So the book has been printed, the launch come and gone, and now there are piles of book taking up space all over the house. What happens next?
The book has to be made available to the public.
Book stores are obviously the first outlet to consider as that’s usually the first place that book buyers will look. But there are physical stores which can be broken up into Chains and Independents, and then there are online stores, and they can all operate differently.
The big chains will very seldom deal directly with Independent Publishers/Authors and will only deal with Distributors whereas, some Independents love dealing directly with the Author.
Distributors are like the middlemen. They can handle both sales and distribution or just one or the other. A Distributor will take +-10% commission for sales and +-15% commission for distribution. So the calculation would look something like this:
Recommended retail price (In Bookstores)
Less 40% discount to the bookstore
Less either (10% , 15% or 25%) – to the distributor – depending in what capacity they are operating on your behalf
Money paid to the Indie/Author.
It is the Distributor’s responsibility to collect the money from the sale and pass it on to the Indie/Author. They also agree to regular inform the Indie/Author on sales etc.
The benefits of using a Distributor (besides that some stores will only deal with them) is that they have all the relevant bookstore contacts at their disposal and they eliminate all the daily legwork needed to sell and distribute. The downside is that there is less profit to the Indie/Author.