Self-published authors who are doing their research about the industry might have heard a lot about book wholesalers and book distributors. In order for your book to stand the best chance of getting noticed and reaching your audience, you’ll want to study up on the difference between book wholesalers and book distributors.
Wholesalers can be thought of as the go-between connecting authors and book retailers. One of the reasons that book retailers often order their books from wholesalers is because it’s easier to buy bulks in bulk from them than it is to reach out to hundreds and potentially thousands of authors and publishers. If you’re a self-published author and you’re looking to have your work distributed across the nation, you’ll want to get yourself set up with a major wholesaler.
Keep in mind that just because you’re set up with a wholesaler doesn’t mean that the hard work is over. Since you’re a self-published author, you’ll still have to pitch, market and sell your material to book retailers. Your book will be just one of a thousand other titles that are also looking for retailers, so you’ll have to do your best to stand out. Once you’ve found a wholesaler willing to take your book, it might be a good time to find and make connections with national retail buyers and try to convince them to put your book on their shelves.
Distributors can help you find wholesalers if you’re not having any luck on your own or if you’d rather put their expertise to good use. Distributors can also help you when it comes to actually pitching your book to retailers to help get your book on their shelves and let them know they’ve got bulk books for sale.
One of the reasons you might want to turn to a distributor to help you find a wholesaler is because some wholesalers might have a strict application process before they’ll take you on. You might have to have as many as ten titles before a particular wholesaler will make your books available. Another benefit of working with distributors is that you’ll be working with experienced professionals who can use their credibility to convince retailers that they need to stock your book. Imagine how much clout they’ll have in the retailing world if your book were to become a bestseller and they were one of the first retailers who stocked it. A reputable distributor will be just as committed to your book being a success as you are.
Since being a self-published author can be a rather expensive endeavor, you’ll want to make sure that you thoroughly research both options before making a final decision. While distributors can cost you a lot of money, wholesalers might cost you a lot of time. While you’re eager to get your book out into the world and into the hands of your readers, you’ll want to proceed with caution. Once money is spent and a decision is made, you’ve got to stick with it and see it through until the end. Being a self-published author is hard, but being a self-published author who starts off their career on the wrong foot is even harder.
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