SALES CHANNELS: Many Paths to Book Buyers

March 2008
by An IBPA Roundtable

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Reports from PMA members about the sales channels they use lead to one overarching conclusion: Publishers can and do devise innumerable ways to reach readers.

The three-part series that began in the January issue and concludes below also supports other broad generalizations, including:

Many small and midsized publishers do a lot of business with conventional bookstores, usually via a distributor or a national wholesaler.

Publishers with distributors often praise them highly.

Various PMA members are determined to steer clear of distributors, sometimes because of bad experiences.

Major wholesalers get high marks from some small and midsized publishers and failing grades from others.

Amazon gets high marks from many, except in terms of its apparently immutable and thoroughly counterproductive policy on listing new editions (see Skip Thomson’s report, below).

A mix of channels often works best.

We invite you to keep us posted on instructive experiences in various sales channels. Please email whenever you have information to share.

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