Distribution explained

After a long journey of book edits and re-edits, you are ready. Now, as the author/publisher, 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. Our role is to explain a distribution and marketing solution that makes the most sense for your book.


We encourage authors to focus their efforts on online sales initially whilst building their author platform as it gives them more control over their book sales and opportunity to 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 more profit per book sale than through either a wholesale or retail distribution service.

Many pay to publish providers hide how they distribute and the platforms they use. Why? Essentially with just one click on a platform you will be distributed globally to 39000 outlets worldwide. Yes just one click. But this does not equate to sales it just means the book is available to a wide readership. 

Pickawoowoo can assist you to make informed distribution decisions through coaching / consultation or even set you up with our global printer and distributor.



I'm confused. What is the difference between a distributor, wholesale book distribution and retail book distribution?

Distributor - 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.

Can you do the distribution like xxx (A notorious predatory self publishing company) said they can for me?

We totally understand how impressive it must seem that they offer to distribute your title on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booktopia and thousands of other outlets. These self-publishing companies often advertise unlimited printing, fulfillment and global distribution and then quitely charge the author for this service. In addition, most self-publishing companies have the nerve to take a portion of the author’s royalties! Here’s what they don’t tell you and why. Printing and selling your book on Amazon costs nothing to set up. These days, global distribution is automatic. With IngramSpark, the “title set-up fee” is the only charge authors incur for widespread distribution (39000 outlets including Amazon) and yet this fee is waivered with our discount code anyway. So what we are saying is there is no fee for distribution. At Pickawoowoo author services, we could advertise distribution as if we offer you the holy grail but in reality it is a tick box on a global distribution system - it is that easy. When an author/publisher wants the widest distribution possible—the distribution that’s available to literally every person who prints a book—the book is uploaded to Amazon KDP and IngramSpark, then we take a back seat, and the author receives 100% of the publisher compensation (royalties) due to them directly—from Amazon KDP and IngramSpark.