Trade Distribution Options

May 2004
by David Cole

« Back to Independent Articles

While a bookstore seems like the most logical place to sell a book, small, startup publishers find that getting books into bookstores, getting them sold to actual readers, and then getting paid are daunting and often discouraging tasks.

The good news is that consumers all over the country have ready access to more books than they ever knew existed. People in most small cities can walk into a chain superstore featuring 100,000 titles or more, while anyone with a computer and modem can access an online bookseller and tap into a database that includes millions of titles. You can now rest assured that the reader who is looking for your book will be able to find it. The bad news is that, with so many competing titles, readers need to be highly motivated to select your book from the many choices that present themselves.

Also on the downside, since power has shifted from publishers to chains, wholesalers, and online retailers, publishers now have little bargaining power with the few accounts that control a large percentage of sales. As a consequence, they have gradually ceded discount points, accommodated more returns, and found it increasingly difficult to enforce the rule that a returned book must be in resalable condition to receive credit.

Thus, publishers that depend on bookstores for the major portion of their sales need a higher sales volume to make a book profitable. At the same time, they need to make tighter budgets fuel stronger marketing because of…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

Join Today!

« Back to Independent Articles

How to Get Involved!
Marketing Opportunities

From mailings to exhibits, see how IBPA's marketing programs help you grow your sales.

Educational Opportunities

Attend a seminar, ask an expert, and get more free advice with our educational programs.

Become a member

Access exclusive members-only benefits starting at just $10.