Marketing is different from Distribution. Marketing consists of influencing a person to want to buy your book. Distribution is the mechanism that makes your book physically available at the place and time somebody wants to buy it. There may be a very close connection between these two functions, as for example with Amazon.com, which greets you with a list of books you probably want, and then makes them available to you.
If you have a niche market that you can contact to sell your book to, you are indeed fortunate. On the other hand, if you have just written a great novel or collection of poems or how-to book, how do you go about selling it?
To make information about your book widely known, you can take advantage of our offer for a free web page. Potential customers searching on the web for your name, book title, or key descriptive phrase can find your book's web page here.
You can sell your book locally by visiting bookstores, gift shops, and other stores which may be interested in selling books by a local author. You can get on talk shows, stimulate newspaper articles, or give presentations.
You can tap the non bookstore market, which accounts for over half of all book sales. I am excited by a book I just discovered, Beyond the Bookstore by Brian Jud, which describes these markets and tells in clear, pragmatic terms how to approach them.
You can sell your book using the internet. Start a web site and and get it listed on the most popular search engines Google and Yahoo. Here are the links to their "sign-up" pages:
There are many other search engines, and a little looking on their sites will show you how to get listed by them.
Sell through Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. They have programs for starting publishers. To get started with Amazon.com, visit their homepage at
and look at the bottom of the page. There are links "Join Advantage" and "Sell Items". I hesitate to put the links here because the Amazon.com site is so dynamic I'm concerned you'll just get a dead link. If you'd like to try, click here. The Advantage program is the "standard" book distribution deal: you send them some books and they pay you 45% of the retail price when they sell them. The marketplace, which you access from "Sell Items" is different. You keep your books until Amazon.com sells one, then you ship it out and get a check from Amazon. You get a higher percentage of your retail price, but have to pack and ship individual orders. There is a lot of information on the Amazon web site, so you can become thoroughly informed.
For Barnes and noble, visit their homepage at
and click on "Publisher and Author Guidelines" in the B & N Services box (which was in the lower left corner when I wrote this note). Again, there is a lot of information.
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