Book distribution refers to the process of making your book available to the public. This can include publishing your book in paperback, hard cover, and/or as an ebook, and making the book available in retail channels where people typically go to buy books. Distribution also includes the process of printing and fulfilling orders, collecting payment, and shipping the books to customers or  booksellers who act as middlemen.

Distribution has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. For print books, it is now possible to make your book available through the largest distributors to over 30,000 booksellers without spending any cash up front on printing, storage and fulfillment. Print on Demand systems allow the print edition of your book to be listed for sale with major online retailers like Amazon.com, Chapters.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. Also, brick and mortar bookstores will have easy access to order your book through the major distributors they already work with. We can literally print one book at a time at economical prices.

Publishers still do large print runs in order to bring down the cost-per-book, but only when they are confident in their sales projections.

For ebooks, there are no major barriers to having your book published alongside bestselling authors. A handful of ebook formats dominate the marketplace, including:

  • The Kindle (Amazon)
  • The Kobo (Chapters-Indigo), which is especially popular in Canada
  • The Nook (Barnes and Noble)
  • Apple itunes ebooks
  • Google ebooks

The most effective strategy is to make your book available in all of the above formats as well as soft cover and hard cover. This ensures that your book is available to the broadest possible audience in the format they prefer.

ROYALTIES

Every time a bookstore buys your book for resale, or people buy your book on Amazon, you earn a royalty. In self publishing, you earn much, much higher royalties than in traditional publishing. For ebooks, royalties are often as high as 70%, with the remainder going to Amazon or the bookseller. For printed books, your royalty is the amount left over after the retailer and wholesaler take their share, minus the cost of printing the book. For example, if you price your book at $20, and you make the book available to wholesalers at about a 50% discount, you’ll be left with $10. If the book costs $3 to print, then you will earn $7 from the sale.

Most self-publishing companies will help you get into print-on-demand and ebook sales channels,