on Book Design Made Simple:
You’ve published a book—or you will soon—and you know that you’ll need to get it to readers. But how? That basic question is what we’re going to clue you in on. The very concept of book distribution confounds a lot of first-time publishers, so we’re hoping to make it all clear here.
Before we even start the discussion, we want to emphasize that you should plan for distribution well before your book goes to press. This goes for both printed books and ebooks. Marketing is very important, and you need to work out a preliminary scheme before you print (or, ideally, before you even write) your book.
Keep in mind that bookstore managers and librarians place their orders through only one or two major book distribution centers. These folks are busy and generally do not have the time or inclination to order directly from you no matter how great your book might be. And so this is why book distributors exist.
There are several models of book distribution. We’ll tackle them in order of current popularity, addressing printed books before ebooks. Use this little table of contents to jump to any topic you wish: