It is really important to know how book distribution works whether you are traditionally publishing, independently publishing or self publishing. Book distribution does vary and it is important to know how as this will help increase your sales.
Distribution is a broad word that covers everything from where a book is sold, who orders the book, how it’s shipped, and how much it costs to print or sell.
What most people think of when they hear the word “books” is physical, brick and mortar bookstores. Barnes and Noble, Waterstones, and independent bookstores are all brick and mortar stores. Physical books are as important as they have ever been, and a book’s visibility in a store will dramatically increase the number of potential readers and sales. A reader may even choose to buy a book on impulse once they see the cover on a shelf.
Online retailers, such as Amazon and Books-a-Million, are an important resource for authors as well. After the publisher and book distribution center offers the book to the retailers, they sell both the physical, hardback or paperback copy, or the e-book in an online store.
E-books have become more and more popular as technology has advanced. A major benefit of online retailers and e-books in general are the ease of access; rather than having to go to a bookstore, you can buy a book from the comfort of your home, and even download it in seconds. E-books have the added benefit of being somewhat cheaper than hardbacks or paperbacks. Because anyone in the world can access Amazon’s book listings, online retailers have become the biggest source of exposure, and the likeliest way of getting your book into readers’ hands.
The last method of book distribution is direct to consumer, or personal, sales. Either the author, publisher, or a marketing company orders books directly from the publisher or book distributor. They will then sell the books to their readers, ideally to their targeted audience. In this method, authors play the biggest role in their book distribution. Whether an author has been published through a traditional or an independent publishing house, they can order copies of their books for promotional events, signings, giveaways, or public readings. Name recognition is more important than ever, so it’s crucial that the author takes an active role in their book distribution, marketing, and publicity.
What is even better, is that publishers such as Central Park South Publishing often give authors major discounts, so that an author can order their books at a lower retail price. As an independent publishing company, we provide traditional book distribution in all the ways described above to ensure that that the book is in physical stores and on online platforms, so that they reach their ideal readers through the traditional book distribution in stores and online.