Congratulations! After a long journey of book edits and re-edits, you are ready. Now, as its publisher and number one proprietor, you have two primary concerns for your efforts: to get the book read by others and to see a return on your investment. Misconceptions in publishing abound, there are certain realities many people don’t understand about the book distribution system.

Choosing where to sell your book is just one part of a larger self-publishing strategy. Essentially though, our role is to explain a distribution and marketing solution that makes the most sense for your unique book.


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We encourage authors to focus their efforts on online sales because it gives them more control over their book sales or sell directly from their website, at events, or in eBook formats. A book does not have to be returnable to sell through any of these channels. You will make much more money per book sale than through either wholesale or retail distribution.

Let’s clarify the difference between a distributor, wholesale or retail distribution.



Distribution is equal to a catalog listing. It is simply made available for purchase. Only Ingram Content Group can deliver the advantages of fully-integrated print, digital, wholesale and distribution services to the book industry through a single source. They have the ordering systems of 39,000 independent and chain bookstores, libraries, and online retailers worldwide, plus every major e-book retailer (including iBookstore, Kobo, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, etc…). Accessing more than 195 countries, so your titles get true worldwide distribution.


Wholesale Book Distribution


A large, traditional publisher doesn’t just have a listing in a catalog. They have a dedicated sales force. They might use a wholesale book distribution with commissioned sales reps, or their own sales reps, or a combination of the two to cover different regions. This is not the most ideal model for authors as it is on a 90 day sale or return basis and commissions are as high as 65% of retail price, but if you want retailers to be able to buy and stock copies of your book, you need to play by their rules. This is, for better or worse, the current way of the publishing world.


Retail Book Distribution

Retail book distribution means books are sold directly to a retailer from the distributor. In cases where books are returnable, retailers do not have to pay for the books for a certain amount of time (60-90 days), and can return whatever doesn’t sell. Not ideal for self publishers, but it’s all part of the industry if you want a chance to get your book on shelves.