Once you’ve published your book, most self-publishing houses will ask how you want to distribute it – that is, how do you want to make it available for readers to purchase?
Self-publishing companies offer different packages for distribution at varying costs, with some free and others for a fee. Selecting the majority if not all of these distribution channels is a good idea to maximize your sales.
Among the common distribution channels you should opt to utilize include:
• Self-publishing company’s stores – Most companies give authors a free page on their website to promote their book. If publishing a paperback with CreateSpace, for example, you’ll get a page in CreateSpace’s estore and pages on Amazon.com for sales in the United States and Europe.
• Bookstores and online retailers – Not everyone buys books from Amazon.com, so ensuring Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, and online booksellers can offer your book for sale is vital. A variation of this is a “direct” program in which your self-publishing company allows select bookstores and online retailers to sell your book after purchasing it at wholesale prices; other book sellers, to earn money, may have to mark up the price beyond what you set.
• Libraries and academic institutions – This is key if you want your book available for others to check out at a public or school library (such as your hometown!) or to be used as a textbook. Usually you must pay extra for this.
Availability of distribution channels sometimes hinges on your ISBN. If you’ve purchased a legitimate ISBN from Bowker or through the self-publishing house, all of the various channels should be open to you. However, purchasing an ISBN from anyone else often is less than ideal for distributing books.
In addition, you may have to agree to change the price of your book or accept a lower royalty for it to be distributed in some nations, such as India.
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.