Self-Publishing – Distribution
Once you have completed the setup and proofing stage of Print on Demand via CreateSpace and Ingram, you’re on to distribution. Getting your book into physical and online stores is
Amazon runs CreateSpace, and Amazon will be your primary route to market. It will come as no surprise that many of the distribution options are Amazon-centric. Assuming your book is printed in English, selecting Amazon.com and Amazon Europe is a bit of a no-brainer.
If you used a CreateSpace issued ISBN, you can select the ‘Bookstores and Online Retailers’ distribution option. Similarly, if you are printing an academic text and used a CreateSpace issued ISBN, you would be eligible for the ‘Libraries and Academic Institutions’ distribution option. I have no experience of these channel options myself. I have, however, read accounts of several self-published authors who found the offering lack lustre. If you followed my advice to use your own ISBN numbers, these routes will be unavailable to you.
But fear not! For both of these elements, Ingram will serve the same purpose and will be covered shortly.
It may surprise you how many more Amazon derivatives are available, so these are also worth looking in to. I sell a lot of books in India, Singapore and Australia for whatever reason. It is worth signing up with them and seeing where your book resonates.
Amazon as a US-Company is legally obliged to withhold 30% of royalties on your sales via Amazon.com to pass on to the IRS. You could argue that if you’re not selling much via ‘.com’ then 30% of not much isn’t enough to worry about. I believe that your income is your income. Completing a form to state you are not a US citizen, although seemingly rather odd, is easy enough to do. On a related theme, I have had to make a similar declaration to the authorities in Singapore to retain all my royalty income. Again, no major hardship and all those pounds soon add up.
There are references all over the Internet to people calling the IRS and other national tax authorities, making it seem daunting. I have never had to speak to anybody, merely complete online forms and click ‘Submit’. I recommend you do so too.
To get your book into bookstores, or at least on to their websites and in their order books, you need Ingram. The process is similar to Amazon. As soon as you are registered as a publisher and have approved a digital proof, you can mark your book for distribution. This will result in your title and all listed details being circulated to bookstores throughout the UK. Getting listed on the websites for Waterstones, WH Smith and so on is a real boost and makes you feel like a ‘real’ author. Which of course you are.
Ingram will notify you when an organisation in receipt of their catalogue requests copies of your book. You will then need to initiate the print on demand process to fulfil the order. Simple.
Setting up self-publishing distribution channels is pretty straight forward, provided you follow the required steps methodically. Amazon can do an awful lot of the lifting for you, and it is likely they will be your main sales route. Ingram rounds your distribution process out by making your book available to bookshops. They will also get it listed on various vendor websites – increasing exposure and boosting sales! We have an opinion based on experience but ‘your mileage may vary’, as they say. Let us know how you get on – leave a comment or head for Facebook and Twitter if you prefer, as well as our other social media networks from the links in the menu above. Check back on the self-publishing section to get more insights!