One of the most common is: “We will distribute your print book to the largest bookstores.” Sure, authors would love to have their books in bookstores but—understand this—having a book available for distribution does not mean it lands on a shelf in a bookstore. All it means is that it will land in the distributor’s online catalogue. Nothing more.
Authors today need to do a reality check. Bookstores have limited shelfing space. It’s expensive real estate. Ask—is my book going to roll out of that store by the case … or is it just going to hang out, hoping that a shopper discovers it? In the real world, most bookstores will take a pass on your book. Why? Two reasons: 1—the big publishers pay big bucks to have their books front and center (and it’s still no guarantee that they will get sold); and 2—are you really going to work your tush off to drive all your potential buyers, followers, etc., to that bookstore or bookstore chain to discover and buy your book? Really?
TIP: Here’s how to get “distribution” at zero to very minimal cost: Even if you are doing a traditional print run, set it up for for print-on-demand (POD) as well with IngramSpark.com (my favorite) and/or CreateSpace. IngramSpark is Ingram, the granddaddy of book distributors—its online catalog is available to the great majority of all booksellers. When included in the Ingram catalog, your book can be found and ordered for a customer if it’s requested. CreateSpace is Amazon. The reality is that many bookstores don’t want to order for customers because it’s Amazon. But you are findable. You can also pitch your book to Barnes & Noble. Don’t be duped … You do not need to pay a self-publishing service company for this “service.”
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