.w. Brock  September 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I have a local bookstore that sells my books on a regular basis. This is the only consignment seller that I use, and I give them a 55% discount on my books. They were shocked that someone would offer them that much of a profit margin because in the small quantities that they would order from a distributor, they wouldn’t qualify for that discount. This works out well for me because now they have an incentive to push my books, and I make a little more on a copy than if it was sold through Amazon or another outlet.