Factors for Success in the Book Selling Industry

Selling a course in miracles book takes place in a myriad of locations. Text books, references and manuals are sold to schools, businesses and colleges. An author sells books directly to readers when she self publishes. Book publishers sell to wholesalers and distributors as well as bookstores. Bookstores sell to the readers. A successful book is defined by how well it sells.

Shoppers expect books to be priced within a range. Mass paperbacks are between $6.00 to $8.00, trade paperbacks between $12 to $20, and hardcover books between $25 to $30. Ebooks are offered at $.99 to $5.(ref in notes) (ref1) Books priced substantially higher, say a trade paper back at $25 have a tougher time selling. The right price is a factor of success in book selling.

Wholesalers and Distributors
Anyone who buys a set of International Standard Book Numbers, ISBN, is considered a publisher. In that respect there are over thousands of publishers in the United States. (ref in notes) Bookstores prefer to buy from wholesalers and distributors because they have one entity to deal with for purchases, billing and returns, rather than hundreds, if not thousands of publishers. Wholesalers don’t market your book. Distributors do actively market your book through their own catalogs. Selling your book through a wholesaler or distributor contributes to the success of your book.

In addition to a book priced within the norms expected by customers, the terms offered to the wholesalers, distributors and bookstores need to be the industry standard. The discount offered by the publisher, or author selling to retail stores, should be between 40 to 55 percent of the retail price. For example, if the book retails at $20, then the wholesaler would get a 15 percent discount and the retail stores 40 percent, so the total discount is 55 percent. Bookstores expect 90 days to pay. The book should be returnable by the bookstore to the wholesaler. Bookstores are hesitant to buy books that aren’t offered with standard industry terms.

An author and her publisher work together in marketing her book. Authors don’t necessarily see the marketing the publisher does because it’s directed toward the bookstores, not consumers. That marketing consists of a description of the book in the publisher’s catalog, sending out review copies to book industry publications, sending out review copies to newspaper book editors and distributing press releases. The author markets the book to her social media contacts, newsletter subscribers and appears at book signings. She may also develop her own publicity program in addition to the publishers.

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