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Distribute Your Self-Published Book - Part 1

Where is your book now? With a distributor? In a book store? Or, did it already die an early death after a few months?

New self-published authors often believe they need a distributor to sell a lot of books. They want to use Ingram or Baker & Taylor because they think they need to get their book into the "brick and mortar" bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

Authors go through many hoops and snags to accomplish this-- what I call the "traditional publishing nightmare" of inefficiency and lack of support for authors. Usually the author only gets around 10% royalties and has to pay back all promotion expenses such as book signings. So many hoops, some give up. So many authors I speak with who have gone this route still have hundreds, even thousands of unsold copies littering up storage space. Talk about discouragement.

Distributors Can be Dangerous to Your Book's Health and Your Wallet

One author wrote, illustrated, and marketed six beautiful children's books. Her books were well reviewed and received. For some time, the profits rolled in until her distributor went bankrupt, owing her $160,000. After she stopped crying, she decided to take her books on the road-to local fairs and talks where she could KEEP all the profits.

Distributors take quite a chunk of money from the author's profits too. They charge the author for storage, and when books are returned, the author loses those sales, and has to pay the distributor too. Authors lose from the bookstores because their payment is late or unreliable. Some authors wait way beyond 90 days. In fact, many just don't get paid. Writers are not always good at collections either. These middlemen not only take most of the author's profits, they cause much stress too.

How Can Self-Published Authors Distribute?

Self-published books include: print books (perfect bound, comb bound, print on demand or print quantity needed, or stapled) or eBooks (sent over Email through Word or Portable Document Files)

Local Distribution.

For each venue, make sure to include ordering information such as your Web site URL, your company address, your toll-free 800 number, your local phone number, and an order page to fill out for fax or phone orders.

1.Distribute through the Press.

-Create a "Power Press Release" (include tips and how-to's)
-Get a Feature Story from the Media
-Write a how-to article and submit

2. Distribute through a local Talk Show-Radio and TV or guest speak for another person's teleclasses.

Just a phone call away you can reach 100's of people interested in your book's topic. Do some research on From my guesting with other experts every 2 months, new clients come; new book and teleclass sales increase to make up half my income.

On the talk shows or the teleclasses, offer the audience a free report to capture their email addresses. You can also send it through your host and she will distribute that information to her large email list. Of course you include your sales-pulling signature file at the end.

3. Distribute at local talks to groups. Sell your print books at the back of the room. Take a clipboard and capture everyone's email at the talk. These people become your dedicated sales force and tell others. Word of mouth takes up to one or two years, so be patient for results. Check your library for Clubs who need free speakers.

Develop a selling two-sided flyer with testimonials, your book cover, excerpts, and an ordering coupon. Take books and flyers with you everywhere. Offer to all you meet, even your dentist!

Authors need to be proactive in book promotion because publishers won't do it for them. (Part 2 of this article is available)

Judy Cullins, 20-year book and Internet Marketing Coach, Author of 10 eBooks including "Write your eBook Fast," and "How to Market your Business on the Internet," she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, The Book Coach Says...and Business Tip of the Month at and over 140 free articles. Email her at

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