The Forgotten Sales Channel Part 1 – Book distribution for self-publishers

By | November 27, 2012

[Originally posted on Part One sets the scene for the current bookselling landscape in Australia and why a book distributor is important and Part 2 will look in more detail distribution at options for Australian indie publishers]

Bookshop browsingBookshops are still a powerful channel for discovery and sales

As any regular reader of Digireado will know, it’s an exciting time to be an author. Yet, as the ranks of independent authors rapidly grow, very few self-publishers are bothering with brick and mortar bookshops anymore. It’s not difficult to see why—sales and distribution into bookstores has always been a notoriously difficult and costly task, while the closures of large chains and cherished independents alike have led to widespread speculation that high street bookselling is obsolete. Compare this to explosive growth in online self-publishing services, such as CreateSpace, Smashwords, Lulu and PressBooks, who not only offer affordable publishing options but also guarantee that your book will be available globally in eBook and print formats.

This is made possible because the eBook and POD distribution process is now almost entirely automated through a highly sophisticated global exchange of standardised book metadata. While this system technically allows any book to be available to thousands of bricks and mortar bookstores around the world, in reality sales are overwhelmingly restricted to an online retail market dominated by So, while a recent Bowker report found that the number of self-published books being produced almost tripled between 2006 and 2011, the infrastructure is controlled by a handful of large companies. With more and more self-published books competing for the increasingly coveted and contested Amazon best seller lists, indie authors are realising that there is a big difference between being “available” and being “discoverable” in a crowded marketplace.

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Tagged: Amazon, Australia, Australian, Book Distribution, Book Distributor, Book marketing, Books, Booksellers, Bookshops, CreateSpace, eBooks, Editing, Fantasy, Fiction, Indie Author, Lightning Source, Marketing, Non-Fiction, POD, PressBooks, Publishing, Self Publishing, Small Business, Vanity Press, writers, Writing