I started a publishing house 2 years ago to publish a few books that friends and family had written (I also work as a translator/editor/copy editor). I have figured out all the technical aspects of getting a book into printed form, have nice copies of my book printed by createspace, and even have bookstores (Barnes and Noble) wanted to purchase my books, but they won't buy them without a distributor. From what I have found so far, the big distributors won't take publishers with less than 10 books (currently have 4 published, 7 more on the way, but I need to get these books sold now!). What are you other small publishers doing about getting distribution for bookstores?
I'd love to hear what you have to say! My website is:
and the books I have published can be viewed there.
https://www.createspace.com/Customer/EStore.do?id=3347764 -- JOHN APOSTAL LUCAS (Olympic Sports Historian)
https://www.createspace.com/Customer/EStore.do?id=3357269 -- A Debutante's Passion-A Coach's Erotica
Love Letters of a Harvard Man and a Boston Elite By Ronald A. Smith (ed.)
https://www.createspace.com/Customer/EStore.do?id=3356629 -- There's a Bear in the Bathroom by Susan F. Smith
If you put your books onto Lulu (www.lulu.com) you can get them distributed to Barnes & Noble etc. Lulu royalties are not as good as CreateSpace, but they can offer FULL international distribution.
Tony Loton, author --
I'm wondering the same thing...
I know at www.RJCom.com they have a great service called Thor Distribution. This service makes your book available to virtually all the book wholesalers and retailers in the US as well as many in Western Europe. This includes all the online book stores like B&N, Borders, etc. It's $249 but you don't pay anything up front. They take it out of your royalties.
The only problem... you have to publish your book with them.
While I believe they are a good POD publisher their prices are higher than CS. And CS has been so easy to work with I would hate to use anyone else as my loyalty is growing for CS.
I wish CS would offer a service like this to help their authors get maximum exposure. That probably won't happen because they are owned by Amazon.
Finally, I can't believe there is not a third party company that would cater to self-published and POD authors for this type of service. I would definitely pay for it.
For now I guess we're stuck with approaching each online book store individually. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. And if that's the case I hope someone tells me so here.
My new book Expect Success is now available...
Baker & Taylor will take books from publishers with less than 10 titles, and American Wholesale Books (Books-A-Million) may if the title had regional interest.
Depending on the genre -- and especially if the books are topical -- you can also try approaching newsagency distributors. A lot of newsagencies stock books, especially the airport ones -- at least they do in Australia. But they have to be timely and well positioned. For example, leading up to the next Olympic Games, it may be possible to have them stock your sports historian book if you pitch it right. The only risk I see with this -- and it applies to many bookstores as well -- is dealing with returns. I think this why so many distros/bookstores won't deal with POD publishers because smaller houses and individuals may not have the capital to buy back unsold stock.
In the US getting books into airport stores is virtually impossible. They only carry the big house best sellers. IMHO, it not worth your time trying. I did for a long time (and in spite of recommendations, etc.) it didn't happen. The buyer literally told me I was wasting my time and my books then were traditionally printed, returnable, standard discounts, already had a track record,good reviews, etc.
Unless you have an interview or OJ or Greenspan, etc, don't waste our time.
My typing has gone down hill.
"Unless you have an interview or OJ or Greenspan, etc, don't waste our time." Should read "Unless you have an interview with OJ or Greenspan, etc,, don't waste Your time."
That's a shame that buyers can have such closed minds.
The only real strategy that has worked for me has been self-distribution: a lot of legwork resulting in some rejections but also a lot of enthusiasm. I have successfully gotten into a handful of newsagencies, indie bookstores and even fashion boutiques, but that is because my book is a niche product (part magazine/part book, or "mook" as we like to call it). I do a lot of networking through Facebook and Myspace, and more recently Twitter, and have found people to be more receptive when I do ask them about stocking my title after a little ongoing conversation.
Thing is, it does take a lot of time and energy, and I know having a distributor to do all the work would allow you to focus more on future books. But I guess that's the nature of self-publishing.
The best way to do it, for tax reasons, and for distribution maximization, is to set up an LLC, then go through Lightning Source. If you've set up a small company already (not sure what you mean by publishing house) then it's a snap. Lightning Source is owned by Ingram, the biggest distributer of hardcopy books in North America. Once you get into the Bowker system and set up with them they will sell you wholesale to distributers (including Barnes and Noble + Amazon etc) but you must set a hefty discount for the wholesale price - at least 55%. This is the way to go as the POD model gets your book international distribution. Try searching for my book, The Cocktail Cool Bar: A Textbook for Bartenders. Hope this helps. http://www.amazon.com/Cocktail-Cool-Bar-Textbook-Bartenders/dp/0979999405
THANK YOU! Lightning Source and Ingram are going to provide me with exactly what I was looking for...within a week I have been able to establish an account with Ingram. They provide extensive information and assistance in setting up the files, and so far have been very helpful. There are additional up-front costs, but they supply what amazon is keeping createspace from offering...distribution to bookstores!
THANKS SO MUCH!!!
PS. My books will still be available through createspace and amazon, as Ingram offers a non-exclusive contract:
I'm contemplating doing what you did with LightningSource. I have ISBN's from a publisher. I also am contemplating publishing my book via CreateSpace.
I found this in the FAQ, and it is confusing me a bit:
Yes. Please note, however, that if CreateSpace assigns an ISBN to your book, this ISBN belongs to CreateSpace and may not be used to publish your book with another publisher.
Additionally, if you have CreateSpace assign an ISBN to your title and intend to sell both books on Amazon.com, multiple detail pages may result on Amazon.com's retail catalog. Alternatively, if you intend to use an ISBN that you have purchased, one detail page will be created.
