Self-Published Book Distribution

By: Judy Cullins

Distribute Your Self-Published Book - Part 1
Judy Cullins c 2003 All Rights Reserved

Where is your book now? With a distributor? In a book store?
Or, did it already die an early death after a few months?

New self-published authors often believe they need a distributor
to sell a lot of books. They want to use Ingram or Baker &
Taylor because they think they need to get their book into the
"brick and mortar" bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

Authors go through many hoops and snags to accomplish this--
what I call the "traditional publishing nightmare" of inefficiency
and lack of support for authors. Usually the author only gets
around 10% royalties and has to pay back all promotion expenses
such as book signings. So many hoops, some give up. So many
authors I speak with who have gone this route still have
hundreds, even thousands of unsold copies littering up storage space.
Talk about discouragement.

Distributors Can be Dangerous to Your Book's Health and
Your Wallet

One author wrote, illustrated, and marketed six beautiful
children's books. Her books were well reviewed and received.
For some time, the profits rolled in until her distributor went
bankrupt, owing her $160,000. After she stopped crying, she
decided to take her books on the road—to local fairs and talks
where she could KEEP all the profits.

Distributors take quite a chunk of money from the author's
profits too.

They charge the author for storage, and when books
are returned, the author loses those sales, and has to pay the
distributor too. Authors lose from the bookstores because
their payment is late or unreliable. Some authors wait way beyond
90 days. In fact, many just don't get paid. Writers are not always
good at collections either. These middlemen not only take most
of the author's profits, they cause much stress too.

How Can Self-Published Authors Distribute?

Self-published books include: print books (perfect bound, comb
bound, print on demand or print quantity needed, or stapled) or
eBooks (sent over Email through Word or Portable Document Files)

Local Distribution.

For each venue, make sure to include ordering information such
as your Web site URL, your company address, your toll-free
800 number, your local phone number, and an order page to fill
out for fax or phone orders..

1.Distribute through the Press.

-Create a "Power Press Release" (include tips and how-to's)
-Get a Feature Story from the Media
-Write a how-to article and submit

2. Distribute through a local Talk Show-Radio and TV or
guest speak for another person's teleclasses.

Just a phone call away you can reach 100's of people
interested in your book's topic. Do some research on
www.teleclass.com. From my guesting with other experts
every 2 months, new clients come, new book and teleclass
sales increase to make up half my income.

On the talk shows or the teleclasses, offer the audience
a free report to capture their email addresses. You can also
send it through your host and she will distribute that information
to her large email list. Of course you include your sales-pulling
signature file at the end.

3. Distribute at local talks to groups. Sell your print books at the
back of the room. Take a clip board and capture everyone's
email at the talk. These people become your dedicated sales
force and tell others. Word of mouth takes up to one or two
years, so be patient for results. Check your library for Clubs who
need free speakers.

Develop a selling two-sided flyer with testimonials, your book
cover, excerpts, and an ordering coupon. Take books and flyers
with you everywhere. Offer to all you meetScience Articles, even your dentist!

Authors need to be proactive in book promotion because
publishers won't do it for them. (Part 2 of this article is available)

Publishing
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