Why Ingram (the Distributor) Won’t Tell Authors and Publishers Who Purchased Their Books

Why Ingram (the Distributor) Won’t Tell Authors and Publishers Who Purchased Their Books

I received the following email last week:

I recently self-published my first book. I am working with Ingram but they won’t share with me the names of the bookstores that are purchasing my book. I have no method to follow-up with these customers. For example, I recently received four great editorial reviews. I would like the ability to send them to the customers but they won’t give me that information.

Imagine going to a bookstore, and buying a non-fiction book on how to holistically treat a venereal disease you picked up last week.

Imagine discreetly buying a book on how to deal with your cheating spouse.

Imaging buying several erotic novels, or a girly magazine.

The fact is, bookstores don’t share their customer information with Ingram, and for good reason. Customer privacy is a huge issue. If retailers were sharing their customers’ names and reading habits with distributors, publishers, or authors, people would simply stop buying books.

The fact is, even as an author, you don’t have any rights to the names or contact info. for people purchasing your book.

Regarding obtaining information on which retailers have purchased print on demand books, see:
How to Test Your POD Publisher’s Sales Reports

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One Response to "Why Ingram (the Distributor) Won’t Tell Authors and Publishers Who Purchased Their Books"

  1. Pamela Allegretto  December 7, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Great answer. Something we don’t think about, but it makes perfect sense. And this is one more reason that we come to you for advice.