Bookstore Distribution Expanded
Getting books out is hard.
Since the setup of our book distribution services in 2012, lots has been done, including upgrading our on-line store in 2016. But it isn’t enough. Bookstore managers have told me that ordering through Ingram saves shipping and hassle. Having that alternative would be better for them, rather than placing a small order directly with PageMaster. Shipping is a concern and we are willing to do what is best for all.
We have tested the Print On Demand quality from Ingram-Lightning Source and found it close to our batch printing quality. Adding this service does help our authors, and we have partnered Ingram to get wider reach. Most of the "self-publishing" providers are using Lightning Source and saying the book is available to thousands of retailers. It is true, and we want our authors to have as much advantage as possible. They do cover the world.
To setup your book for POD, word in the industry is that it is best is setup Ingram first and then add CreateSpace for Amazon sales. This way, you get the bookstore reach through Ingram, and better pricing and availability for Amazon sales. We are following this sequence and will add you book to CreateSpace as well.
As an independent company ourselves we do want to support independent bookstores. We maintain listings in PubStock for BookManager which many bookstores use.
Our expanded book distribution includes these POD platforms as well as major e-book retailers through Apple's iBooks, Amazon Kindle and Rakuten Kobo. Authors have the opportunity to take advantage of these channels, or to opt-out.
An overview of PageMaster book distribution in 2017
Our online store has been revamped and has our full catalogue including art for sale. Each contributor has their own page showing their titles, with more detail on those with premium distribution. As well as physical books, e-books in both Amazon Kindle (Mobi) and ePub for everyone else (Kobo/Nook/and tablet readers) are available through the store.
An affiliate program is in place to track leads and purchases. It allows us to build traffic from related sites like designers and bloggers with our audience. Our authors and artists benefit by not having to worry about running a store or shipping, so they can concentrate on creating. The affiliate software keeps track of sales they refer, and rewards them.
Other than direct personal sales, authors will make the most here.
The decision list stay with PubStock/BookManager is driven by our desire to support indie bookstores. BookManager, run by a Canadian company out of Kellowna, is used by most of the independent stores in Canada.
Currently we have 101 premium distribution titles listed so bookstores can order our books easily. We do pay a subscription fee and it is more data to update and maintain. If you have your books in an independent bookstore, ask it they use BookManager. Recorded sales will show on other stores in the network and help spread the word.
Bowker Books in Print
We continue to add all premium distribution books to the Bowker listings. If a customer is looking for a book, the stores will know were to get it if they are not using BookManager.
Ingram has worldwide reach. The quality from print on demand through Ingram/Lightning Source is comparable, but not quite as good, as our small batch runs. We have partnered with this to increase reach. There is a small annual fee for listing on Lightning Source but this opens the channel to the most bookstores.
Amazon .ca and .com
Amazon is a love-hate relationship. Since we started book distribution and the on-line Amazon stores in 2012 shipping has often been an issue, especially to the US. They are too big to ignore, but give little room when the numbers don’t work.
Running our own store on Amazon ensures stock is listed, which is good. Their allowance for shipping to the US does not cover the costs for all but the thinnest books. Part of that is because Canada Post no longer has a book rate (has been years). Their Fulfillment by Amazon system sort of works, but it is hard to judge the inventory required and we end up paying storage fees as well as shipping costs to them.
Amazon.ca is less of an issue and they have improved services over the years.
We also have many e-books on the Kindle platform for our authors. Including your book for printing on Amazon's CreateSpace is now an option with our premium distribution. You may also opt out if you are comfortable taking care of it yourself.
Apple was the second largest e-book retailer world-wide in 2017 but does fall behind Kobo in Canada. It is a significant market and we are setup.
Kobo has a global scope allowing you to reach readers in over 190 countries. In Canada, Kobo is significant with over more sales than Apple accounting for 25% of the market according to Author Earnings.
As well as supporting the e-readers directly on our store e-books have setup a Kobo account.
We are here to help
Distribution is the last step in a book's journey. It is important that your book match the norms in the industry. Does it fit your target genre? Does it meet professional standards? Is it easy to read with clear typography? Does the cover reflect the content and entice readers? Is the front-matter correct?
PageMaster offers a range of services to assist your publishing goals. Sometimes we do send you back to work on the writing, but we are in your corner.