I checked your book on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It looks to me like your listing on Amazon is coming from LightningSource not CreateSpace.
Is your book published via CreateSpace?
The question I am mulling over is whether to use the CreateSpace ISBN or purchased ISBN on the book published via CreateSpace.
I understand the first part of the FAQ that you can't use a CreateSpace ISBN to sell your book at Barnes and Noble, etc. But the second part of the FAQ is not clear to me. I think the second part of the FAQ means that if you use the CreateSpace ISBN, you could have 2 detail pages at Amazon.com with 2 different selling prices for the book.
Basically, if you have a printer, and you purchase some ISBN's, you're a publisher already. Everything else is a service provided (for $$$) from someone doing something you could do yourself. I recommend going to the Bowker link and buying a set of 10 ISBN's so you have them on hand for next time - plus it's cheaper than buying just one: http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/isbn/us/secureapp.asp
Next, set up an S-Corp or LLC of some kind - you'll have to pay a registration fee, fill out some tax forms but once you get your Employer's Tax ID you're golden, you can sign up with lightning source and be in the best tax scenario. You can do it using a regular Tax Id number but trust me, it's better to have a liability shield (Limited Liability Corporation). Actually, it's best to have two - 1 to hold the intellectual property and 1 to lease it from that one for sale.
For instance, I would still recommend you do all the above yourself, but I could have someone at our company do book design, cover + layout, sell you one or our available ISBN's and get you in distribution through Ingram using our company's international agreements with Lightning Source, and that would get you everything you need except for a marketing campaign - which you would really be handling yourself no matter how you got published. I would do this for free because I would just take an agreed upon percentage of all books you sell throughout the world. The point is, if you're looking to just do one book - you might consider paying for the hassles involved in getting distribution deals. If you're seriously looking at publishing as a business model, don't do it half-assed, start a small company.
At the very least, you might buy this book, http://www.amazon.com/Print-Demand-Book-Publishing-Self-Publishing/dp/0972380132 and save yourself some trouble hunting through the forums. The only reason I'm at Create Space is to distribute my movie through DVD and Download. Amazon buys my book from Ingram wholesale, along with a host of others. You want your book to be available everywhere and be backed-up by a good website. Then you go from there.
I hope this helps everyone on this thread. I was at a international chamber of commerce meeting last night and met an author who seemed very misinformed about the publishing industry. Like a lot of industries, technology is turning it on its ear and EMPOWERING the creatives. Publishing is no different. If you are a writer, and confused, it is to the benefit of all those service providers. Educate yourself before you hand over cash for something you can do yourself.
That said, if you still want to get distribution but don't want to bother with LLC's or tax forms, I can set a title up through my company. Our book designers can easily take a finished manuscript and get it available internationally in 60 days or less if it's the off season and you agree with the cover design etc. quickly.
Maybe I can shed some light on this.
First, I understand that you can't use a CreateSpace-assigned ISBN with another POD company like Lightning Source or Lulu. Or vice versa for that matter.
Second, if you use a different ISBN with the different POD companies then you will indeed end up with two listings on Amazon.com as follows:
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Publishing-DIY-Self-Publishing-CreateSpace/dp/1440459223 shows my book Book Publishing DIY : The Do It Yourself Guide to Self-Publishing with Lulu and CreateSpace in its CreateSpace variant, with a CS ISBN.
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Publishing-DIY-Self-Publishing-CreateSpace/dp/0955989302 shows the same book in its LOTONtech (my own company) variant with an ISBN of my own sourced through Lulu and using Lulu's international distribution via Lightning Source.
Notice the difference in price, because the CS book was priced natively in $USD for Amazon.com and the LOTONtech / Lulu book was priced natively in £GBP for the UK market.
If you search Amazon.com for "book publishing diy" you will find that only one edition comes up in the search results. But also notice that in each book's listing, the other (cheaper of more expensive) variant is mentioned in Also Available section.
The double listing only applies to Amazon.com. On Barnes and Noble, Amazon.co.uk etc. you will find only the LOTONtech variant with ISBN 0955989302.
I hope this helps to clarify.
More tips in Tony Loton's
Book Publishing DIY : The Do It Yourself Guide to Self-Publishing using Lulu and CreateSpace
Yes, but what if you only added the title, but never uploaded the text of your story on CS?
Will it show twice on Amazon then? Since they only have a title with no other information.
I wish I could delete the title, but I can't...as I would like to check into your services.
I have multiple ISBN's available to me from a publisher, so how many I use is not of too much concern to me. I'm just trying to sort out the best way to do it. I can also do all the pdf and cover design myself. I did it before for a previously published novel in both print and e-book (via LightningSource when they did e-books). But that was over 4 years ago, and things have changed considerably. Now I have another novel about ready to go, and two more in the works.
I'm uncertain whether to go with the CreateSpace ISBN for Amazon. If I use an ISBN from the publisher, do I have to use two, one for Amazon and another one for Lightning Source et al?
This is what it says at Bowker:
Can I re-use an ISBN for different editions of the same title?
No, each distinct format or binding of a title must have its own separate ISBN. This includes hardcover, paperback, audio book, e-book, and DVD or VHS video versions, as well as any revised edition of a specific format.
It seems to me that if I use the same pdf files for both CreateSpace and LightningSource, I can use the same ISBN. But I'm not sure I should. It also seems to me that no matter how I do this, I am going to get two listings on Amazon at two different prices.
I'm wondering why at your web site you have the link to buy your book at Amazon as opposed to a CreateSpace link.
Well, I didn't read your book, but publishing via Lulu and CreateSpace makes sense to me unless you can go directly through LightningSource, as boybrand explained pretty thoroughly one way it can be done.
But I have a question for boybrand: Why don't you publish via CreateSpace for the Amazon market?