9/5/11

You Need a Distributor to Get Your Books Into the Stores

I am self publishing a new book [an LDS non-fiction book], how can I get my book into Deseret Bookstores????

That is the $24,000 question! And the biggest challenge for self-publishers. How do you get your book into the store and on the shelves.

My #1 suggestion is that before you spend a lot of money printing a garage full of books, you find a distributor. In addition to DB, a good distributor will have accounts and relationships with all the smaller independent LDS bookstores, will represent your book at the LDS trade shows, and may even be able to get your book into Costco and Walmart.

Deseret Book and most other bookstores are usually unwilling to work directly with an author. It just takes too much time and costs too much money for them to have accounts with every individual author. They use distributors—who represent hundreds of books/items and make ordering more cost effective. Distributors also act as a bit of a screening agent because they won't take a book they don't think they can sell.

There aren't a lot of distributors that focus on the LDS market. I have a few listed HERE. Like small presses, distributors can come and go quickly, so do your research to make sure you're dealing with a legit business.

One caveat: Simply having a distributor doesn't mean they can get you into Deseret Book, or any other store, for that matter. As an author, you need to help drive the customers into the stores to request your book. If a store is getting frequent request for a title, they'll stock it.

1 comment:

KarenG said...

I like that you said "even a distributor is no guarantee" so true! It needs to be a triple-pronged effort of the author, the publisher (if there's one) and the distributor to approach the market and bang on the doors. And right now the bookstore market is struggling in so many ways, that bookstores, esp. the small ones and even DB, are being very careful about what they commit to putting on their shelves.