Distribution- Part 1

A few months ago, I did a short series on Lulu and the pros and cons of using it. Today, I'm going to start a new series about the topic of distribution. If you have any questions anywhere along the way, please feel free to either email me or put a note in the comment section.

Let's start with the most logical point-what is distribution?

First, let's talk about what is referred to as full-service or traditional distribution.
Consider this: there are thousands of publishers trying to sell thousands of books to the stores that sell them. Imagine the insanity if every store was contacted by every publisher about every book, old and new alike. The paperwork it would entail to fill the shelves would be absolutely insane. That's where the full service distribution comes into the picture.

Distributors catalog the inventory of multiple publishers, their representatives present the information to the bookstore buyers and the buyers place one order through the distributor. The distributor then facilitates getting the books to the stores either via their own warehouse or a wholesale warehouse. Stores may deal with more than one distributor for different lines of products because no one represents everything, but they are still dealing with far fewer entities than the first scenario.

If you walk into a B & N or other major store, the books you see got there via that process for the most part. This process is also generally what's in play when books sell in the thousands or tens of thousands+ copy level. It's definitely possible to sell decent quantities without distribution, but it is certainly a lot more challenging.

Do you want or need full service distribution for your book? Maybe, maybe not. Stay tuned.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett

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