Distributing Your Self Published Book

Distributing Your Self-Published Book

Although self-publishing is very much a labour of love, if you aim for high sales and put in the necessary time and investment, it is possible to make a profit from your book. Some prolific self-publishers develop a local following and some have their books picked up by major publishers.Your self published book will be available for purchase wordwide via your own website and via Ingrams World Wide Book Network. This means that any bookshop in the world can place and order online and stock your book in their bookshop.

Setting the Price for Your Book

If you are hoping to sell your book through retail outlets, you must set a competitive price (RRP), based on other books already in the marketplace. You could approach your local bookseller and ask their advice or check the price of similar books yourself. Your print book should reflect the cost of production and distribution. Your eBook versions should be cheaper than your print version, for example, Amazon require that your eBook be at least 20% cheaper than your print book.

Electronic Bookstores

The quickest and cheapest way of distributing your book is via electronic bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBooks etc.

Download eBook From Your Own Website

If you have your own website, you can sell your eBook from you own site as a simple download. Bear in mind, that an eBook, an electronic book and a print book are all different formats and there is a special one for each format.

Retail Sales

If you choose to sell through retail outlets, their fees will further erode profits – usually 40% of the RRP.

A commercial distribution agent can potentially increase the range of availability of your book. However, most major distributors who service the trade are not interested in self-published books, preferring to deal with mainstream publishing companies. Self-publishing is not usually suitable for commercial distribution as increased printing costs mean reduced profit margins and the distributors take 60–65% of the RRP (including the bookseller’s discount).

Some bookstores will take copies of your print book on consignment.

Private Sales

Direct sales and complimentary copies should also be recorded and, although it might seem you’re losing potential income by giving away inspection, review, and promotional copies, these are essential for effective marketing.

Library Service Purchases

ISBN holders may also receive a purchase order for a copy of their book from James Bennett Pty Ltd, a company supplying books to libraries throughout Australia.

Local Deposit

You should lodge a copy at your local library (they may even pay for it) and the relevant historical societies, if the subject matter is applicable.

Book Clubs

If you can market your work to a book club, then you could be on a winner. They either purchase copies of your book or pay for the right to print ‘book club’ editions of your book. But it’s important to target the right clubs.

You can contact the clubs online for their submission guidelines or send them a press release and introductory letter.

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