August 26th, 2013
Before we enter into designing layouts and book covers we first need to look at what the book publishing pieces are. Here are three more items to consider before going any further.
Retail stores will not order books directly from the publishers. Instead, they use a simple system of ordering all their books through two or three wholesalers and then can have them shipped to the store in a couple of shipments. This is much easier than having hundreds or thousands of shipments from every publisher out there. Ingram is the biggest book wholesaler you can find. Baker & Taylor is the next largest. Most self-publishers have relationships with one or both of these wholesalers. They are the only two that matter. You’ll need to have your book lined up with at least one of these wholesales if you want to sell it in actual bookstores. If you don’t work with Ingram or Baker & Taylor, your book will never be seen on those bookstore shelves. This is very important for many writers, so be aware of it.
Registration with Online Bookstores
Don’t use any publisher who can’t list your book for sale at Amazon.com. Additionally, they should be able to list it at other online stores, including Barnes & Noble.. As we mentioned before, online sales from Amazon are going to be the best source of book sales. That means the Amazon distribution channel is an absolute must.
Of course, this is something to understand. A complete book will have to be submitted before any of this can happen. An effective book design and layout will hopefully be accompanied by a designer and some form of book cover maker, either automated or manual.
LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number)
United States based libraries will require an ISBN number for placing orders of your books. Without it, you cannot your your book into libraries, which can be a big one time sale.
You don’t have to pursue library sales to be successful, and not all books are appropriate library material. However, libraries still maintain spending budgets for purchasing newly published books each year. Your book may be something that libraries will be interested in and it’s something to think about. It may just be worthwhile to get an LCCN number just in case you need it later. The good news is, you can get these numbers for free, so it doesn’t cost any extra to add this to your book sales and marketing plan.