Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How I sell paperback and print editions

Though I've focused on ebooks, I still have print editions made of nearly all of my books. The difference is that I do it through print on demand. As an indie author/publisher, this is how I'm able to provide print editions of my books with the least amount of expense and effort.

For buyers worldwide:

CreateSpace, Amazon, Book Depository. Those who have no problem buying books online can get print editions any time through Amazon, CreateSpace, and The Book Depository. I'd recommend The Book Depository for Philippine buyers because they offer free shipping to the Philippines.

Chain and indie bookstores. Yes, it's possible for my books to appear in brick-and-mortar bookstores anywhere in the world. I've signed up for a CreateSpace service called Expanded Distribution, and my titles are available to bookstores that are already using CreateSpace to purchase books. However, they still have to make the order. I haven't yet explored getting word out to the book buyers of these stores, but it's available as an option.

For Philippine buyers:

Direct from me. I try to keep a few copies (not more than five) of each title in stock, for people who for one reason or another can't find it or buy it online. (bit.ly/mvebooks)

Trusted online sellers. Like Celina's Books and Magazines.

Book fairs. I've participated in a few reader fairs and gatherings, selling books during the event.

Independent booksellers. So far only indie bookstore/bar Uno Morato in Quezon City carries my indie print editions.

Chain bookstores. You can get into the large chain bookstores in the Philippines through consignment agreements or working with distributors. I don't currently do this because working with a large bookstore will require me printing hundreds if not thousands of copies per title to provide stock for each of its branches, not to mention dealing with the logistics of sending those copies over, monitoring sales, and getting back unsold copies. I've decided not to pursue this for now. But it is possible, all the channels are there if this is what you want to do.

This kind of minimum-effort print distribution system means I don't sell thousands of copies by the way. My bookstore presence is mainly due to my Philippine publisher, Summit Books, and not my own work. So if print distribution is something you want to do for your book, you'll need to figure out what you want to get out of it. If you want to earn a lot, be ready to spend and work for it too.

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